Poet Cynthia Dewi Oka joins host Charles S. Carr for reading and discussion of her most recent work, Fire Is Not A Country.
Moonstone Arts Center states -
"Cynthia Dewi Oka was born in Bali, Indonesia. Since 2012, she has been based in the Greater Philadelphia Area, Lenni Lenape Land, with her son and partner. She is the author of Fire Is Not a Country ($17.00, 9780810144217, Northwestern University Press), Salvage and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water, and serves as a Poetry Editor at Kweli Journal. A 2021-2022 Poet in Residence at the Amy Clampitt House in Lenox, MA, she has been awarded the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award, the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize, and the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry. Cynthia has taught creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and literary/arts organizations including Murphy Writing of Stockton University, The Blue Stoop, and Asian Arts Initiative, with whom she partnered in the aftermath of the 2016 election to offer Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop for immigrant poets based in Philadelphia. She has served as a visiting Distinguished Writer at Widener University and conducted workshops and readings at Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, The New School, New York University, Swarthmore College, and Williams College, among others.
In her third collection, Cynthia dives into the implications of being parents, children, workers, and unwanted human beings under the savage reign of global capitalism and resurgent nativism. With a voice bound and wrestled apart by multiple histories, Fire Is Not a Country claims the spaces between here and there, then and now, us and not us. As she builds a lyric portrait of her own family, Oka interrogates how migration, economic exploitation, patriarchal violence, and a legacy of political repression shape the beauties and limitations of familial love and obligation. Woven throughout are speculative experiments that intervene in the popular apocalyptic narratives of our time with the wit of an unassimilable other."
There are over 50 organizations that promote poetry in the Philadelphia area. They represent every poetry form, ethnic background, age, gender, and community. This series consists of a panel of guest poets and artists discussing the opportunities which their group or organization provides for poets in Philly as well as the themes that influence them. The program is broadcast live on the first Tuesday of each month. The program is free and open to everyone.
Moonstone Arts Center Office
110A S. 13th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107,