Friday, July 29, 2016

Mithila Review explores the futuristic and the fantastic

A new Asian-based journal of speculative literature has emerged, the Mithila Review, which debuted in March, 2016 and is currently on its fourth issue. Each issue has contained a variety of short fiction, poetry, interviews and artworks with a very high standard of quality for such a young publication. 

Among the poets in the premiere issue were two of my favorites, Shweta Narayan and Shveta Thakrar. I was also introduced to the poetic work of Rohan Chhetri, Shikha Malaviya, and Ajapa Sharma. 

I have the highest confidence in them as they go forward that they'll be able to maintain this level of excellence. I applaud their ambition in bringing speculative literature forward in their communities. In the present age, we need a greater number of publications that can more effectively meet the needs of our communities, providing a space for diverse voices and visions.

Poet Jane Wong receives Kunitz Memorial Prize

American Poetry Review recently announced that the Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize has been awarded to Jane Wong for her poem "I Put On My Fur Coat." The poem will appear in the September/October 2016 issue.

Jane Wong‘s poems can be found in anthologies and journals such as Best American Poetry 2015, Best New Poets 2012, Pleiades, Third Coast, and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of scholarships and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Squaw Valley, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Currently, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pacific Lutheran University. Along with three chapbooks, she is the author of the forthcoming book Overpour (Action Books, 2016).

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Poet Jade Cho's "In the Tongue of Ghosts"

Poet Jade Cho was recently featured on NBC News discussing her first poetry collection, "In the Tongue of Ghosts." Naturally, this catches my attention. In addition to her poetry, she's also an Oakland-based educator.

Jade Cho is descended from Toisanese immigrants, and uses her poetry to explore diaspora, race, gender, power, privilege, and of course, ghosts. She maintains a blog at and is a member of the Ghostlines Collective.

This looks like one to check out!

Ice Fantasy: Lord of the Rings meets Chinese drama?

Recently, Dramafever has been making an effort to draw attention to a new Chinese drama they're streaming entitled Ice Fantasy. They've been positioning it as a question of what would have happened if Lord of the Rings had been written from an Asian perspective.

Dramafever is also making note of the fact that the source material was written by a 19-year old back in 2002. The article spares no enthusiasm for the author, Guo Jingming, praising his early accomplishment as a poet as well as his significant wealth and work in film and TV.

Here's the trailer where you can get a sense of what he's trying to do with this work. The trailer sees to cover many of the classic fantasy tropes, but we'll see if Guo Jingming is able to successfully bring some new dimensions to the fantasy field with a C-Drama adaptation. I suspect it won't go toe-to-toe with Game of Thrones, but it may well be a series that deserves to find an audience, given the epic traditions of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and so many others in China's past.