KENJI C. LIU and HEIDI ANDREA RESTREPO RHODES read from their new poetry collections

Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books)

Using an invented poetry method called frankenpo (frankenstein poetry), Liu takes existing texts and remixes them, creating multi-faceted poems that investigate the relationship between toxic masculinity and forms of violence plaguing our modern society. In Monsters I Have Been, Liu also explores the male-male erotic and marginalized masculinities that are urgently needed as a counterweight to today’s dominant hypermasculinity. By challenging perceived gender norms with his playful, yet poignant, new form, the reader is directed toward a wider, more inclusive definition ofwhat it means to be a "man."

frankenpo [frang-kuh n-poh]

noun 1. an invented poetic form

verb 2. to create a new poetic text by collecting, disaggregating, randomizing, rearranging, recombining, erasing, and reanimating one or more chosen bodies of text, for the purpose of divining or revealing new meanings often at odds with the original texts.

Praise for Monsters I Have Been

"Kenji C.Liu’s Monsters I Have Been writhes knotty tentacles through textual boneyards,disturbing screenplays, theoretical works, and literatures in their coffined-off sleeps. What it draws back are parts through which the poet might, as Lucille Clifton wrote, make up 'a kind of life' in the global slaughterhouse of heteropatriarchy andracism. Sharp, protean, dexterous, and discontent—Liu’s collection shows where the bodies have been buried, and that many won’t stay dead. No doubt, this book is alive as all hell."—Douglas Kearney, author of Buck Studies

The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Pres)

Winner of the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize, The Inheritance of Haunting, by Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes, is a collection of poems contending with historical memory and its losses and gains carried within the body, wrought through colonization and its generations of violence, war, and survival.

The driving forces behind Rhodes’s work include a decolonizing ethos; a queer sensibility that extends beyond sexual and gender identities to include a politics of deviance; errantry; ramshackled bodies; and forms of loving and living that persist in their wild difference. Invoking individual and collective ghosts inherited across diverse geographies, this collection queers the space between past, present, and future. In these poems, haunting is a kind of memory weaving that can bestow a freedom from the attenuations of the so-called American dream, which, according to Rhodes, is a nightmare of assimilation, conquest, and genocide. How love unfolds is also a Big Bang emergence into life—a way to, again and again, cut the future open, open up the opening, undertake it, begin.

These poems are written for immigrants, queer and transgender people of color, women, Latin Americans, diasporic communities, and the many impacted by war.

Kenji C. Liu (劉謙司) is the author of Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry is in American Poetry ReviewAction Yes!ApogeeBarrow Street, The Feminist WireThe ProgressiveThe RumpusThe Volta, Split This Rock's poem of the week series, several anthologies and two chapbooks, Craters: A Field Guide (2017) and You Left Withour Your Shoes (2009). A Kundiman fellow and alumnua of VONA/Voices, the Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles. Find him on Twittes @kenjicliu, and on Instagram @monstersihavebeen. 

heidi andrea restrepo rhodes is a queer, sick/disabled, mixed-race, second-generation Colombian immigrant, poet, artist, scholar, & activist. Her first full-length collection "The Inheritance of Haunting" was chosen by Ada Limón for the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize awarded by Letras Latinas, & will be published by University of Notre Dame Press in 2019. Her poetry has been published in As/Us, Pank, Raspa, Word Riot, Feminist Studies, Huizache, & Nat.Brut among other places. Currently a doctoral candidate in political theory at the Graduate Center, CUNY, she was raised in Southern California, and lives in Brooklyn. IG: @vessels.we.are

photo by Danielle Hartounian

Event date: 
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Monsters I Have Been Cover Image
ISBN: 9781938584985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alice James Books - April 16th, 2019

Map of an Onion Cover Image
ISBN: 9780997093209
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Inlandia Institute - March 1st, 2016

The Inheritance of Haunting Cover Image
ISBN: 9780268105389
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Notre Dame Press - March 30th, 2019