Magazine article Herizons

[Monkeypuzzle]

Magazine article Herizons

[Monkeypuzzle]

Article excerpt

Some of the most promising ores of profundity lie within our inner landscapes; topographies of the lovely-achiness of being queer-Asian-woman as is the case for the poetic subject position(s) in Monkeypuzzle, as well as for this reviewer.

External travail wrestled with as inner turmoil can fuel the all-out journey of the soul. Rita Wong's Monkeypuzzle, her first collection of poems, mines the plutonian passages of the soul, paying exquisite attention to what works, what doesn't, and why.

Monkeypuzzle is a huge achievement, sculpted in a brief hundred pages. Wong writes the topography of a poetic subject, a woman marked in Canada: GenX, working-class-visible-minority-Chinese-Canadian, non-heterosexual; critical sluice-gates in Wong's inscriptions. The passion that is Monkeypuzzle is all the more incendiary because Wong engineers artistic control.

Taken together, Wong's forty-six poems form a 3-D map of a vast terrain: immense, yet specific in time and space; from growing up in a grocery store on the Prairies to teaching English in China, and to life in Vancouver, BC.

When you have been dispersed far away from the seat of your ancestral memory, what do you do, if you are not in denial? Perhaps, you begin tracking the footprints of your soul-desire. The writerly self in Monkeypuzzle does precisely that; she passionately tracks the voyage of soul-desire, from seeking ancestral memory to dreaming into reality the features of an Asian Canadian woman's desire to meet herself. …

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