Thursday, June 7 at 7pm, we welcome Celina Su and Portland poet Jessica Johnson, in celebration of Landia, Su's chapbook published in 2018 in Belladonna's chapbook series.
Celina Su's first book of poetry, Landia, was published by Belladonna* in 2018. Her writing includes two poetry chapbooks, three books on the politics of social policy and civil society, and pieces in journals such as n+1, Harper’s, and Boston Review. Su is the Marilyn J. Gittell Chair in Urban Studies and an Associate Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and lives in Brooklyn.
Jessica Johnson's poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in The Paris Review, The Harvard Review, Prairie Schooner, and Tin House, among others. Her chapbook In Absolutes We Seek Each Other is available from New Michigan Press. She lives in Portland, Oregon and teaches at Portland Community College.
LANDIA excavates literal and figurative borderlands—redrawn boundaries, architectural palimpsests, underground transport systems—to reckon with the historical and cultural forces that shape our cities and our intimate lives. The book serves as a meditation on imagined and real and hoped-for migrations—of course, Su’s own history permeates, but these poems also draw upon more than a decade of fieldwork, collaborative projects, and long-term relationships with specific immigrant communities and social justice organizations in southeast Asia, Latin America, and throughout the United States. Echoing tensions in social research, Landia is also a reflexive project, questioning documentation as intervention. “A map is not the territory, / but it becomes so over time.” Fueled by fragmentation, the poems act as plaintive pleas to elude and resist the violent institutions that govern us, to trace the contours of new imaginaries and border crossings.
*deadly nightshade, a cardiac and respiratory stimulant, having purplish-red flowers and black berries