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Crevasse, Hong Kong-based writer Nicholas Wong's newest collection of poetry, which won the 2016 Lamda Literary Award, starts with an epigraph from Maurice Merleau-Ponty that notes the impossibility of observing one's own physical body and, therefore, the necessity of a -second, - -unobservable- body from which to view one's own. The poems in Crevasse seek to uncover the thread connecting these mutually observed and observing bodies. Like Samuel Beckett and others before him, Wong has deliberately chosen to write in a non-native language--English, his second language after Cantonese. Freed from the assumptions and conventions of his mother tongue, Wong strips down, interrogates and ultimately reorients the fragmented complexities of the multiple communities he inhabits--queer, Asian, poet, reader, lover--in a collection of poems that exposes the gap between familiarity and the inevitable distance of the more

Product details

  • Paperback | 80 pages
  • 147.32 x 195.58 x 7.62mm | 45.36g
  • Kaya Production,U.S.
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 1885030207
  • 9781885030207
  • 86,161

Review quote

After reading Crevasse, I reread my review of Wong's debut collection, Cities of Sameness. I wrote that his poems were like statues of Greek gods, sculpted without a spare ounce of fat, and I stand by this observation. Wong's works combine free verse with rigorously carved stanzas, often in couplets and triplets, meticulously versed. This, however, does not mean there has been no development in Wong's poetics. While Cities exhibited experimentation with poetic forms, Crevasse shows more preference for certain forms and motifs. There are three poems named -Private Parts,- three named -Self-Portraits- and three structured as one-line stanzas, each starting with a Ginsbergian fixed base (such as -how- or -if-). Wong's diction is as precise as ever, although in Crevasse he often uses somewhat dated vocabulary to add layers of meanings to his language. Not only are the poems top-notch, but even the book's design is so impeccable - the cover, colour scheme, typeface and editing all seem right - that it is like holding a work of art, an elaborate manifestation of aesthetics.--Michael Tsang -Cha: An Asian Literary Journal -show more
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