TUESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2008, 5:30 – 7:00 PM
In the preface to his first book, a lyrical epic on the violent convergences of colonialisms on Guam (Japanese and American), history, family, and language (Chamorro and English), Perez writes: “On some maps, Guam doesn’t exist; I point to an empty space in the Pacific and say, ‘I’m from here.’ On some maps, Guam is a small, unnamed island; I say, ‘I’m from this unnamed place.’ On some maps, Guam is named ‘Guam, U.S.A.’ I say, ‘I’m from a territory of the United States.” On some maps, Guam is named, simply, ‘Guam’; I say, ‘I am from Guam.’” Written in the spirit of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée and Barbara Jane Reyes’s Poeta en San Francisco, Perez’s book promises to add significantly to a growing canon of Pacific poetries.
Craig Santos Perez, a native Chamoru from the Pacific Island of Guahan (Guam), has lived in California since 1995. He received his MFA in Poetry from the University of San Francisco and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Comparative Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley. He is co-founder of Achiote Press and author of several chapbooks.
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