Ishle Yi Park with Taiyo Na
Poet/songwriter/performer Ishle Yi Park, whose multiple-award-winning debut book of poetry, The Temperature of This Water, appeared over fifteen years ago, makes this welcome return to book form with her brilliant book-length epic poem, Angel & Hannah: A Novel in Verse (One World). Not that she - with a few musical CDs and touring stints with Def Poetry Jam and more - hasn’t been seen or heard from. Presently based in Hawai’i, Ishle Yi Park was the first woman poet laureate of Queens. Angel & Hannah is a love song from that place, of that place, most certainly.
“Angel & Hannah is triumphant. Ishle Yi Park’s narrative sequence of sonnets is sensuous, tender, and faceted like cut glass. I feel protective of Angel and Hannah. I want their love to flourish like an empress tree growing in an abandoned lot in Queens. These fresh and absolutely necessary poems of a cross-racial romance need to be trumpeted from the rooftops, overtaking the canonized Romeos and Juliets and Heathcliffs and Catherines. I love this book.”—Cathy Park Hong.
“Ishle Yi Park speaks to us from the most tender, furious, and emotionally raw space in her breathtaking novel in verse. Angel & Hannah makes love feel revolutionary and desire feel like embattled truth. Reading it, I was often breathless, believing in the brilliance that is the bruised wonder of youth. Park brings us as close to a heart’s fire as we are willing to go and leaves us soaring over the possibility of a new dream.”—Tina Chang.
Joining Ishle Yi Park in conversation today will be Queens-based writer, educator, musician Taiyo Na. His writing has appeared in Aperture, Hyphen, and Poet’s House.