Jane Shi's Reading Recommendation:
A book I’ve been returning to lately is Cyrée Jarelle Johnson’s Slingshot. It’s a poetry book that feels so kaleidoscopic at each reading, as though you’ve been invited to peer through/feel/hear/taste/smell its worlds from the vantage points of multiple glittering atoms. It’s a timely and timeless book that makes poetry, and therefore life, feel more possible. There’s also an indescribable joy in reading another queer autistic poet write so unflinchingly about survivorship, gender, sexuality, and “a practice of freedom.” Each of its fistulae, yarn, and star teaches me another dimension of the world. Disabled queer Black poetry is exciting—I feel so lucky to read Johnson’s work.
I recently listened to an episode of Gelek Badheytsang’s podcast “A Good Refugee.” Lately I’ve been thinking about the role of virtual space in facilitating conversations that aren’t otherwise feasible. Hearing voices from the Tibetan diaspora generously work through their feelings and questions in public reminded me that so many of the things that haunt our communities are interlinked. Though those of us who are in minoritized communities are often used, tokenized, and weaponized for specific national and nationalistic agendas, we also have the responsibility and agency to speak back and align our solidarities with our ethics. These conversations make me value the role that podcasts have in archiving community histories and presents. I want to uplift these brave public conversations and the transformative role they have beyond our current moment.
Jane Shi is a queer Chinese settler living on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her poetry appears in Room, Canthius, SAD Mag, and PRISM International, among others. Her poetry will be published in the upcoming autumn issue 289 of The Fiddlehead. Find her on social media @pipagaopoetry.