Dandarians Poems

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2014-08-19
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions

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Based on sources as diverse as Heian period female Japanese writers and the world of science fiction, and drawing on her own experience as a second-generation Japanese American, acclaimed poet Lee Ann Roripaugh’s fourth collection explores a series of “word betrayals”—English words misunderstood in transmission from her Japanese mother that came to take on symbolic ramifications in her early years. Co-opting and repurposing the language of knowledge and of misunderstanding, and dialoguing in original ways with notions of diaspora and hybrid identities, these poems demonstrate the many ways we attempt to be understood, culminating in an experience of aural awe. At once wonderfully lyrical and strikingly acute, Dandarians will further establish Lee Ann Roripaugh as one of the most important and original voices in contemporary Asian American literature.

Author Biography

A second-generation Japanese American, Lee Ann Roripaugh writes poetry that deals with themes of culture and identity in all its forms. She has received numerous awards, serves as editor in chief of the South Dakota Review, and directs the creative writing program at the University of South Dakota. She lives in Vermillion, SD.

Table of Contents


Part I

The Planet of Dandar
Hiroshima, Mon Amour
Chasing the Dragon
Griots’ Signposts
Trompe l’Oeil: The Annotated Version

Part II

Butch/Femme in the Streets/Sheets
Of Course I’m Nobody . . . But Who Are You?
Daylight Savings Time: An Interrogatory

Part III

Bruised Interrogation

1. Like a Blown Fuse
2. Crackpot
3. Handle With Care
4. Raku

Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Vermillion River
Sleepless Graffiti

Part IV

Dee Aster
Hola, Hola
Talk Television: Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
Ten Nights’ Dreams

1. Georgia O’Keefe
2. Gem City: A Migraine Dream
3. Rehab
4. Open It
5. Biohazard
6. Garmonbozia
7. B. Head
8. Book ’Em, Danno
9. “You’re Going to Make Me Lonesome When You Go”
10. Extinguish

Part V

’Round About Midnight
Concatenations: A Reprise
Irezumi (or, Tattoo You)
The Violin Thief

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