Cha — Call for Submissions — Issue 31 (March 2016)

due out in March 2016.
http://www.asiancha.com


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
is now calling for submissions for Issue 31, scheduled for publication in March 2016.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 December 2015.
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Jason S Polley (poetry) and Sreedhevi Iyer (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tamara Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.
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We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.
If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.

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— ,

CHA’s Best of the Net 2015 Nominations

http://www.asiancha.com

We are happy to announce that the following pieces, selected from the September 2014, December 2014, March 2015 and June 2015 issues of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, have been nominated by us for inclusion in Best of the Net Anthology 2015 (published by Sundress). Congratulations to these writers and good luck!
P  O  E  T  R  Y
|| “Blackout” by Jeffrey Javier (December 2014) (Cha “Reconciliation” Poetry Contest Winner)

F  I  C  T  I  O  N
|| “Kehena Beach” by Thaddeus Rutkowski (December 2014)
|| “Glory Be To The Father” by Kyra Ballesteros (March 2015)

N  O  N  –  F  I  C  T  I  O  N

|| “Intersection of Time” by Dwight Watson (June 2015)

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// PAST

Cha – Call for Submissions – Eighth Anniversary Issue (December 2015)

due out in December 2015.


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
is now calling for submissions for the Eighth Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in December 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September 2015.
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Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tamara Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.
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We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.
If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.

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— ,

Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue 29 (September 2015)

due out in September 2015.
http://asiancha.com


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for Issue 29, scheduled for publication in September 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 June 2015.

Marc Vincenz (poetry) and David William Hill (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tamara Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue 28 (June 2015)

due out in June 2015.
http://www.asiancha.com


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for Issue 28, scheduled for publication in June 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 March 2015.

Jenna Le (poetry) and Daryl Yam (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

Cha "Reconciliation" Poetry Contest – 8 winning poems





Reconciliation

A Cha Poetry contest
This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems on the theme of “Reconciliation” 
We have selected the following eight winning poems, which will all be published in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha, due out in late December 2014 or early January 2015. 
// Naveed Alam, “Wagah-Atari”
// L.S. Bassen, “Aunt Esther”
// Manjiri Indurkar, “Schizophrenia”
// Jeffrey Javier, “Blackout”
// Jeffrey Javier, “Missing”
// Jyotsna Jha, “Everything Is In Place Except Me”
// Meg Eden Kuyatt, “Portrait in a Fujisaki Apartment”
// Robert Perchan, “Miss Min’s Monday Morning Magic”

Judges:

  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha
  • Jason Eng Hun Lee has been published in a number of journals and he has been a finalist for numerous international prizes, including the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2012) and the Hong Kong University’s Poetry Prize (2010).
Prizes:
  • First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £15, Highly Commended (up to 5): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
  • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha.
The prizes were generously donated by an expat reader residing in Hong Kong.

Previous Cha contests:


Cha’s 2015 Pushcart Nominations

We at Cha would like to announce our nominations for the 2015 Pushcart Prize:
Congratulations to the above nominees. We wish you the best of luck and thank you for letting us publish your wonderful work.
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Also see our Best of the Net nominations this year.

Whither Hong Kong? A Preface

http://www.asiancha.com/content/blogcategory/258/473/
In early July, we sent out a call for poems about the Chinese Government’s White Paper on the “One Country, Two Systems” principle in Hong Kong. At the time, the publication of the paper, which formally precluded true democracy within the city, felt like a watershed moment in Hong Kong history and one that we wanted, in our own small way, to capture in the journal. 

What we couldn’t have foreseen was how the White Paper would lead to subsequent events in the city, especially the Umbrella Revolution. None of us could have imagined how protest sites would blossom on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon or how determined the protesters would be in face of government resistance. Nor could we have foreseen how the protests would leave their mark on the city: the ‘Lennon Wall’ at Civic Square and it’s tapestry of post-its showing how voices are many and one; a solitary yellow umbrella on an Admiralty stage; banners with the words of Lu Xun draped from footbridges.
It is within this context that we launch this special feature, which will hopefully serve as a record of our collective desire for democracy. The poems curated here are as much about the experiences of the Occupy movement and the ‘on-the-ground’ protests as they are about the original White Paper. They capture the emotions, reflections and hopes of people living in Hong Kong at this historic moment. This collection is perhaps another “wall” of post-its, reminding us of how the passion for poetry resonates strongly with the passion for freedom and democracy. 
Poets featured: Kit Fan, Mary Jean Chan, Jason S Polley, Wendy Gan, Andrew S. Guthrie, Ruth Lee, Aaron Chan, Stephanie Han, Peter Gordon, Antony Huen, Natalie Liu, Marco Yan, Emily Cheung, Henry W. Leung 
(Pictured above: “試問誰還未發聲”, seen on the campus of Hong Kong Baptist University. Photo by Jason S Polley. Friday 24 October, 2014.)

Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue 27 (March 2015)

due out in March 2015.


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for Issue 27, scheduled for publication in March 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 December, 2014.

Dorothy Chan (poetry) and David Raphael Israel (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

We are also accepting submissions for the special poetry section “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon”. Closing date: 30 September 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

CHA Issue #24 goes live

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The June 2014 Issue of Cha is here. We would like to thank guest editors Michael Gray (poetry), Royston Tester (prose) and Reid Mitchell (prose) for reading the submissions with us and helping us put together this edition. We would also like to thank Eddie Tay for a fine selection of book reviews. The issue includes an editorial by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming titled “A Touch Of Cruelty In The Mouth” and poems from David McKirdy’s new collection, Ancestral Worship.

The following writers/artists have generously allowed us to showcase their work:

Poetry: David McKirdy, Timothy Kaiser, Kenneth Alewine, Joshua Burns, Daryl Yam, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Insha Muzafar, David W. Landrum, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Randy Kim, Zachary Eller, Divya Rajan, Mathew Joseph, Michael O’Sullivan, Tjoa Shze Hui
Fiction: Sarah Bower, Michael X. Wang
Creative non-fiction: Qui-Phiet Tran
Interviews
: Smita Sahay interviews Tabish Khair, Usha Akella interviews Marjorie Evasco, Sharon Ho interviews the organisers of three Hong Kong poetry-reading groups
Lost tea: Jonel Abellanosa
Photography & art: Franky Lau (cover artist), Divya Adusumilli, Allen Forrest
Reviews: Grant Hamilton, Sarah Bower, Emma Zhang, Michael Tsang, Drisana Misra, Carolyn Lau, Cecilia Chan

Our next issue is due out in September 2014. We are currently accepting submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue and entries for the “Reconciliation” poetry contest and the “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon” section. If you are interested in having your work considered for inclusion in Cha, please read our submission guidelines carefully.

:::::




Reconciliation

A Cha Poetry contest
This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems on the theme of “Reconciliation”.  

Judges:

  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha
  • Jason Eng Hun Lee has been published in a number of journals and he has been a finalist for numerous international prizes, including the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2012) and the Hong Kong University’s Poetry Prize (2010).

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 September 2014
Prizes:
  • First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £15, Highly Commended (up to 5): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
  • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha, due out in November/December 2014.
The prizes were generously donated by an expat reader residing in Hong Kong.
Submission:
  • Submissions should be sent to t@asiancha.com with the subject line “Reconciliation”.
  • 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:


ASIAN CHA Issue#24 Editorial

A Touch Of Cruelty
In The Mouth

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Looking at old photos leads me to believe that the body evolves.
—Edouard Levé

I love to recall my dreams, no matter what is in them.
—ibid.

Of course, telling someone your insult is like telling someone your dream; the specific emotional core of it cannot be communicated …
—Sheila Heti
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The golden boy Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s memorable creation, continues to capture our imagination, as seen in his most recent representation in Showtime’s Penny Dreadful. Who doesn’t want to stay delicate, young and exquisite? Skin flawless, teeth intact, hair shiny. In fact, our modern beauty industry relies on nothing but this overblown desire to slow down the clock. I am sure many of us, while reading Wilde’s story or watching an adaptation, have imagined, even if only very briefly, what it might be like to be Dorian.

