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from the post below, you can see that Canessa gallery is featuring work by Omnidawn’s very own Cassandra (Cassie) Smith! Cassie recently read at Canessa, with Truong Tran and Geof Huth (the pic above is from Huth’s blog). Here’s what Huth had to say about her reading:

First up was Cassie Smith, who surprised me by actually sitting down at the chair. She then read from “A Myth in Two Parts,” which she said was an older manuscript. She read with what I thought was incredibly beauty, very quietly, with a soft voice (not just a quiet one), and well cadenced. The poem consisted primarily of imagistic fragments of various lengths, all of which together added up to an almost spooky whole. The poem was something like a shards of a shattered narrative, but the details were gentle, and hyper-focused. Words would blink at us and disappear.

“sound as if for falling”

Anaphora was one of her common tropes:

“We were born…”

“Or we or we or we or when or where”

She talked about a terrifying dream she had where a bird flew into a window just next to her and dropped dead, then explaining that within twenty-four hours of that dream that event happened to her in real life. She wondered what her real name, Cassandra, might mean given this story.

“Our birds in flight with these lines”

At a couple of points, she whispers to us that she doesn’t know how to read certain visual parts of her text, so she just describes them to us.

“the tilde our hero”

“or still and if for apples”

“extinction of weathers”

“wished there were heels for this kind of weather”

I’m not at all sure I have transcribed any of her lines correctly, but I know I want to read these words on the page, so I can really understand them, yet there is the understanding from hearing them aloud, through her voice, that I am glad to have experienced.

Cassie is currently Omnidawn’s “Data Base Manager.”

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the other news is about Omnidawn’s “Blog Editor” (me!). my first book of poems has just been published by Tinfish Press. Check it out here.

and check out the blurbs:

The act of remembering is the art of recovery, and the
art of reclaiming a past that has never been hidden
only silenced is an act of responsibility. Craig Santos
Perez has arrived to give voice and meaning to the
unheralded narratives with his fierce debut from
unincorporated territory. At once a palimpsest and an
archive of “retrievable history,” this book of poems is
sure to place Guam on both the literary and geographical
maps. This poet of consciousness, of communal memory,
and of political fury, has undone the callous erasure of
imperialism and empowered his people’s folklore, stories
and journeys. Craig Santos Perez is a poet with a mission,
and with the skill and battle cry to do it right.

~Rigoberto González~

Perez’s deft first book delivers a Guam outside the story
of the ‘nation’, reminding us who and what is ‘from’
his island through the biography of touch, and the
intermingled military and colonialist histories brought to
the Chamorro people from far across the ocean.

~Robert Sullivan~

In Craig Santos Perez’s from unincorporated territory
we hear the movement of the Pacific Ocean; turning
each page we hear the oars of the people navigating
this ocean. This is a smart, formalistically rigorous, and
unapologetically political collection of poetry. Personal,
tender, and tough, Perez’s poems, collages of text and
images offer a necessary critical, historical perspective on
American ownership, Western tourism, and simultaneous
erasure of the island of Guam. from unincorporated
territory rejects the blank space on American maps and in
American consciousness.

~Barbara Jane Reyes~

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