“Here is a fresh and profound voice heralding in new cultural bridges in poetry.”
Available in both print and digital formats.
Adrienne Su is the author of four books of poems, of which Middle Kingdom was the first; the others are Sanctuary (Manic D Press, 2006), Having None of It (Manic D, 2009), and Living Quarters (Manic D, 2015). Recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Su is professor of creative writing and poet-in-residence at Dickinson College, in Pennsylvania. Her poems appear in many anthologies, including The Hungry Ear; Asian-American Poetry: The Next Generation; The Norton Introduction to Literature (12th ed.); and four volumes of Best American Poetry. More poems and prose can be found at adriennesu.ink.
“Middle Kingdom is the slippery, hard-to-read territory between languages, cultures, identities—a fluid, confusing boundary zone which is both enriching and embattled. Suburban, Asian-American, at home and exiled in places and tongues, Su negotiates the mercurial new world of cultural commingling in witty, formally assured poems—often in elegantly accomplished forms which themselves add to the layering of cultural reference. This volume is an auspicious, engaging debut, and its pleasures are especially evident in a signature Su poem, ‘In Mexico City’, which delights in a collision of tongues, in the human possibilities conjoined vocabularies reveal.”
“Adrienne Su is so unusual, such a good poet, and has so much to say, that she’s addictive: once you start reading her poems you want to go on forever in the Middle Kingdom. Also, she is such a good rhymer that you don’t know she’s rhyming: you find out, as you read along, that you have been rhymed deeply. She is very good.”
“Is it authentic? Beneath this question rests a garden in all its tended beauty. This is the plot of Adrienne Su, who raises a voice of calm and subtle strength in her evocation of a new land, stretching from China to suburban Virginia, across class and race divides, defining these States, homing in on the poem. Here there is no doubt: Ms Su is the real thing, an authentic poet who lifts the craft into orbit, gives a readout that inexorably relaxes us as humans into being. That’s the poem’s home, the Middle Kingdom, where Adrienne Su lives, writes, and tends the garden.”
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