For a large part of the story, Dorian’s physical appearance is unaffected by the passage of time, while his painted double, hidden in the attic, ages, withers and becomes loathsome and unrecognisable. That face on the canvas evolves with the sordid force of life, as it absorbs the negative energy of its original. This all begins with “the touch of cruelty in the mouth”:

He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young, and the portrait grow old; that his own beauty might be untarnished, and the face on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins; that the painted image might be seared with the lines of suffering and thought, and that he might keep all the delicate bloom and loveliness of his then just conscious boyhood. Surely his wish had not been fulfilled? Such things were impossible. It seemed monstrous even to think of them. And, yet, there was the picture before him, with the touch of cruelty in the mouth.

The cruelty here is Dorian’s, conferred to his pictorial likeness. But cruelty is an inherent element of every portrait or photograph of a human subject. The American comedian Mitch Hedberg, whom I admire a great deal, sums it up wisely and poignantly: “Every picture is of you when you were younger.” Everything that bears a reproduction of your image, then, is an inevitably cruel reminder that nothing good lasts, that you will grow old. Very old if you are lucky. Or unlucky.

At some point, you will envy your younger self, sitting awkwardly on an uncomfortable rug, drinking a cheap red wine as you and your friends couldn’t afford anything good, or wearing an embarrassingly slutty dress, silver and black, with no cleavage showing, for you had none (you still have none) or grinning so goddamned happily for something so life-defining then and so insignificant now that you don’t remember what it was that sparked that bright smile or even who else you were with at the time. You grow old … you grow old … You shall wear the bottoms of your trousers rolled. 

It is perhaps disingenuous of me to complain about ageing, for I am still regularly asked if I am a student due to my small size and unaggressive chest. But all the above acts as an introduction to a vivid dream that I had one night some weeks ago. I am one of those people who remember their dreams quite well and that particularly dream, I remember intensely. 

In the dream, I am in my old family home in Tuen Mun with my parents and two younger sisters. It is a small flat, with two small bedrooms, and, at night, we turn the small wooden sofa in the small living room into a small bed, which I sleep on with one of my sisters (everything was small in my past, nothing is grand in my present). My mother must have turned off the lights, and I, without much thought, reach for a torch that gives out enough light that familiar household objects cast strange, enlarged and dreamy shadows on the wall, which is by day covered with crayon marks, traces of my sisters’ creative vandalism. 

In the dream, I am looking at an older picture of my parents, my sisters and me sitting on a leather sofa so worn that it had been replaced by the wooden one. My mother is holding Ying on her lap, and my father has Ching on his. I stand in the middle. Squeezed in the middle. No one is holding me. I am too old.

The next moment in the dream, I am my current age again and frantically looking for that picture. When I find it, I see that Ying is no longer sitting on my mother’s lap and Ching is no longer on my father’s. They are grown-ups in the picture, and they stand next to my parents. I stand as before. I too am grown-up. My parents are eighteen years older, but on our faces we have the same expressions as before. My parents: reservedly proud of having three healthy and moderately intelligent daughters. My sisters: clueless. Me: clueless.

It dawns on me, in the dream, that all our images grow with us, agewith us, probably die with us. Whatever our present age, we are now the same age in past photographs. It has become impossible to recover photos of ourselves at a younger age—our Facebook accounts automatically update; in our photo albums we are no longer babies, but our current selves trapped in the faded photos of bygone days. We are all Dorian Grays without the benefits: our pictorial selves age but so do we.

In my dream, no one could remember exactly what others looked like in the past. No one could boast, “Look at this. I was once considered a beauty.” When I woke up, I instantly went on Facebook to check if my profile pictures were unaltered. They were. Thank goodness I had taken these photographs when I was younger, easier, more carefree. And better still, I remain that way in them, even though the flesh-and-blood me moves on, marching towards decay and death. Which is the way it should be, and I am glad.


http://www.asiancha.com 

… likeness, once caught, carries the mystery of a Being.
—John Berger

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
 / Co-editor
Cha
29 June, 2014








Call for Submissions: "Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon"

Pictured: Hong Kong Column – Translated (http://facebook.com/hkcolumn)

Introduction
Cha is seeking entries on the theme “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon” in response to the Chinese Government’s White Paper (click here for more information) to be included in a special section in the journal.

Submission period
20th June (Fri.) – 30th September (Tue.)

