I once read back ten years’ worth of "The Best American Poetry," cover to cover, volume after volume, systematically going back in time, not understanding why
I was not “getting” this poetry that was supposed to be the best, wondering if I just was not smart enough. The last poem I read, the one that made me finally stop, took place in a Thai restaurant, with a Chinese gang scheming in a back room and the restaurant owner’s son dressed as a (Japanese) samurai warrior, snarling. Snarling! It was a strange juxtaposition of tired old stereotypes, but I did not get the sense that the writer knew they were tired old stereotypes. I think the scene made sense to him.
Then I realized one of the reasons the poetry was not resonating with me was that I had such a different experience of the world. I then started reading Asian American poetry and although not all the experiences were the same as mine, finally, I could see the images and feel the emotions and hear the music in the words. The best American poetry comes from a wide range of Americans.
At 4 p.m. on Nov. 1 at 3222 Angell Hall, we have an opportunity to hear the South Asian American poets featured in "Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry". There will be a discussion facilitated by Ph.D. candidate Manan Desai at 4 p.m., and a poetry reading at 5 p.m. by "Indivisible" authors Neelanjana Banerjee (editor), Faisal Mohyuddin, and Sejal Shah. (click on link for more)
'Indivisible' South Asian American poets to have reading at U-M on Monday - AnnArbor.com