Cha "Betrayal" Poetry Contest – winners


Thank you to all the poets who sent work to Cha‘s “Betrayal” Poetry contest. Judges Andrew Barker and Tammy Ho Lai-Ming have selected the following six poems as the finalists. Please scroll down to read the poets’ biographies and their commentaries on the poems. All six poems will be published in Issue #20 of the journal, with Andy Barker’s commentary. The issue will be launched at AWP in March 2013. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patron from the San Francisco Bay Area who generously donated the cash prizes.

Also see our previous poetry contests, “Encountering” and “The Past”.
0


::::::::::
FIRST PRIZE WINNER £85

Shirani Rajapakse on “Questions Left Unanswered”: Sri Lanka’s recent past is wracked with incidents of suicide bombings, of young Tamil women strapping bombs to their breasts and blasting themselves in public places in the capital. Most of the young women come to the city with stories of horror and poverty or in search of jobs; they find lodging in residential areas and live like any normal person would. No one knows their true mission until a bomb explodes and they find the remains of a head. And then story is pieced together. Their deaths leave many questions unanswered to the people who give them lodging. This poem was written from the point of view of a man who marries a suicide bomber never realising her true nature. The betrayal he feels and the shock and horror of not knowing anything about the woman he shares a life with for fifteen years shatters his thinking and leaves him wondering about life and what else he has missed.

30-word bio: Shirani Rajapakse is a Sri Lankan poet and author. Her work is widely published in international magazines and anthologies.

SECOND PRIZE WINNER £55
“Uriah” by Theophilus Kwek

Theophilus Kwek on “Uriah”I was brought up in a relatively conservative Christian family, and Bible stories (including that of David and Bathsheba) have been part of family devotions and Sunday School lessons since young. Arguably the most important character in this particular episode, however – the betrayed and eventually murdered husband of Bathsheba – has always come across as a shadow, without a prominent voice, or even a ‘moral of the story’, to his name. In the bigger picture, Uriah, ethnically Hittite and hence Gentile at birth, also exemplifies a rare but oft-untold perspective of Jewish cultural history: few events in the Israelite narrative, after all, hinge on an outsider such as he. I wrote this in an attempt to imagine the familiar anecdote through his eyes, and to flesh out the universal contrast between (his) loyalty and (her) betrayal as they must have played out in the court of Jerusalem.

30-word bio: Recently conscripted for mandatory National Service, Theophilus Kwek continues to write and dream about home and life beyond the barbed-wire fence.

THIRD PRIZE WINNER £35
“The Third is a Betrayal” by Sumana Roy

Sumana Roy on “The Third is a Betrayal”I find myself living in a culture infested by abundance. That abundance, unfortunately, is not surplus. When I came to T.S. Eliot’s ‘third’ in The Waste Land, I found myself thinking about that ‘third’ as adulterous. We use that word almost always for the ‘extra’ in marriages, the ‘extra-marital’ as it’s accusatively called. In trying to write about love in marriages, I found that the ‘extra’ became the ‘third’ in my poem. When I was younger, I liked to think that postmodernism had encouraged this life of thirdness. Now I feel I know better: all our relationships are betrayals for the third is not necessarily a ‘name-place-animal-thing’. We are our third. We are the third.

30-word bio: Sumana Roy lives in Siliguri, a small town in sub-Himalayan Bengal, India.

HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED £15 each

Ian Chung on “The Virgin From Gibeah”: This poem is actually part of a longer sequence that I produced for my final year personal writing project at the University of Warwick. My intention with most of the poems in this sequence was to give a voice to Biblical characters that otherwise remain silent in their respective narratives, like the virgin of Gibeah in Judges 19. I find it intriguing to flesh out their stories, to imagine what might have brought them to the point when their lives intersected with a particular Biblical story in what typically amounts to a cameo appearance, or to speculate about where they might have gone on from there.

30-word bio: Ian Chung graduated from the Warwick Writing Programme. He edits Eunoia Review, and reviews for Sabotage Reviews and The Cadaverine.


Amy Uyematsu on “The Dare”: Many women have experienced a drunk and angry man.

30-word bio: Amy Uyematsu is a poet from Los Angeles. She has three published collections, the most recent being Stone Bow Prayer.

