Today's poem is "My Father Owned the Sam Kee Laundry in LA"
from Naming The No-Name Woman

Two Sylvias Press

Jasmine An is a queer, third generation Chinese-American who comes from the Midwest. A 2015 graduate of Kalamazoo College, she has also lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying poetry, urban development, and blacksmithing. Her chapbook, Naming the No-Name Woman, was published as the winner of the 2015 Two Sylvias Press Chapbook Prize. Her work can be found in HEArt Online, Stirring, Menacing Hedge, and Southern Humanities Review, among others. She is an editor for Agape Editions and currently lives in Chiang Mai continuing her study of the Thai language and urban resilience to climate change.

Books by Jasmine An:

Other poems on the web by Jasmine An:
"Jasmine Puts Monkey in Perspective"

About Naming The No-Name Woman:

"Fiercely sexual and frank, the speaker in Naming The No-Name Woman mythologizes her experiences as a Chinese-American woman, never flinching from the various overlapping identities she encounters. I am reminded of the fearlessness of Kimiko Hahn's work, and am stirred anew by Jasmine An's resistance to any kind of shame that identity—chosen and unchosen—is eager to place on us. The speaker's foil in these poems is the actress Wong Liu Tsong (Anna May Wong), 'the open secret, the uninvited guest, the hand resting / in the small of my back.' Jasmine An does not so much make use of Wong in an effort to compare and contrast, but instead, she joins with her, blending voices and giving new and roaring life to that long and still unfolding story of race, gender, and sexuality in our country."
—Keetje Kuipers

"In clear and luxurious language, Jasmine An navigates the slippery worlds of identity politics, botany, and desire—and pulls us toward an elegant horizon. I'm grateful for such a sumptuous and (not-so) safe passage of fine poems and the fragrant world that she's created in such a small space, one where '...even the saplings wear crabs as crowns.'"
—Aimee Nezhukumatathil

"The poems in Jasmine An's transformative, erotic collection teeter on the impossible border between consuming and rebuffing, naming and not naming the enigmatic presence of Chinese-American actress Anna May Wong. Likewise, An's formal choices tread a wavering line between poetry and prose, just as the poems draw as much from theory as memory and feeling. 'I am afraid of writing myself into a story that isn't meant for my survival,' An writes, and yet she does, allowing herself to be exquisitely haunted by Wong's performance of Asian-American femaleness, her beauty and her precarious legacy. In the process, An's speaker incorporates the shadow. She swallows."
—Diane Seuss

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