Ken Liu’s “The Paper Menagerie” (Book Review) via Spectators and Spooks

In the wake of the US election of a man whose rise to power was heralded by white supremacist groups, racists, sexists, bigots, and homophobic politicians, whose hateful rhetoric drove a deeper, manipulative wedge between the disenfranchised and the bourgeois of America , a coworker said something that surprised me: “What we need now is art.”

I’d imagined the sentence ending with “revolution” or “meaningful protest” or “Canadian citizenship.” Even as a writer, someone who ostensibly believes that art can make a difference, I wasn’t ready to hear that what we needed was “art.” I also wasn’t ready to go create works that would nudge the giant pendulum swinging from tense acceptance to open hatred to swing a little further into acceptance. I believe writing can do that. If I didn’t, why bother? That hope is why I spend my free time reading submissions for Spectators and Spooks, trying to find that perfect piece, a ghost story that illuminates a world view different from my own white-passing, straight cis-male perspective that can move me to understand and love a character from a different background and space and time that has been overlooked and dishonored.

While Ken Liu doesn’t do much by the way of ghosts – not in the supernatural sense at any rate – in Paper Menagerie he works to move that pendulum of otherness, that weight that I am yet unsure of how to move for myself or others.

Continue reading at Spectator and Spooks

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The Culture-ist Articles

Emerson set up a partnership with The Culture-ist, an online travel/social justice/wellness magazine and the people at the Culture-ist are kind (crazy) enough to let some students take over their magazine for three months.

I wrote this article and edited this one.

So far so good. Just got to make sure to get all of the pencils out the ceiling before they come back.

Zip Ode 06461

I entered this into a Zip Odes contest. It was an awesome idea, an ode to your zip code where each line had as many words as the corresponding number in your zip code. If you had a zero, you left that line blank.

I didn’t win (here’s a link to the winners, who are awesome), and I don’t think I’ll have an opportunity to publish it somewhere else so I’m posting it on here.

06461

Suburb of New York and Boston
Sox’s and Yank’s battleground
and my poor father loves the
Mets.

New Website

Hi.

I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and make my own website. As you can see, it’s pretty simple, but I don’t need anything over the top. There’s a list of all of my literary publications along with links to my work at Action Figure Fury. I’ll be updating this whenever I get another publication (which will be at least once a week thanks to my column). I may also write a little bit about my reading from the perspective of a reader rather than a reviewer.

If you’re interested in commissioning some writing or editing, head over to the freelance work section where you can find some samples of my work along with a contact form.

Take a look around. Enjoy! I hope to see you back on here sometime soon.