the world beneath the world

By Larissa Lai | April 19, 2009

“The world beneath the world” is what Dionne Brand called it, when she was here reading for Play Chthonics last fall. The world we’d live in if Columbus hadn’t sailed the ocean blue, if Lenin not Stalin, if Mao without the Cultural Revolution, if Kennedy not Nixon, without the Viet Nam war or the war…

Community Connections

By Larissa Lai | April 6, 2009

I’m kicking myself for having missed Shirley Bear’s reading at the On Edge series last Wednesday. She’s been an important figure to me in the last few years as an elder, artist and writer. I’m looking forward to having a visit with her later this month. I’m also really looking forward to the launch for…

Eggs in the Basement

By Larissa Lai | March 20, 2009

My long poem Eggs in the Basement is out, published as a limited edition chapbook by Nomados Press. Meredith Quartermain just came by last night with 26 lettered copies. Much appreciation to her and Peter both for being interested in it and for producing such a beautiful edition! Eggs in the Basement is an experimental,…

Clarion and Shanghai

By Larissa Lai | February 24, 2009

I’m really looking forward to teaching at the Clarion Writers’ Workshop in San Diego this summer. It’s the last week to apply. Get in there, all you talented moonbeams! I’ll be crossing the Pacific pond shortly for the Shanghai International Literary Festival. I’ll also have talks at Fu Dan University and Ningbo University. I’ve been…

Sybil’s first review

By Larissa Lai | January 31, 2009

I’m thrilled to have it!  Check it out here: Chroma

Progressive Texts

By Larissa Lai | January 22, 2009

It was really inspiring hearing (and hosting) Dionne Brand and Rita Wong at Play Chthonics last night. It feels this week as if a world that recognizes justice, beauty and hope is re-emerging after decades of hiding underground. Upcoming on February 19 : ” Progressive Texts”– an event to launch two special issues of West…

New leaf strong and free

By Larissa Lai | January 6, 2009

I wonder if Father Time is a vampire. How does he march so staunchly into the future without getting tired? Mother Nature recycles. Back at work. Two courses this term, both fourth year– one on race, gender, memory and citizenship; and one on biopolitics. Paul Lai has just published a pretty cool article about Salt…

Wring out the old, break in the new

By Larissa Lai | December 31, 2008

Another wash cycle done, new rough beasts waiting to be born. Much eating of poultry in this cold season. I contemplate the killing of chickens. How the one who slaughters sacrifices self to public opinion, but we all want the meat. I should learn to wield the knife. There’s the limit of my own bourgeois…