Countdown to Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making Release Date

The official publication date for Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making :: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics is March 27, 2019!

This is such an exciting time for Luisa A. Igloria and for myself as the idea came about in the fall of 2016! Yes, 2016. From brainstorming to putting out the call for essays to reading and selecting the essays to working with a publisher to minor bumps to last minute revisions—it has taken us two years and some change to finally reach our publication date.

As of right now there’s still time to preorder over at The Operating System’s main website. The publication date does coincide with the AWP Conference (Association of Writers & Writing Programs). If you will be at AWP in Portland this year then the anthology will be available at the book fair in two locations: The Operating System’s table as well as the Old Dominion University’s table. If you spot me at the conference then I will also have copies of the anthology for sale.

Until then I want to highlight some of the wonderful people and poets involved in this anthology as it takes a village to bring these anthologies to life.

Many thanks to the following writers who have graciously blurbed our anthology:

“What an astonishing symphony of ‘desperate and beautiful noise’ the editors have assembled here! It feels unprecedented to me, and yet somehow also already indispensable. I will be teaching, and learning, from this anthology for years.”
~ Kaveh Akbar, author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf

“Of Color assembles a remarkable chorus of voices, each distinct, powerful, and deeply moving on its own, but when taken together reflect the rich and complex soundscape of what it means to be a writer of color in America today. It’s a rare and wonderful thing to encounter a collection of essays which speak so honestly of the ways that grief, anxiety, gratitude, and love can bring us to the page and transform our language, our world, or even ourselves. “
~ Neil Aitken, author of The Lost Country of Sight and Babbage’s Dream

“There is a fierceness required or grown from having little choice but to be attentive. Like walking an uneven and dangerous path chock full of hidden or horizon-obliterating elements screaming quiet in their teeming to be witnessed. This is nothing less magic than the complex work-work of language itself, and in such crucial voicings, the ones offered right here. 

Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making :: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics is testimonial and music, memory and urgency and loss, fire and salve for what has been, for the troubled ongoing future. 

The authors, the stories their bodies and flesh carry, the memories they often contend with, brought together and beautifully curated by Luisa A. Igloria and Amanda Galvan Huynh, are no easy “we.” And yet I risk this: it is in gathering uneasy, willing ourselves into readiness, to share how hard or through what experimentations in contention we got here that we may find in the stories, in the work, waystones for the journey on. 

I want to quote all the essays in this unbroken promise of a book to you. Like being the first in the crew to, just this side of gushing, pop in a tape our body responses decide carries our next song for crossing bridges. Instead, I say I needed this book many years ago, and need it now. May you who finds this so often brilliant waystone of a book carry it to the places more of us can find it, too. ”
~ Hari Alluri, author of The Flayed City

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

Thoughts on Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making Anthology

In Fall of 2016, I was compiling a list of craft books for my thesis. While I had made my contemporary and classic poetry book list diverse, I noticed my craft book list was lacking. Where were all the writers of color? Why weren’t there craft books by poets of color?

I found myself at an impasse: Should I wait and leave the work to others? I might have to wait awhile but certainly it should be someone else; I’m still a student.

I’m glad I didn’t let this thread of thought stop me. If not me then who? When? Right now was the perfect time to start, and I wasn’t surprised to find others who felt the same.

Fortunately, I have the honor to work with a wonderful professor who has lent me her support. I can’t write on Luisa’s behalf, but I hope this anthology finds poets who need it the most. I’m also humbled by the support we’ve received so far. It makes me feel less alone.

Deadline for essays: April 15, 2017
Submit to: POConMaking (a)
Check out the detailed call: Details
Check out our Facebook page: Of Color Anthology Facebook Page


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