20 January 2013
2012 DISINHIBITIONS: SUEYUEN JULIETTE LEE
Here is my list of favorites for the year:
Open Letter Books!! Run by SUNY Rochester, this press publishes twelve books in translation (poetry and prose) each year. I was floored by work from Can Xue, Jakov Lind, and Juan Gelman, who surprised, terrified, and moved me. I feel too US-centered in my reading interests. The rest of the world is up to awesome things!
Gaston Bachelard's Air and Dreams, which my ex-husband gifted me last year. I finally sat down with it and it is SO UTTERLY GORGEOUS! I will never look at wings the same. He's a philosopher who tries to be a poet, I think. I'm a little in love with Bachelard's spirit.
Visiting Michelle Kishita's studios. She's a visual artist based in Philadelphia and I can't wait to see her new show at the Painted Bride this spring. Gorgeous gorgeous textures and colors.
One of my students got me into jazz pianist Robert Glasper, whose album Black Radio may be perfect.
I am obsessed with traditional Korean flute music, particularly the daegeum ("big flute"). The daegeum is one of the few bamboo flutes that feature a vibrating reed membrane, which creates a haunting wail and richness in its tone. I've been teaching myself how to play, since I wanted to learn how to feel an instrument through my body. My cousin from Korea, who also plays this instrument (which is a rarity, frankly) just sent me an incredible collection of albums and traditional musical scores. The scores are composed in a native notational system that imagines time, duration, and tonal relationships completely differently than western scores do. It blows my mind looking at them...especially because I am functionally illiterate in Korean, not to mention Hanja (Korean use of classical Chinese, which is like Latin for east Asia). I'll send some pictures of these scores so you can see how incredible they are.
LOVE and HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you, Sir Cross!