New updates on 4 Cha contributors: Nicholas Wong, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Wendy Xu and W. F. Lantry

Nicholas Wong

Nicholas Wong has a new poem in The Pinch. The piece, “Meditations on How to Break up with my Sick Boyfriend”, is the poem of the month on the site. Another poem by Nick is forthcoming in the Fall 2012 print issue.  
|| See Nicholas Wong’s Cha’s profile here.


Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Wendy Xu

A new issue of Drunken Boat is out! Read Fiona Sze-Lorrain‘s translation of Yang Jian’s poems “Winter Day” and “Ancient Mansion” and Wendy Xu‘s “Ruptured Heart Theory” in the issue.
|| Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s poetry was published in Issue 12 of Cha and her book Water The Moon is reviewed in the same issue.
|| Wendy Xu’s poetry was published in Issue #16 of Cha. 

W. F. Lantry

Congratulations to W.F. Lantry! He has won The Linnet’s Wings inaugural prize for poetry, in audio with the poem “Ocotillo Wells”, from his chapbook Journey to the Interior. Learn more about The Linnet’s Wings and the prize here.
|| Read W.F. Lantry’s Cha profile.


Fiona Sze-Lorrain and Chapvelope Three

Chapvelope Three, now available for pre-order, features the following elements:

Lan Lan & Yi Lu:: You Are Not Here & Volcanic Stone

               translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Heather Christle:: Some Ideograms

…plus other surprise ephemera!

Reserve your copy now for only $10, $2 off the list price.

$12  $10 (S&H included)

Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s poetry was published in Issue 12 of Cha and her book Water The Moon is reviewed in the same issue.

Cha contributors in Asymptote

The July issue of  Asymptote is now live. This is the publication’s biggest and boldest issue to date. It features a new Upaniṣad translation, master of the lyric novel Shen Congwen, “Ghalib Redux”, poems by Tomaž Šalamun, the philosophy of Yoshimichi Nakajima, an interview with Chen Show Mao, Sven Birkerts on Bolaño, Péter Esterházy and Gábor Németh in our Hungarian Fiction Feature, and visual art from Russia and Thailand. Read the new issue here.
The new issue also includes works by several Cha contributors. 
-Marc Vincenz translated six poems by Erika Burkart from the German [Link]
-Mani Rao translated Īśāvāsya Upaniṣad from the Sanskrit [Link]
-Fiona Sze-Lorrain translated poems by Yang Zi (“Float” and “Ink”) from the Chinese [Link]
-Fiona Sze-Lorrain translated poems by Yi Liu (“Look at the Sunset”, “That Bouquet of White Flowers” and “Because There is Awakening”) from the Chinese [Link]
-Lee Yew Leong (also editor of Asymptote) translated Lin Yaode’s Hotel from the Chinese [Link]

  • Marc Vincenz’s poetry was published in Issue 10 of Cha.
  • Mani Rao’s poetry was published in issue #1 of Cha.
  • Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s poetry was published in issue #12 of Cha.
  • Yew Leong Lee’s short story “The Disappearance” was published in Issue#6 of Cha.

In One Take

From the Vif éditions website:

An exquisite musical encounter with two international award-winning concertists, Guo Gan and Fiona Sze-Lorrain, In One Take offers a lyrical choice that blends both classical and contemporary music in the tradition of two ancient Chinese music instruments.

Learn more about the CD here.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s poetry was published in issue #12 of Cha.


Henry W. Leung, reviewer for Lantern Review, has written an extensive review of the current edition of Cha (Issue #12); the review is now available on the LR blog.

Henry emphasises, among other things, the Asian-themed poetry (‘Most of the poems in this issue fit the “Asian” label easily enough[.]’) and the translations (‘I laud Cha for being international and diglossic, because the presence—or shadow—of other languages encourages us to confront our own more objectively.’) in the issue as well as our critique column, A Cup of Fine Tea:

If you followed the links to these poems, you’ll know that many are paired with commentary or reviews in the correlating blog, A Cup of Fine Tea, emphasizing the dialogue that small-press literary journals are intended to be.

