Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making

March 2019 

by The Operating System

Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making

An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics

Amanda Galvan Huynh & Luisa A. Igloria, Editors

of color_full

Cover design by Elæ [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson] with featured artwork by Suchitra Mattai.

As a faculty member and as a student, respectively; and as working poets of color in an MFA Creative Writing Program, we see the anxieties and pragmatic questions that students of color have, as they look for models and mentorship to support their experiences and histories. We hasten to add that faculty of color also experience the same kinds of fundamental unease: they seek to provide meaningful teaching while going through the rituals of academic tenure where they continually encounter the kinds of scrutiny that suggest, among other things, that their credentials and what they bring to the table are somehow wanting, even when they are not.

Especially in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election and its impact upon communities of color across the nation, we can expect that these kinds of conversations among writers of color will only deepen and intensify.

While we may not have answers to the current climate and rhetoric of social divisiveness and contention, we want to help put forth efforts toward building, in some areas where we can claim experience and agency: our stories, our voice.

Through this project, we gathered and consolidated some of the best essays that will speak to how and where we have come to poetry; and what we have learned about making and professing it, as poets of color, even in contexts which may have challenged our specific capacities to do so.

The anthology, which will be available in 2019, includes work by 15 wonderful poets, including Ocean Vuong, Craig Santos Perez, Sasha Pimentel, Ching-In Chen, Kenji Liu, Khadijah Queen, Tim Seibles, Abigail Licad, Addie Tsai, Remica L. Bingham-Risher, Wendy A. Gaudin, Melissa Coss Aquino, Tony Robles, Ernesto Abeytia, and José Angel Araguz.

For updates check on our Facebook page: Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making

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