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We invite you to experience the tongue-twisting verse of Atsuro Riley, the wry pop-humor of Cathy Park Hong, the gorgeous syntax of Ocean Vuong and the lyrical dexterity of nine more American poets of Asian and Pacific Island descent. All these poems are free to read and download on JSTOR. Just follow the links with the red “J” icon below.

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“The Earthquake Days” by Kazim Ali

In the earthquake days I could not hear you over the din or it might have been
the dinner bell but that’s odd

“Thicket” by Atsuro Riley

We come gnawed by need on hands and knees.

As a creature (nosing) grubble-seeks a spring.

“Inside the House” by Cathy Park Hong

I’m no frail eel, no damsel steal,
My costume’s a bathrobe, secure as hazmat
one look at me, I’m addictive as transfat

“To This Day” by Lawson Fusao Inada

Have you ever wondered
whatever happened to all the
barbed wire that defined
and confined the so-called
camp at Tule Lake?

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong

Tell me it was for the hunger
& nothing less. For hunger is to give
the body what it knows
it cannot keep

“SPAM’s Carbon Footprint, 2016” by Craig Santos Perez

SPAM was born on July 5, 1937, in Austin, Minnesota- the home of Hormel and the spam Museum # cubistartyoucaneat. Eight pounds of spam die in a Chamorro stomach each year, which is more per capita than any other ethno-intestinal tract in the world. “Guam is Where the Impure Pork Products of America Begin!” Our guttural love of spam was born in 1944, when cases of the shiny cans were berthed from aircraft carriers.

“The Mouse” by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge


Transmission from speaker to you is like warm breath from a
young girl who’s not wholly concerned with information, truth,
drawing you into her presence.

“The Best Daughter” by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

I’m 22 years old
and my mother doesn’t know where I live!
I am 33 years old
and my mother doesn’t know where I live

“Kali-Fornia” by Marilyn Chin

Marilyn Mei Ling Chin
You are a Goddess
You beautiful swine
You necklace of heads
You girdle of past deed

“The Woman Who Eats Soil” by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

What can the unfortunate insect do
if it is found wanting in weight?

“25th & Delores” by Monica Youn

One could search this landscape in vain
for signs of necessity.

“Red Lilies Ghazal” by Kirun Kapur

A chain of crushed nouns has upended my mind.

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Poetry, Vol. 207, No. 2 (NOVEMBER 2015), pp. 137-139
Poetry Foundation
Poetry, Vol. 202, No. 5 (SEPTEMBER 2013), pp. 418-419
Poetry Foundation
The Baffler, No. 22 (2013), p. 110
Baffler Foundation
World Literature Today, Vol. 88, No. 6 (November/December 2014), pp. 22-23
Board of Regents of the University of Oklahoma
Poetry, Vol. 205, No. 3 (DECEMBER 2014), pp. 244-247
Poetry Foundation
Prairie Schooner, Vol. 90, No. 4 (Winter 2016), pp. 12-13
University of Nebraska Press
Conjunctions, No. 48, Faces of Desire (2007), pp. 313-316
Social Justice, Vol. 37, No. 4 (122), Community Accountability: Emerging Movements to Transform Violence (2011-2012), pp. 58-59
Social Justice/Global Options
Meridians, Vol. 2, No. 2 (2002), pp. 72-74
Duke University Press
Fairy Tale Review, Vol. 2, The Green Issue (2006), p. 114
Wayne State University Press
New England Review (1990-), Vol. 22, No. 3 (Summer, 2001), p. 83
Middlebury College Publications
Ploughshares, Vol. 44, No. 4 (Winter 2018-19), p. 80