Heather Bell on “Survivor’s Guilt”:  When I wrote “Surviver’s Guilt,” I was on a funny little tangent about poetry, concerning whether or not poems need to be “true to your life” when you write them and then have them published. After I had “Love” published in Rattle, I started receiving a lot of emails from other writers asking me if this was a true account of Klimt’s life. I guess my point was, does it matter? It really got me thinking about how important this seems to be for fellow poets (and which I did not realize previously) and what that means for creative writing in general. People seem to crave “truth” in some form, no matter what they are reading. So, I will say this: my grandmother died around the time that I wrote “Survivor’s Guilt.” Is the poem about a grandmother? No. What I intended was to write around the issue, to leave a reader with a sense of “truth” in a way that you have to wonder about these characters and also wonder about a deeper human thing: grief and how each person will keep a piece of another person, in whatever way they have to in order to survive.

30-word Bio: Heather Bell has published four books. Any more details can be found here.

Cha "Betrayal" Poetry Contest – Shortlist





BETRAYAL – Shortlist

A Cha Poetry contest
We have now selected the sixteen short-listed poems for Cha‘s “Betrayal” poetry contest. The finalists will be announced when the March 2013 issue of the journal goes live. 
We are currently accepting general submissions for the June 2013 issue. 

 The shortlist:

  • “The Cloud Revolt” by David W. Landrum
  • “The Third is a Betrayal” by Sumana Roy
  • “One day” by Arun Anantharaman 
  • “Death by numbers” by SuzAnne C. Cole 
  • “The dare” by Amy Uyematsu 
  • “Questions Left Unanswered” by Shirani Rajapakse 
  • “The Virgin From Gibeah” by Ian Chung 
  • “Her lips” by Nicholas Francis 
  • “Eyes” by  Kim Saloner 
  • “Uriah” by Theophilus Kwek 
  • “How Many Roads Must a Man Walk Down Before You Can Call Him a Man?” by Anita Feng 
  • “Benazir Bhutto” by Matthew A. Hamilton 
  • “Betrayal at the mall” by Vinita Agrawal 
  • “DARK-LASHED GIRLS” by Carol Ayer 
  • “Survivor’s Guilt” by Heather Bell 
  • “Jade” by Larry Lefkowitz

The judges:

  • Tammy Ho is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha and an assistant editor of Fleeting Magazine
  • Andrew Barker is the creator of the online lecture website Mycroft, where examples of his poetry lectures can be seen. He is the author of the poetry collection snowblind: from my protective colouring (Chameleon Press) and holds a PhD in American Literature and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University. 
    The prizes:
    • First: £85, Second: £55, Third: £35, Highly Commended (up to 5): £15 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
    • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the March 2013 issue of Cha.
    The prizes were generously donated by a reader from the San Francisco Bay Area. 
    Previous Cha contests:

    Cha "Betrayal" Poetry Contest





    BETRAYAL

    A Cha Poetry contest
    WINNERS ANNOUNCED (27 February, 2013 ) :::  SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED (5 February, 2013)
    This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems about “Betrayal”.  

    Judges:

    • Tammy Ho is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha and an assistant editor of Fleeting Magazine
    • Andrew Barker is the creator of the online lecture website Mycroft, where examples of his poetry lectures can be seen. He is the author of the poetry collection snowblind: from my protective colouring (Chameleon Press) and holds a PhD in American Literature and an MA in Anglo-Irish Literature. He currently teaches at the University of Hong Kong and Lingnan University. 

    Rules:

    • Each poet can submit up to two poems (no more than 80 lines long each).
    • Poems must be previously unpublished. 
    • Entry is free.
    Closing date:
    • 15 January 2013
    Prizes:
    • First: £85, Second: £55, Third: £35, Highly Commended (up to 5): £15 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
    • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the March 2013 issue of Cha.
    The prizes were generously donated by a reader from the San Francisco Bay Area. 
    Submission:
    • Submissions should be sent to t@asiancha.com with the subject line “Betrayal”.
    • Poems must be sent in the body of the email.
    • Please also include a short biography of no more than 30 words.

    Previous Cha contests:


    Cha "The Past" Poetry Contest – finalists


    Thank you to all the poets who sent work to Cha‘s “The Past” Poetry contest. In just one month, we received 440 highly accomplished submissions. Judges Marc Vincenz and Tammy Ho have selected the following seven poems as the finalists. Please scroll down to read the poets’ biographies and their commentaries on the poems. All seven poems will be published in Issue #18 of the journal, due out in late September 2012. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our patron from London, UK who generously donated the cash prizes.