In the review, works by Annie Zaidi, Clara Hsu, Eddie Tay, Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Helle Annette Slutz, Kim-An Lieberman, Marco Yan, Inara Cedrins and Peters Bruveris, Phill Provance, Steven Schroeder and W.F. Lantry are discussed, some very favourably. 

Henry also poses an important question to Cha editors in his review: as an Asian journal, should we be more aware of publishing pieces that fit the “Asian” label? Of course, “Asian” can be roughly interpreted at least two ways: 1) Asian-themed works and 2) works by Asian writers/artists. However, in his discussion, Henry suggests that content comes before authors’ racial make up or current location, as he points out that Annie’s and Marco’s poems, “Diaphragm” and “Remembrance” respectively, ‘don’t immediately fit any distinct cultural categories’, despite the fact that Annie is from Mumbai and Marco lives in Hong Kong. Henry reminds us, then, that a piece of work by an Asian-born or Asian-based writer does not by default make it “Asian”. I agree there is a distinction.

The discussion of “Asian-ness” reminded me of Jeff‘s editorial written for the second anniversary issue of Cha (Issue #9), in which he contemplates on the notion of “Asian writing community” in today’s globalised world:

I also had no sense of the diversity of the Asian writing community. When we began, I assumed that Asian writers were those found on the continent, locals, maybe a handful of expats. I have come to realise that this definition was far too narrow—that in a globalised world the idea of Asian writing must be more inclusive and fluid, must encompass the perspectives of writers from the diasporas, travellers to the region, even people with an interest in the continent. Asia it turns out is everywhere. All you have to do is open your doors. How else can one run a Hong-Kong based journal from a house in London?

Admittedly, the passage above does not cover works by ‘foreigners’ that are not in any way thematically relevant to Asia — a concern raised by Henry in his review of Cha. Looking through the journal’s archive, I can say that the prose pieces are all Asian-related while in other categories we have not been as strict. For example, in our selection of poetry, “Asian” is far from the first criteria that we use to judge a piece. Why is that? Henry has drawn our attention to a point that we will certainly be thinking some more. What are people’s thoughts on this?

Thank you, Henry and Lantern Review, for reading Cha so attentively and sharing your thoughts with us!

Also read “Cha A Literary Review Debate”

Cha contributors in Mascara Literary Review

Several Cha contributors have new works published in the latest issue (October 2010) of Mascara Literary Review. Read Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s three poems “Rendez-vous at Pont des Arts”, “Fragile” and “My Grandmother Waters the Moon”; Cyril Wong’s three poems “School Bus”, “Buffet” and “Bear”; and Mani Rao’s three poems “Ding Dong Bell”, “Iliad Blues” and “Peace Treaty”.

  • Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s poetry was published in issue #12 of Cha.
  • Cyril Wong’s poetry was published in issue #1 of Cha
  • Mani Rao’s poetry was published in issue #1 of Cha.

Meet Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Consulting Editor Reid Mitchell will review two poetry collections in the September 2010 issue of Cha: Steven Schroeder’s A Dim Sum of the Day Before and Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s Water the Moon. Apart from Steven’s  “I Can Smell Roads”, we will also publish Fiona’s “A Talk with Mao Tsz-Tung”, a piece from her collection.
Although Fiona regards herself as a Parisian, her poetry occasionally reminds one of her Asian heritage. “A Talk With Mao Tse-Tung”, for example, is such a reminder. Reid describes the poem:

A Swedish journalist recites Mao’s poetry; the Chairman’s presence is unavoidable, even years after his death.

Bio: Author of a book of poetry, Water the Moon (Marick Press, 2010), Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French and Chinese. A guzheng concertist, she performs worldwide. Her CD, In One Take, is forthcoming this fall. One of the editors at Cerise Press, Sze-Lorrain currently co-directs Vif Éditions, a French publishing house in Paris. Visit her website for more information.