The release party is scheduled to be held at the Loft on Saturday, October 3rd at 7:00 P.M. at 1011 Washington Ave. in Minneapolis. (www.loft.org)
The cover was designed by Laotian American artist Vongduane Manivong. You can see more of her work at www.vongduane.com.
BARROW contains over 55 poems from 1991 to the present. This selection includes all new work as well as revised works that have previously appeared in journals such as Whistling Shade, Tales of the Unanticipated, The Journal of the Asian American Renaissance, Northography and Defenestration Magazine.
Like On The Other Side Of The Eye, BARROW is a collection of speculative poetry, influenced by international mythic traditions, fantasy and science fiction from a Southeast Asian American perspective.
BARROW is composed of six sections drawn from the diverse definitions of the word, "barrow":
BARROW: n. 1) A large mound of earth or stones placed over a burial site. 2) A wheelbarrow. 3) A pig who has been castrated before reaching sexual maturity. 4) A count of forty threads in the warp or chain of woolen cloth. 5) An old lunar crater located near the northern limb of the Moon. It lies between Goldschmidt crater to the northwest and the irregular Meton crater formation.
But BARROW isn't intended to be a definitive exploration of a word as much as an extended question. There will be multiple ways of getting into the text.
Often we think a concise definition of a word is to be preferred. Reduction to one-word synonyms or stark, objective fragments of sentences and thoughts.
But what would the world be like if a word were allowed to truly breathe? To explore all of its possibilities and meanings, to discover dead ends and back alleys of the mind and spirt, the universal, the local and the personal. Even to find new meanings for itself? What would that look like.
Obviously, the conventional wisdom is that it would be impractical to have a world where there was at least one book solely focused on every word. But BARROW provides an interesting suggestion of what could be.
BARROW isn't an etymology, a linguistic history of the word, but an alternate approach to establishing definition, or subverting them. It is a question of how we define and redefine, and how we see, hear and experience languages.
There's a lot more under the hood driving BARROW, but that's part of the fun we'll be able to talk about more once it's released and in the public.
BARROW features an original foreword by Dr. Nnedi Okorafor, award-winning author of The Shadow Speaker and Zahrah The Windseeker. You can see more of her work at www.nnedi.com.