    Also see our previous poetry contest, “Encountering”.
    0


    ::::::::::
    FIRST PRIZE WINNER £50
    The History of Chinese Painting and the History of Modern Western Art Washed in the Washing Machine for Two Minutes (1987) running commentary on the pulp Huang Yong Ping was making from Wang Bomin and Herbert Read’s respective tomes” by Joshua Burns

    Joshua Burns on “The History of Chinese Painting and the History of Modern Western Art Washed in the Washing Machine for Two Minutes (1987) running commentary on the pulp Huang Yong Ping was making from Wang Bomin and Herbert Read’s respective tomes”: Huang Yong Ping’s work has been on my mind since last Spring. His washing machine may have been my first. It certainly seems to me to be one of his more mainstream works and, if not, I would, at least, argue it comes from his most provocative time, a time when he appeared to be doing the work of a Chinese Duchamp. fter selecting the artwork, the first five lines came easy. I had been listening to my roommate’s now slumbering noise project, Mega Diss, a pass the mic around kind of experiment, that had the energy, verve, nerve, and perhaps hatred, definitely hatred, that Huang Yong Ping’s statement required. One of Mega Diss’s lines, coming at the center of a track that is already too long and hate-ridden (how appropriate for an album entitled “We Hate”) goes “Zachary Eller’s losing his mind” followed by a swish of screeches, growls, and grunts that cannot be replicated here but carry the song on far after it has long expired. Mega Diss’s work is, after all, one that expires from the moment you put it on. This noise-ridden listening experience reminded me of my own washing machine. It barrels through long nights and blares to tell me when it’s done, long after I already know it is done and just do not want to get up and answer it. The last thirty or so lines came in a rush when I realized, in a grocery store which I hurried back from, that I could make the piece three even four dimensional, by including, first the artist, then Duchamp, then me, then my roommate and fold them over each other. Contractions here are tremendously important as they get the nice mushiness and urgency that comes from a piece that goes “Washed in the Washing Machine for Two Minutes”.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Joshua Burns continues to tinker with the rich tradition of Chinese art and specifically the outgrowth which is Huang Yong Ping. Chinese art has understandably been back-seated until Huang Yong Ping is completely washed, dried, and worn out.

    SECOND PRIZE WINNER £30
    “Letter to Queen Victoria from the People of Hong Kong, 2012” by Michael Gray



    Michael Gray on “Letter to Queen Victoria from Hong Kong, 2012”: I spent most of Summer 2012 continuing to study Mandarin. I learned some Cantonese as well. My trip began with a five-week program in Chengdu. After it ended, I visited Guiyang, Anshun, Guangzhou, Foshan, Shanghai, Yuyao, Jinan, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Beijing, Dunhuang, and Xi’an. I was working on versions of this poem during the summer and recently figured what to do with ideas floating inside my head.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Michael Gray is a MFA candidate at California State University-Fresno and an editorial assistant for The Normal School.

    THIRD PRIZE WINNER £20
    “The Old Cemetery” by Richard Luftig

    Richard Luftig on “The Old Cemetery”Old cemeteries are filled both with mystery and poems. Reading the tombstones gives you bits of information about people who fought and died in wars, people who lived through historical times and the short lives of children who died early on in infancy. In addition, the unseem people who visit the graves are a mystery. Who leaves the fresh follows every day? Why is there a coffee can filled with dead flowers. In one funny story that actually happened, someone was stealing miniature flags left at grave sites. It turned out that it was moles taking the flags back to their burrows! Perhaps there is a poem there someday!

