Asian Diaspora Poetry in North America
By Benzi Zhang
Routledge – 2007 – 194 pages
Presenting a new way of reading that helps us discern some previously unnoticed or unnoticeable features of Asian diaspora poetry, this volume highlights how poetry plays a significant role in mediating and defining cross-cultural and transnational positions.
Asian diaspora poetry in North America is a rich body of poetic works that not only provide valuable material for us to understand the lives and experiences of Asian diasporas, but also present us with an opportunity to examine some of the most important issues in current literary and cultural studies.
As a mode of writing across cultural and national borders, these poetic works challenge us to reconsider the assumptions and meanings of identity, nation, home, and place in a broad cross-cultural context. In recent postcolonial studies, diaspora has been conceived not only as a process of migration in which people crossed and traversed the borders of different countries, but also as a double relationship between different cultural origins.
With all its complexity and ambiguity associated with the experience of multi-cultural mediation, diaspora, as both a process and a relationship, suggests an act of constant repositioning in confluent streams that accommodate to multiple cultural traditions. By examining how Asian diaspora poets maintain and represent their cultural differences in North America, Zhang is able to seek new perspectives for understanding and analyzing the intrinsic values of Asian cultures that survive and develop persistently in North American societies.
Chapter One: Introduction: Departure for a Detour
Chapter Two: The Poetics of Cultural Transrelation: A Diversion of Identity
Chapter Three: The Politics of Re-homing: Negotiation of Cultural Dwellings
Chapter Four: The Problematics of Translocal Place: Cultural Passage beyond the Border Politics
Chapter Five: Alter/native Stories of Memory and Amnesia: A Mnemonic Inquiry
Chapter Six: Against the Grain of Cultural Exoticism: The Other Question
Chapter Seven: Styling Diasporic Carnival: Performance of Difference
Chapter Eight: Conclusion: Journey without Maps