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Goddess of Democracy
an Occupy lyric
Henry Wei Leung

Omnidawn 1st/2nd Book Contest

2017 • 128 pp. 6 x 9"
Poetry / Poetry - Asian American / Poetry - General Subjects

$17.95 Paperback, 978-1-63243-040-3

“Leung draws his passion for writing from a natural hunger to create and to express—not from the confines of academics, though he appreciates its rigor. He combines course studies with self-education, which he achieves by an insatiable appetite for literature.”—University of Hawai'i News

A lyric and historical examination of the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong

Selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize

Written in and of the protest encampments of one of the most sophisticated Occupy movements in recent history, Goddess of Democracy attempts to understand the disobedience and desperation implicated in a love for freedom. Part lyric, part autoethnography, part historical document, these poems orbit around the manifold erasures of the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong in 2014. Leung, who was in those protests while on a Fulbright grant, navigates the ethics of diasporic dis-identity, of outsiderness and passing, of privilege and the pretension of understanding, in these poems that ask: “what is / freedom when divorced from / from?”

Reviews / Endorsements

“Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy: an Occupy lyric is a powerful poetics on civil disobedience. The voice is both impassioned and detached, coalescing into prose passages or atomizing into words scattered on the page. Leung not only documents disobedience, but historicizes it, turns it to a global question, and asks what comes after.”—Cathy Park Hong, judge of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize

HENRY WEI LEUNG is the author of a chapbook, Paradise Hunger (2012), and the translator of Wawa’s Pei Pei the Monkey King (2016). He earned his degrees from Stanford and the Helen Zell Writers’ Program, and has been the recipient of Kundiman, Soros, and Fulbright Fellowships. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in such journals as the Crab Orchard Review, The Offing, Spillway, and ZYZZYVA. He is the Managing Editor of the Hawai’i Review.

Tue, 16 Jan 2018 13:41:34 -0500