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Richard Luftig lives in California. His poetry has appeared in North America, Europe and Asia and has been translated into many languages.
    FOURTH PRIZE WINNER £15
     “The Seamstress’ Goodbye to Liu” by Andrew Barker

    Andrew Barker on “The Seamstress’ Goodbye to Liu”: There is probably no better way to really appreciate a work than to have to tutor on it for five years to intelligent teenagers expecting you to be able to explain parts of the work their school teachers have not. Believe me, if you still appreciate the work after that time, it’s a fine piece of writing. Not wishing to waste what I had imbibed from the book, I wrote sonnets on, in fact as, all three of the main characters in Da Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress; the Narrator to Liu, Liu to the Narrator and this, the Seamstress to Liu. These were constructed and performed as the characters in the novel looking back on the events of the novel. The Narrator, now we must presume escaped from the mountain, he has just written the book we have just read, reflects on how he has been able to transform their experiences into the art that have kept him sane. Liu, now broken after the Seamstress’ departure reflects that what he most feared happening to him has occurred. And the Seamstress herself? It’s plain that she has been underestimated by the boys from the start, and we have to assume, as soon as she comes down from that mountain, the only way is up. I have faith in her. And I should know. I’ve read her book over twenty times.
    So, here’s the complication with this poem, these poems, poems like this . . . Every line in them derives from something in a novel that the reader has probably not read and has almost certainly not read with the same line by line attention that the poet has. How far can the poet expect the reader to connect or care? Do works like this not derive from too limited or esoteric a frame of reference to be appreciated by anyone but the poet himself?
    And I submit that the poet can only acknowledge this and shrug. Of the numerous reasons for not writing something, this one shouldn’t worry us for too long. We can only hope, as we must with many poems, that the work itself contains enough to hold the implication of a fuller story. Here, that fuller story actually exists.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Andrew Barker lives in Hong Kong. He collects books and he reads and writes every day.


    HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED £10 each

    || “Iron Arthritis” by Reid Mitchell ||


    Reid Mitchell on “Iron Arthritis”: My mother really did suffer from this disease, for at least half her life, and I really did think of this when I had some muscle problems. And I wrote it at the time. So the poem is uncharacteristically immediate for me. (Not to say that most of my work isn’t personal but usually I mull over things.) It is quite painful for me to “see” my mother standing in our yellow kitchen, reaching to open a cabinet door so she could take out some baking powder or a casserole or a package of cookies. All of us children loved my mother very much but this sight became such a normal part of our lives that I at least took it too much for granted. At least I learned how to make biscuits to help her get dinner on the table.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Reid Mitchell, a poet and novelist, has contributed to Cha several times since its inception. He has also published in Asia Literary Review, Pedestal, and elsewhere. He currently lives in Beijing.

    || ” Sapphics for Hue” by Ken Turner ||

    Ken Turner on “Sapphics for Hue”: Sapphics, named for their use by the ancient Greek poet Sappho, are four-line stanzas with a strict syllable count and metrical pattern. The strictly controlled form, with its falling trochees and dactyls, evokes a powerful but contained emotion in a haunting way. Such a form seemed perfectly suited to my reactions to Hue. The city is steeped in layers of history, full of poignant reminders of the past—especially the Citadel of the Nguyen emperors, parts restored to their imperial glory and parts still in ruins from the battles that raged there during Tet 1968. My first visit to the Citadel was during a steady drizzle, rendering the scene all the more wistful and melancholy. Imagine my surprise in turning down a deserted lane and encountering a tethered elephant, mustered on sunnier days for pictures with paying tourists, now drenched and pacing forlornly in front of a decaying palace.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word bio: Ken Turner currently teaches in China and travels Asia, writing poetry whenever he can; recent work is in Waccamaw and Switched-On Gutenberg.

    || “Old Shikumen Gate” by Adam Radford || 


    Adam Radford on “Old Shikumen Gate”: Few expatriates who have lived in China over the past decade will have failed to observe the rampant construction. At the time of writing this poem, I was living on Fuxing Lu and Huang Pu Lu near the site of the new metro station. This poem describes the Shikumen houses which I watched get pulled down. I was struck by the scale of the demolition and the people who were displaced by it. For the most part their lives went on, seen through the smashed in front room walls. Until one day, they were gone for good.

    Read the poem here.

    30-word Bio: Adam Radford lives and works in Hong Kong. He currently lectures part-time on Lifewriting at Lingnan University. His poetry collection Man on the Pavement will be available early 2013.

