“No matter in what tradition, genre, or period, one of the traits all anabasis literature shares in common is the obligation to be at once familiar, bizarre, and transportive. The place (which in Hsiung’s hands is its own manifold utterance) must spiritually and physically convince for in Hell (as with this world) conditions demand that the body and spirit be wayfarers together. In VALERIE HSIUNG’s efg (immediately the title is one of its beautiful agonies) a system of eruptions, lyric cycle, and Hsiung’s signature adamant patience fall together into an underworld where the fact of predecessors (both mythic and literary) abound in the same industrious and orchestral way cells in a living structure do. Efg is made out of instinct, fortitude, tribute, and a blasting poetical vision already years in the making and very much its own.” –Peter Richards, author of Helsinki and Nude Siren
“Valerie Hsiung is a very prolific writer whose poems have great tonal, mood, vocal scale – that lower limit speech upper limit music of which Zukofsky spoke. She can also express exasperation and alacrity in the space of a single short poem. Too wise to be innocent and too fresh to be gnarly, she eases you into her bold stances. She is one of those poets you wish were more populous for they pull you up by the hair roots and remind you living is serious business, and the whole world is in our dirty little hands.” –C.D. Wright, National Book Critics Circle Award and Griffin Poetry Prize Winner
“I would like to recommend Valerie Hsiung’s e f g. Her work in this collection is charged with exquisite pain, stitched with sonic ambiance designed to draw the human soul out of its tonic cave, and is created to teach us about compassion and longing and sincerity. Her line breaks are not as readily predictable, but they have a way of saturating our consciousness with a kind of enigmatic rhythm spoken from the mouth of a wise cosmos. I also love the way she reads her work – it’s filled with this unfathomable ache and forces us to surrender the garments that clothe our imagination, leaving us naked, wanting more.“–Vi Khi Nao, author of The Old Philosopher and Fish in Exile
Poet and performer Valerie Hsiung is the author of three full-length poetry collections: e f g: a trilogy (Action Books, 2016), incantation inarticulate (O Balthazar Press, 2013), and under your face (O Balthazar Press, 2013). Her poetry and interviews can be found or is forthcoming in an array of places, including American Letters & Commentary, Apiary, Black Nerd Problems, Cloud Rodeo, Cosmonauts Avenue, Bone Bouquet, Denver Quarterly, DIAGRAM, Diode Poetry Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mad Hatters’ Review, Moonshot, New Delta Review, PEN Poetry Series, Prelude, RealPoetik, Tammy, and VOLT. She has performed at Casa Libre en la Solana, Common Area Maintenance, Leon Gallery, Poetic Research Bureau, Rhizome, Shapeshifter Lab, and Treefort Music Festival, among elsewhere. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Hsiung studied literary translation and ecopoetics at Brown University and is currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, where she works as a modern-day matchmaker. She serves as an editor for Poor Claudia.
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