Editors of the section
-Tammy Ho Lai-Ming [bio]
-Michael O’Sullivan [bio
-Kate Rogers [bio]

-Michael Tsang [bio]

Guidelines
Please send submissions to t@asiancha.com by 30th September with the subject line “White Paper—your name”. Each writer can submit up to two poems.

A Polite People

First they took their land, then their fish, then their trolleys
After it was their backs, then their loins,
Then their rented apartments, their shacks, their rusting bicycles
In the end all they had was chicken gristle, chickens feet,
And dung lai chas.
Still they waited and said it wouldn’t be polite.

Then they started on their voices,
They took their tones, their gutturals, their
Argumentative low tones, their cackling old woman’s laugh,
Their hanging end-tones,
Their flippant, rising soft tones,
And then their babies’ coughs.
Still they waited and said it wouldn’t be polite.

Then they came to take their shadows,
Their memories and the ghosts of ancestors they
Had buried on their hills
Ma On Shan, Tai Mo Shan, Lion Rock
Old Animals hurting now as they looked on
Over the flagrant ripples washing their tired limbs,
Still they waited and said it wouldn’t be polite.

But when they took their dreams hung with
Luk Fuk red pockets and
Banyan leaves they wondered if their time had come
So they stretched out their legs, gritted their teeth
Counted their number and rose together
As an angry sun told them their day had run.
We waited because they said it wouldn’t be polite.

Iris Ho

Cha – Call for Submissions – Seventh Anniversary Issue (December 2014)

due out in December 2014.
http://www.asiancha.com


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in December 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September, 2014.

Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

We are also accepting submissions for the “Reconciliation” poetry contest (judges: Tammy Ho and Jason Lee) and the special poetry section “Hong Kong Isn’t Going Anywhere Anytime Soon”.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

Call for Submissions—Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz

http://www.chameleonpress.com/octaviopaz/
You are invited to submit poems to Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, a collection in celebration of the centenary of the great Mexican poet, Octavio Paz, who built bridges among cultures, and especially among poets, and whose connections with Asia were considerable.

The editors have selected eight works by Paz to initiate and stimulate the conversation or to act as references. These poems can be found HERE.

As the title Desde Hong Kong suggests, the editors expect the poems to be rooted in some way in, from or about Hong Kong. The book will be published by Chameleon Press and edited by Germán Muñoz Díaz, Juan José Morales and Cha founding co-editor Tammy Ho Lai-Ming. You can find out more about Germán, Juan and Tammy HERE

Unless you are invited to submit work personally by one of the editors, general submissions should be made by 31 July, 2014 via Google Docs and sent to octaviopazhk@gmail.com. More information: http://www.chameleonpress.com/octaviopaz

Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue #25 (September 2014)

due out in September 2014.
Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now calling for submissions for Issue #25, scheduled for publication in September 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 June, 2014.

Nicholas Y.B. Wong (poetry) and Rheea Mukherjee (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.


We love returning contributors — past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue #24 (June 2014)

due out in June 2014.

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for Issue # 24, scheduled for publication in June 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 March, 2013.

Michael Gray (poetry) and Sushma Joshi (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.


We love returning contributors — past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

CHA’s Best of the Net 2013 Nominations

ImageThe End of Summer, oil on canvas, 142 x 205 cm (by Mia Funk)

We are happy to announce that the following pieces of work, selected from the September 2012, March 2013, and June 2012 issues of Cha, have been nominated by us for inclusion in Best of the Net Anthology 2013 (published by Sundress). Congratulations to these writers and good luck!



// POETRY 

1. ‘We’ by May Dy ::::: Issue #18 (September 2012)
Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1206/356/
[Read an analysis of this poem here.]
2. A Smoke Bread at the Nuclear Command’ by Koon Woon ::::: Issue #18 (September 2012)
4. ‘This, and This’ by Mark Anthony Cayanan ::::: Issue 20 (March 2013) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1373/390/ 
5. ‘A Question Before Slumber’ by Raydon L. Reyes ::::: Issue #21 (June 2013) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1466/403/
 //FICTION 
 1. ‘Love is No Big Truth’ by Amanda Lee Koe ::::: Issue #20 (March 2013) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1404/391/ 
 2. ‘Rising River’ by Sim Wai Chew ::::: Issue #21 (June 2013) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1491/404/ 
Image
Metamorphosis, oil on canvas, 166 x 230 cm (by Mia Funk)

 //CREATIVE NON-FICTION 
 1. ‘Zithering Away’ by Sarah Coomber ::::: Issue #18 (September 2012) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1247/358/ 
 2. ‘Native Language’ by Tracy Slater ::::: Issue #20 (March 2012) Link: http://www.asiancha.com/content/view/1400/396/

// PAST


..
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Cha – Call for Submissions – Sixth Anniversary Issue (March 2014)

due out in March 2014.


Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for the Sixth Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in March 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 1 September, 2013 15 September 2013.

Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
— ,

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS — "THE ANCIENT ASIA ISSUE"

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now accepting submissions for “The Ancient Asia Issue,” an edition of the journal devoted exclusively to work from and about Asia before the mid-nineteenth century.

From the beginning of the twentieth century, ancient Asia has contributed to the rebirth and re-imaginations of modern literatures, not only in English (from Ezra Pound to Gary Snyder) but in other western languages as well (Victor Segalen, Octavio Paz, Bertolt Brecht…). “The Ancient Asia Issue” of Cha seeks to revivify this tradition, featuring translations and original works of poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, and visual art from and about Ancient Asia, to be published in December 2013. If you have something interesting, opinionated, or fresh to say about the Asian past, we would like to hear from you. Please note that we can only accept submissions in English.
We are pleased to announce that Cha former contributor, translator and scholar Lucas Klein will be joining Cha as guest editor for the issue (see his biography below) and read the submissions with co-editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback

The Reviews section will be devoted exclusively to books related to the theme of the issue. If you have a recent book that you think would be right for review in “The Ancient Asia Issue”, we encourage you to contact our Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com. Books should be sent to Eddie before the end of May 2013.

If you would like to have work considered for “The Ancient Asia Issue”, please submit by email to submissions@asiancha.com by 20th June, 2013. Please include “The Ancient Asia Issue” in the subject line of the email. Submissions to the issue should conform to our guidelines.

***

LUCAS KLEIN is a  former radio DJ and union organizer, is a writer, translator, and editor. His translations, poems, essays, and articles have appeared at Two Lines, Drunken Boat, Jacket, and PMLA, and he has regularly reviewed books for Rain Taxi and other venues. A graduate of Middlebury College (BA) and Yale University (PhD), he is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics at City University of Hong Kong. With Haun Saussy and Jonathan Stalling he edited The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound (Fordham University Press, 2008), and he co-translated a collection of Bei Dao 北島 poems with Clayton Eshleman, published as Endure (Black Widow Press, 2011). His translations of Xi Chuan 西川 appeared from New Directions in April 2012, as Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems (for more, see here), and he is also at work translating Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin 李商隱 and seminal contemporary poet Mang Ke 芒克.

    ASIAN CHA Issue#20 Editorial

    Hula Hooping
    (First published in Berfrois on 28 February, 2013.)