    Cha "The Past" Poetry Contest – 9 short-listed poems

    We have now selected the nine short-listed poems for “The Past” poetry contest. The finalists will be announced when the September 2012 issue of Cha goes live.
    || “Letter to Queen Victoria from Hong Kong, 2012” by Michael Gray
    || “The History of Chinese Painting and the History of Modern Western Art” by Joshua Burns
    || “Sapphics for Hue” by Ken Turner
    || “The Gunner Speaks no English” by Reid Mitchell
    || “Iron Arthritis” by Reid Mitchell
    || “Old Shikumen Gate” by Adam Radford
    || “The Old Cemetery” by Richard L Luftig
    || “The Seamstress’ Goodbye to Liu” by Andrew Barker
    || “Matchstick Empire” by Rishi Dastidar
    Prizes: First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £20, Highly Commended (up to 3): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal. The prizes were generously donated by a reader in London, UK.) All six winning poems (finalists) will receive first publication in a special section in Issue #18 of Cha, due out in late September 2012.

    Cha "Encountering" Poetry Contest – finalists

    Thank you to all who submitted work to Cha‘s “Encountering” Poetry contest. Out of 400 highly accomplished submissions, judges Arthur Leung and Tammy Ho have selected the following seven poems as the finalists. Although we had originally intended only to recognise six poems, we had to add one more place because we thought the following seven pieces were so strong and we could not forgo any of them. Please scroll down to read the poets’ biographies and their commentaries on the poems. All seven poems will be published in the forthcoming issue of the journalWe would also like to take this opportunity to thank our anonymous patron from San José, USA who generously donated the cash prizes.
    0

    UPDATED: After reading all the winning poems, our patron has decided to raise the highly-recommended prize from £5 to £10 each. He agreed it is difficult to let any of the poems go. He also wanted us to reiterate that the purpose of the contest was not to make money (that’s why we did not charge any entry fees) but to reward good writing. We are very excited and honoured to present these poems to you in the March 2012 issue of Cha.

    UPDATED: The March 2012 issue of Cha has now been launched.

    ::::::::::
    FIRST PRIZE WINNER £50
    “Sonia Wants to Rent an Apartment” by José Manuel Sevilla

    José Manuel Sevilla on “Sonia Wants to Rent an Apartment”: The poem belongs to the new book I am writing. All poems are related to real people that I know or have met in the past. Sonia is a friend living in Barcelona. As the rest of the poems of this book, all images are part of my own biography, since my teenage years when I belonged to a clandestine organization fighting the remains of the dictatorship, my business trips, my visit to Croatia during the Balkan’s war, my stay in Berlin when the Wall was opened, my life with my wife in Mexico and in Hong Kong or my interest in History and particularly in the atrocities of the 20th Century, like Auschwitz and Hiroshima. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Born in Barcelona in 1959, José Manuel Sevilla has published several poetry books including Alicia in Ikea’s catalogue (2004) and Ashes of Auschwitz en Eighteen Dogs (2009, Angel Urrutia Award). He founded “Poets against Aids” in Spain and co-founded the theatre Group “Bonobos”. He has also translated Peter Reading’s C into Spanish. Sevilla has been living in Hong Kong since 2003.

    SECOND PRIZE WINNER £30
    “Flashback Sonnet: B-Film Actress Seeks Lost Bastard Child” by Ranjani Murali

    Ranjani Murali on “Flashback Sonnet: B-Film Actress Seeks Lost Bastard Child”: The poem is part of my latest project, which is a meditation on archetypes and tropes from Hindi and Tamil cinema. The scene was based on my memory of an ’80’s Tamil song, where the heroine is reclining on sand, beckoning to her lover. I was intrigued by how much work goes into constructing “gaze” and/or desirability. This meditation seemed to need a form that was sensitive to a turn in perspective–how one is constructed by others and how one constructs the self–and the sonnet seemed to fit the idea perfectly. I had to revise the poem several times in the past six months, and I’m happy that it is, in some ways, a mouthpiece for my forthcoming project. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Ranjani Murali received her MFA in poetry from George Mason University, where she taught creative writing, English, and composition. She was the recipient of Vermont Studio Center’s Kay Evans Poetry fellowship and a nonfiction fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA.

