New updates on 5 Cha contributors: Dena Rash Guzman, Craig Santos Perez, Marc Vincenz, W.F. Lantry and Ocean Vuong

Dena Rash Guzman

Read Dena Rash Guzman‘s poem “Bad Had God” in ink node.

Dena Rash Guzman’s poetry was published in Issue #15 and Issue #16 of Cha.


Craig Santos Perez

Craig Santos Perez‘s poem “Does Huam Suck?” is published in the latest issue of VOLT. This is a poem from Craig’s fourth, unwritten book. 

Craig Santos Perez’s review was been published in issue #9 of Cha.


Marc Vincenz

 Marc Vincenz’s poem “Psychotropics” , previous published in Pull of the Gravitons (Right Hand Pointing, 2012), is featured on October Babies
Read Marc Vincenz’s Cha profile.

W.F. Lantry
W.F. Lantry‘s small poem, “Exchange”, which concerns the gifts of Spring, and other things, is now available at Extract(s), your daily dose of literature. 
Read W.F. Lantry’s Cha profile.   

Ocean Vuong
 A Pocket Broadside (i.e. literature that fits in your pocket!) by Ocean Vuong — a miniature poem titled “Mother Tongue” — is now available on Lantern Review and Kartika Review‘s Tumblr. To see all of the Pocket Broadsides they’ve posted so far, visit the project’s website
Ocean Vuong’s poem “Paramour” was published in issue#10 of Cha; the poem has been nominated for inclusion in Best of the Net Anthology 2010.




Lantern Review is hosting a joint reading with Boxcar Poetry Review on Friday night (the 4th) at 7:30 pm, at Go Mama Go! (1809 14th St. NW). Entrance is pay-as-you-wish. About 16 writers from the two journals will be reading and light refreshments will be provided. The event is open for all and is an AWP off-site event. More information is available at the event’s Facebook invitation page. Also check out Lantern Review’s blog

Aryanil Mukherjee and Marc Vincenz in Lantern Review

Cover image: “Blackbird,” composite photograph by Anannya Dasgupta

We are very happy to say that the second issue (Winter 2011) of Lantern Review is now available! Among the wonderful poetry and visual art featured in the issue are Aryanil Mukherjee’s “honeycomb scriptures :: world granulated” and Marc Vincenz’s “Taishan Mountain”.

It is also very worthwhile to read the editors’ note, in which Mia Ayumi Malhotra & Iris A. Law discuss questions such as “How exactly does one define ‘Asian’ literature within the context of a literary publication, and should a self-proclaimed ‘Asian’ journal only publish writing that falls neatly within the parameters of such a definition?” Read the full note here.

Lantern Review reviews Eddie Tay’s The Mental Life of Cities

Henry W. Leung, reviewer for Lantern Review, has written a review of Eddie Tay’s latest collection of poetry The Mental Life of Cities. You can read the review here. Henry also wrote a review of the current edition of Cha (Issue #12)
You might also be interested in the following discussions of works from Eddie’s book:
  • A Cup of Fine Tea: Eddie Tay’s “Night Thoughts” [Link].
  • A Cup of Fine Tea: Eddie Tay’s “Country” [Link].
  • A Cup of Fine Tea: Eddie Tay’s “Cities’  [Link].


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 Lantern Review

Several Cha contributors have new creative works featured in the inaugural issue of Lantern Review (June, 2010). Read Ocean Vuong’s “The Touch“; Luisa A Igloria’s “To the Mad Scientist, from His Poet-Wife” and “Contingency“; and view Steve Wing’s photography “Door Shadow” and “Street Puddle Reflection“. There is also a book review of Sun Yung Shin’s Skirt Full of Black by Craig Santos Perez.
Lantern Review is co-edited by Iris A. Law.

Lantern Review aims to serve the literary community by providing a virtual space in which to promote and discuss the work of contemporary Asian American poets and artists. We seek to publish expertly crafted work in a variety of forms and aesthetics, including traditional and experimental pieces, hybrid forms, multimedia work, and new translations. We welcome pieces from anglophone writers of all ethnic backgrounds whose work has a vested interest in issues relevant to the Asian diaspora in North America, as well as work created collaboratively in a community context.

  • Ocean Vuong’s poetry has been published in issue #10 of Cha.
  • Luisa A. Igloria’s poetry was published in issue #2 and issue #8 ofCha.
  • Steve Wing’s photography was published in issue #7 of Cha.
  • Craig Santos Perez’s review has previously been published in issue #9 of Cha.
  • Iris A. Law’s poetry has been published in issue #7 of Cha.