    “First snowfall of the year, Issy-Les-Moulineaux” by Oliver Farry 
    I don’t want to be like a fruit that is small, round and has a bland taste. I like being written into poems but when someone does that I feel shy but also ridiculously euphoric. I have been using the same perfume since I was sixteen years old. One of the flats I rented in Hong Kong had a leaking ceiling and tropical rain came through the cracks like drizzles of piss. I want to have good taste in music but I don’t know where to begin. I like the Irish songs The Wind that Shakes the Barley and An Poc ar Buile. I don’t like hearing my voice rippling on Skype. I studied Buddhism for nine years and I am fearful of the concept of reincarnation. I don’t remember how many times I was photographed in my old school uniform. My first “jeans” weren’t made of denim. I have never arranged to bump into someone. The countries that I have visited twice are Finland and Poland. As I grow older, I try to moderate my desire for things that won’t happen. I want to write about Hong Kong like Guy Maddin wrote about Winnipeg but before I do that I have to love my city more. My sisters are twins. I would like to have a spare room so I can spread out unread books on the floor to form a small labyrinth.
    My favourite professor can translate Baudelaire and Lorca. I think the best way to annoy an editor is to not address her in an email, as though you are writing to a void and have never learnt to be polite. Photos of embryos fascinate and frighten me. I was amused that John Alexander Bryan said “The existence which we name a shadow, possesses more natural oneness than the existence which we name gold.” I question authority constantly, secretly, timidly. After someone has told me a ghost story I would remain upset for days because the ghost would stay inside my head. My first and most Dickens novel is Great Expectations. If there’s a Magwitch in my life I would treat him very well. My passport photos are ugly but the urgency of having them taken means that one can’t be too fussy. I have never been to Spain. I have never planted orchids. I have never seen a river full of supermarket trolleys. I have never really understood the Euler circuit. I think Joshua is a beautiful name. I believe you have to thoroughly understand something in order to subvert it in any meaningful way. I ask myself, “How much of history is lost to illegible glances?”
    Cambodia, 2006
    I have been mistaken for Southeast Asian several times in my home city. In Cambodia, the locals thought that I was Cambodian and spoke to me in their language. Sometimes my shadow is eaten by whatever that walks before or behind me. I imagine Robert Creeley is talking about me in his poem “The Woman.” There is no particular hour in the day or in the night that I like best. I like the hour in which I have done something useful for myself or something kind to others. I can be quite selfish and I don’t want to elaborate on that. I harbour strong emotions towards the moon, especially when it’s deceptively large and I feel lonely. I never recline my seat on the plane; I hate it when others do. I was bitten by a dog once but no one else remembers the occurrence. I was dismayed to learn that human beings have a third pair of eyelids. I have noticed that if you smile to an unfriendly shopkeeper, her attitude will soften. I think it’s arrogant of me to try to convert people with friendliness. I often forget to put on body lotion after showers. I wish I didn’t occasionally think my grandfather walked too slowly on his crooked wooden cane.
    A sofa that can comfortably accommodate me and him makes me happy. When I was younger I collected stamps. I particularly treasured those with the Queen’s silhouetted head. I am drawn to Richard Brautigan’s poem “To England”—“There are no postage stamps that send letters / back to England three centuries ago.” I’m afraid of holding babies in my arms or touching their soft heads but I must learn how to do these. I like the letter “O.” I find it hard to be warm to people who make fun of others. In Luxemburg, a Chinese chef made me a vegetable soup that reminded me of my deceased grandmother. I am not sporty. I am not musical. I don’t balance well. I like phrases that are difficult to translate into another language. A certain thickness of beard is very charming. The universe isindifferent. I want to have a balcony in my final home so I can leave it open when I am dead. I wonder why we often forget about a pain when it subsides. Same with love. Every sigh that another person makes certainly doesn’t diminish mine. I believe in attraction only when there is a mirror in the room and we pay no attention to it because we are too engrossed with one another. I believe in attraction only when there is a mirror in the room and we are too engrossed with our reflections in it looking back at us.
    I agree with Borges that each of us is a caricature copy of oneself. I agree with Nabokov that curiosity is a pure form of insubordination. I agree with Johnson that to prove something exists one might as well kick it. I don’t have exaggerated ideas about things I don’t know. I may have prejudiced or romanticised ideas about things I do know. I think “love” said in a certain way can be chillingly passive-aggressive. Instead of a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, I am happier to receive some lines for possible inclusion in my next poem. I think the intellectual, poetic and sexual itch are one. My sisters and I believe that playing with a hula hoop will give us slim waists (it doesn’t work on everyone). A famine survivor wept before me some years ago. I don’t like the buzzing sound of an iPhone in my presence, untidy sugar cubes in a broad-brimmed cup, ink stains on leather jackets, not having my English corrected when I make mistakes, poems that are titled “Untitled,” the texture of liquorice and the taste of non-alcoholic beer. I can be a little judgemental, even though I keep most of my judgements to myself and nurse them until they become irrevocable. I wonder which is more arousing—being ejaculated upon the face or in the mouth. I have been to three funerals; I wore black two times, white once. The dead body of a loved one leaves an everlasting impression. Sometimes, late at night, I imagine sleeping next to my dead beloved and that I, too, am dead.
    My father is getting old fast. My mother is getting old too but at a slower pace. I believe freedom is first but as Cohen says, “Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton.” When I am flying on a plane, I often look outside the window to see all these stars, stars and then below, a magnificent galaxy of city lights. I wish I could sing opera or draw or tap dance. I am hurt if someone says I am competitive. I want never to become a female Casaubon. What I like from Geoff Dyer’s Paris Trance: “on the outskirts of a kiss,” “unfettered potential,” “Her English deteriorated quickly when she became angry,” “There could never be another you,” “Time has run out.” I love eating oysters with the right and appreciative person. I am amazed by the idea that we are ancient; we are stardust. I like giving myself a kind of heightened sensation that only I myself can conjure. I have never held a ribbon for too long. Twice I was moved to kiss the pages of a book I was reading. I feel sad about the conflict between Hongkoners and Mainland Chinese. I like imperatives, old encyclopaedias, small apples, temperamental kettles, cutting price tags on new dresses, a sweetheart’s handwriting, a sunny and lazy afternoon. When I read literature on the Tube I felt I was in the right place. Many Chinese New Years ago, I dreamt of my deceased grandmother. In the dream she asked me to ask my mum to burn her some new paper clothes.
          