    THIRD PRIZE WINNER £20
    “Reunion” by Aditi Rao

    Aditi Rao on “Reunion”: To me, “Reunion” is essentially a poem about rebuilding, about what has been lost, what can be salvaged, and the stages involved in that process. I think of relationships between people as the creation of a common “language” — a way of making sense of the world together. This poem explores that idea through different stages of re-creating a fractured relationship. The form of this poem was a happy accident. I had just spent a week with close friend who is a playwright, and we’d talked a fair bit about what makes a scene and about telling an important story in a moment between characters. So, when I sat down to write what would become “reunion,” the stage directions and dialogue format were in my mind, and this format gave me the freedom to play with time in the poem in way I found really interesting. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Aditi Rao is a poet based in New Delhi, India. Winner of the 2011 Srinivas Rayaprol Prize for poetry, Rao facilitates writing workshops in Delhi and works as a consultant in the field of peace education. She holds a Masters’ of Fine Arts in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.

    HIGHLY-RECOMMENDED £5  £10 each

    || “On Encountering Jean-Claude Van Damme” by Andrew Barker ||

    Andrew Barker on “On Encountering Jean-Claude Van Damn”: This piece was written as an attempt to turn an anecdote into a poetic work. That anecdote concerning encountering the man in question during a night out in which he was presumably, as the wealthy often are, ‘suffering an adverse reaction to a prescribed medicine,’ or being what the rest of us are in such situations ‘Off his tits.’ If it works as a poem, it works due to the line length example of form imitating content, the poem moves as erratically as he does, and for the last line. There is something impressive about watching somebody who really doesn’t care what anybody else thinks about them. As anyone who has ever encountered Chris Doyle will testify, there is something impressive about watching someone who can still get the job done, do the work they’ve set out to do, at the level at which they do it and be that out of it. I can’t do it. And I’m jealous. The poetry is in that final, ambiguous realization. There is something impressive about watching someone making a fool of themselves who simply doesn’t care that you think they are making a fool of themselves. He got the girl as well. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Andrew Barker lives in Hong Kong. He is the author of Snowblind from my Protective Colouring (2009). He has degrees in English Literature, Anglo/Irish Literature and American Literature. He teaches at various universities and has recently completed a 450 page novel in verse set in Onegin Stanzas.

    || “When I Was the Chinaman’s Granddaughter-In-Law” by Dena Rash Guzman || 

    Dena Rash Guzman on “When I Was the Chinaman’s Granddaughter-In-Law”: I wrote this poem in 2008, the Year of the Rat. It is a direct recollection of a memory from the 1996 Lunar New Year Festival, the Year of the Rat. I lived in Las Vegas, Nevada at the time and was nearly 24 years old. Soo Chin was from Hong Kong. He had probably been in the United States for a little over 40 years. I wish to know more about his story, but I have only bits and pieces of it, and no way now to learn more. I have lost contact with Grandpa Chin. However, he had a huge impact on my life, and I could fill a small book with Grandpa Chin’s memory and his confusing, but always welcome and often profound, wisdom. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Dena Rash Guzman lives on an organic produce farm outside Portland, Oregon. In 2011 she was awarded Judge’s Prize for best performance at the first ever Shanghai Erotic Fiction Competition. She is founding editor of the literary journal Unshod Quills.

    || “Sample 70215, 84” by R. Joseph Capet ||

    R. Joseph Capet on “Sample 70215, 84”: I suppose this poem was born out of the stories my father used to tell of a special program he was in as a boy, volunteering in the Air and Space Museum in Washington. His favorite thing there was the moon rocks—much larger pieces kept in storage than the fragments that are out on public display at any given time. I wanted to capture something of the paradoxical way that, for those (like my father) who watched the moon landing, the Apollo missions added a whole new romance to that distant place, even as the thought of touching it began to wear away at the mystery it had always embodied in the mythologies and occult symbols of the world. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: R. Joseph Capet is a poet, playwright, and essayist whose work has appeared in decomP, The Montreal Review, and ITCH. He currently serves as poetry editor for P.Q. Leer in addition to teaching poetry at Chemeketa Community College in Salem, OR.

    || “Bees” by Shivani Sivagurunathan ||

    Shivani Sivagurunathan on “Bees”: As romantic as it sounds, the first line of the poem came to me one night just before bed. Too lazy to run to the nearest sheet of paper, I chose to turn off the lights and do the most practical thing: sleep. The line, however, remained fresh in the morning and so I proceeded to write the poem. I had recently been contemplating the coexistence of the ordinary and the extraordinary in relationships- how initial explosive engagements between people, after a long period of time, become associated with regular, pragmatic objects like fans and kettles; how such items may be triggers of memories of ancient truths and, consequently, I wanted to explore the spontaneous encounters people have with surreal moments in the context of everyday life, and the impact that they bring on forgotten intimacies. READ THE POEM HERE.

