Sept 26, 2015 from 2-6 pm
Come celebrate the release of ravel, Bonnie Kwong's first book of poetry. The event will include live performances by: Contraband, Oliver Mok, Sriba Kwadjovie and Melanie Evans.
From the kundiman Nandito Ako, the children's song usagi, to my daughter Talise drawing eggs, ravel begins in the pause after everyday moments--it could not have come to life in a vacuum. So please join us in welcoming ravel in its bound[less] form.
Warning: There will be hacked passports, counterfeit Customs Declaration forms, and other contraband items.
Reception starts at 2 pm with drinks and snacks, including some citrus delights from the poem The Taste of Each, which you can also explore in the form of a 3-D, scrolling digital globe.
Performances begin at 3 pm with Contraband, a multilingual musical collaboration with musician and guitarist Oliver Mok, dancer Sriba Kwadjovie, and vocalist Melanie Evans, followed by the premier of Half a Duet, a musical poem based on the Mandarin song Bu Liao Qing 不了情/Love Without End.
Poetry from ravel has garnered two Pushcart nominations. The collection was a finalist for the White Pine Press Poetry Prize and the Many Voices Project by New Rivers Press.
Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong is a poet who “traffics in songs unsung”. There is a musicality to her lines and a pervasive intelligence behind each piece. Sometimes she permits the rational, scientific part of her mind to dominate but more often her poems are sensual, delicate yet fierce, dynamic, and probing. Read this book and savor its flame!
Susan Terris, author, Ghost of Yesterday, New & Selected Poems
In ravel, Bonnie Kwong weaves from the disparate--from the quiet intimacies of love to the cruel depredations of history—an elegant fabric. Kwong’s poems are spare, restrained, yet at the same time made rich by her knowledge of multiple languages and cultures. “How much sweetness do we need to swallow the bitter?” asks one speaker.
Leslie McGrath, author, Out From the Pleiades
In this multilingual collection of poems, Bonnie Wai-Lee Kwong writes of the subtext in every civilized good. Hidden histories, suffering, and injustice are calmly dissected by this poet with clear eyes and straight diction -- words that at once enlighten, empower, and untangle.
Koon Woon, author, Water Chasing Water, 2014 American Book Award winner.
Random Parts Gallery, 1206 13th Ave, Oakland (between East 12 St and International)