    My best girl friend has a boy’s name. My own name is a dynasty and a whore. I sometimes self-censor. Some of my favourite films are Brief EncounterMake Way for TomorrowSolaris and Topsy-Turvy. I like to be silent together with a man and be perfectly content. I like gulping water from a huge plastic bottle. I would like to have an audience to see me do that. I used to share a bunk bed with one of my sisters. Sometimes people bore me but I bore myself too. I don’t like watching someone walk away. I don’t like walking away either. I found the view from the Centre Pompidou of ancient buildings congregating at dusk spectacular. My toenails have a perpetual sad look no nail polish can brighten. I played table tennis in secondary school. I like science fiction stories that include time-travel elements and paradoxes in general. I am never quick enough to come up with a wish when there is a stray eyelash. I want to see at least one great natural phenomenon in my lifetime. When I am lonely I imagine I am alone in a vast and still desert. I remain scornful of those who use “LOL.” I take photographs of objects that have once seen more glorious days. I have never jumped into fountains. I don’t think it’s as hard to pass from people kissing to people eating one another as Voltaire conjectured. I suppose I am likeable. I want to be multi-talented, multi-lingual. When I look at a fat pigeon I think of evolution.

    from left to right: Ying, Ching (my younger sisters), me
    Writing this for days exhausts me. It is a good kind of exhaustion, like what Hemingway said about finishing a short story. I wish the friends and family I have mentioned or alluded to will continue to love and admonish me. When I die I want somebody to close my eyes and make sure my horny feet are not exposed at the funeral. I sometimes think of hula hooping with my sisters but I don’t really remember much. I wouldn’t want to revisit my childhood. I wouldn’t want to go back to any period of my past. I imagine it’s more cinematic to part with someone at a snow-covered train station than a provincial airport. If I am to write a book in my senile days it will be The History of the Clock. I am in a seizure of love. When I read this back in a few years’ time I will probably find my current self unbearably pretentious and naïve — “hard to believe I was ever as bad as that.” I want to be happier. And I want to believe that my best days are still ahead of me before I belong to the ages.
    Tammy Ho Lai-Ming / Co-editor
    Cha
    7 March, 2013

    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”.
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    ::::::::::
    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’s March 2013 Issue (#20) Launch Reading at AWP

    There will be a launch reading for the March 2013 issue of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal at AWP. The event will be hosted by guest editors Kaitlin Solimine and Marc Vincenz and co-hosted by the Fairbank Center forChinese Studies at Harvard University.
    Feature readings by past and current Cha contributors Eleanor Goodman, Bill Lantry, Kim Liao, Mai Mang (Yibing Huang), Tracy Slater, Marc Vincenz, and Nicholas YB Wong

    Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue #21 (May/June 2013)

    due out in May/June 2013.

    Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
     is now calling for submissions for Issue # 21, scheduled for publication in May/June 2013.

    Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 March, 2013.

    Jason Lee and Cha‘s consulting editor Reid Mitchell will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.


    We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
    — ,

    Cha – Call for Submissions – Issue #20 (March 2013)

    due out in March 2013.
    Cha: An Asian Literary Journal is now calling for submissions for Issue # 20, scheduled for publication in March 2013.

    Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 December, 2012.

    Marc Vincenz and Kaitlin Solimine will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

    We love returning contributors – past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.
    — ,

    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.