    Bio: Shivani Sivagurunathan is a Malaysian fiction writer and poet. Her poetry chapbook, Chiaroscuro, was published by bedouin books in 2010 and her collection of short stories Wildlife on Coal Island came out in August, 2011. She now lives in Malaysia and lectures at University Putra Malaysia.


    Cha contributors in The Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2011

    Cha contributors Martin Alexander, Andy Barker, Viki Holmes, Wena Poon, Xu Xi, Louise Ho, Leung Ping-Kwan and our Reviews Editor Eddie Tay will be appearing in The Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2011 (8-18 March). More details can be found here.
    [2010]

    one by one OUTLOUD 5 May





    one by one

    one person:

    one poem ~ story ~ song…


    the following poets/writers/artists will perform

    akin jeje
    brian mulcahy
    yuen che-hung
    christian johnson
    zheng danyi
    dave mckirdy
    fanny-min becker
    chan fongie
    shoko fujioka
    gerard henry
    gillian bickley
    jessica yeung
    jonathan douglas
    keon lee
    chung ling
    mary jane newton
    michael holland
    michael ingham
    pauline burton
    salah elewa
    sarah brennan
    sayed gouda
    shahilla shariff
    sonia au
    stephen richards
    mak su yin
    tanya hart
    virginia chu
    wong yankwaii

    #

    5 may 2010 ~ fringe club ~ 8pm ~ free
    emcee: madeleine marie slavick
    presented by OUTLOUD (est. 1999)

    Cha contributors in The Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival 2010

    Cha contributors Martin Alexander, Andrew Barker, Blair Reeve, Jason Lee, Ouyang Yu, Kate Rogers, Viki Holmes and Xu Xi will be featured in the 2010 Man Hong Kong International Literary Festival (11-19 March). More details can be found here.

    FIFTY-FIFTY Relaunch Event at Pacific Coffee

    Fifty-Fifty, the anthology edited by Xu Xi and published by Haven Books (Hong Kong), will be relaunched with a new cover. To celebrate Haven Books has teamed up with Pacific Coffee to bring the anthology to the general public at a “Meet the Authors” event held on two dates in September 2009: first in Central and two weeks later in Tsim Sha Tsui.
    Tuesday, September 8, 2009 / 7 – 8.30pm
    Pacific Coffee, 52-54 Wellington Street, Central
    Thursday, September 24, 2009 / 7 – 8.30pm
    Pacific Coffee, G/F New World Centre, 18-24 Salisbury Road, TST
    Fifty-Fifty features work by many Cha contributors, including Xu Xi (issue #6), Martin Alexander (issue #3), Andrew Barker (issue #7), Cecilia Chan (issue #7), David Clarke (issue #1), Louise Ho (issue #4), Viki Holmes (issues #3 and #8), Alan Jefferies (issue #7), Agnes Lam (issue #2), Elbert S.P. Lee (issue #1), Arthur Leung (issue #1 and guest poetry editor of issue #6), Mani Rao (issue #1), Kate Rogers (issue #8), Nicholas Y. B. Wong (issue #1 and guest editor of issue #4) and Cha‘s founding co-editor Tammy Ho Lai-ming.
    If you are in Hong Kong in September, do join the Fifty-Fifty writers at these exciting meetings!

    CHA contributors in Asia Literary Review

    Apart from Kavita Jindal, Cha contributors Michelle Cahill, Louise Ho and Andrew Barker also have poetry published in the Summer 2009 issue of Asia Literary Review.
    Read Michelle’s poems “The Spirit House” and “The Deva Loka”, Andrew’s poems “15: I’m Cut then Accused of Weilding the Knife [She]” and “16: You Found the Love You Had Sought [He]” and Louise’s poems “A Veteran Talking”, “Incense Tree”, “Cock-a-doodle-doo”, “Dusk” and “A Poem is Like” in the handsomely-designed new issue of ALR.

    • Michelle Cahill’s poetry was published in issue #2 of Cha.
    • Andrew Barker’s poetry was published in issue #7 of Cha.
    • Louise Ho’s poetry was published in issue #4 of Cha.