Poetry Northwest‘s podcast series, The Subvocal Zoo, features editors and friends of the magazine interviewing poets. Each episode features lively conversation between writers in a different location.
In episode 15, J.W. Marshall talks with Alan Chong Lau at the Jack Straw Cultural Center in Seattle. This conversation between friends includes discussion of Alan’s poem “where the lights are low,” which riffs on Louis Armstrong’s re-presentation of the problematic standard “Chinatown, My Chinatown”; Frank Chin; Cid Corman and the virtues of nodding off while someone is making a cogent point; improvisation; Alan’s work for the International Examiner; contributing to a community.
Read and listen to Alan Chong Lau’s “where the lights are low“.
Alan Chong Lau‘s collections of poetry include Songs for Jadina, which won the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; Blues and Greens: A Produce Worker’s Journal, and no hurry. His work has appeared in anthologies such as From Totem to Hip-Hop: A Multicultural Anthology of Poetry Across the Americas 1900-2002 and What Book!? Buddha Poems from Beat to Hiphop.
J.W. Marshall‘s first full-length collection, Meaning A Cloud, won the 2007 FIELD Poetry Prize and was published in 2008 by Oberlin College Press. His poetry has appeared in a number of magazines, including Raven Chronicles, Seattle Review, Talisman, and Field.
Thanks to the Jack Straw Cultural Center for the use of their studio space for recording, and to ArtXchange for permission to reprint images of Alan Lau’s work in the Winter & Spring 2017 issue of Poetry Northwest.
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