Valerie Hsiung is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and the author of several poetry and hybrid writing collections, including The only name we can call it now is not its only name (Counterpath, forthcoming 2023), To love an artist (Essay Press, 2022), selected by Renee Gladman for the 2021 Essay Press Book Prize, outside voices, please (CSU), selected for the 2019 CSU Open Book Prize, Name Date of Birth Emergency Contact (The Gleaners), YOU & ME FOREVER (Action Books), and e f g (Action Books). Her writing has appeared in print (AnnuletBathHouse JournalThe Believer, Chicago Review, digital vestigesThe NationNew Delta Review), in flesh (Treefort Music Festival, Common Area Maintenance, The Poetry Project), in sound waves (Montez Press Radio, Hyle Greece), and other forms of particulate matter. Her work has been supported by Foundation for Contemporary Arts, PEN America, Lighthouse Works, and public streets and trails she has walked on and hummed along for years. Born in the Year of the Earth Snake and raised by Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, she now lives in the mountains of Colorado where she teaches as Assistant Professor of Creative Writing & Poetics at Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. 

“Valerie Hsiung’s To love an artist is a work composed of dislocations--or rather, durations, expanses of dislocated voices, bodies, and narratives. It is a series of studies on ductility and leaching--what we are at our base and what we become when brought, whether violently or voluntarily, in proximity to others, other species of being, other modes of existing, other methods of naming: the lines we cross, “Language from bronze infects language from copper.” When the poet writes, “Today, I speak a language of brutes,” I read the enfoldment of the cruelty our collective and respective histories into the languages of our subjectivity. Any expression of self or free-ness or united-ness is laden with material and intentions that do not belong to us. We have been mixed forever, we have been poured and burned through borders always, and are ourselves burned and poured through. And that is why it is useful to invent forms for the expression of our alloyed selves, to be non-knowing. To love an artist presents a despondent, broken, scattered form. Yet, it pulses with nuance and engagement. It’s beautiful, irreverent, and dangerously incoherent. It stays with you when you’ve stopped reading it and puts your seeing in disarray. It nourishes and it fails and it teaches. This is a book of refusal. It is a cosmography written as metallurgy; it wants to be the dust and it wants to be the friction.”
            - Renee Gladman

“To love an artist is to be drawn into her world so that you become a co-creator with her; To love an artist is to enter both a bestiary and topiary of language where the latter contorts and morphs through strange yet recognizable beauty; To love an artist is to enter the worlds of philosophy, history, politics, and most importantly the quotidian—passing seamlessly from poetry, to the essay, to reflection, to observation while remaining always within the landscape of poetry, as you navigate its repetitions and obsessions and become co-creator; it is to witness the play inherent in language as it meanders “the abyss between literacy and what (the poet) meant to say.”  To love an artist is to indulge in a form of disquisitionary poetics with a sometimes wry humour and all the while looking at the world aslant. It is astonishingly original work—To love an artist.”
            - M. NourbeSe Philip


"In this shifting assemblage of verse, prose poems, scenes, performance scores, charts and maps, ‘Time unjumping from windows,’ Hsiung’s speaker emerges through clashes of language and its structures—its traumatized syntax, its colonialist dictionaries, its abusive evasions, its obfuscating corporate speak, its xenophobia and its patriarchalism, and its capacity to scorch and dazzle. Out of the urgent ‘confrontation of language,’ outside voices please issues an utterly new invitation into and beyond language: ‘Let us form the obtuse and acute angles of this assaulted triangulation.’"
           - Lauren Russell

"Valerie Hsiung’s outside voices please is earful of delicate worms wriggling and crisscrossing ocean box. Scattered mouths on its own island. Ocean twisting full of video monitor eyes paging through dead news. Girl flipped around bench tasting each hinge in plastic word. What’s in pocket of each word, the books asks of blurred language? Savage corner you turn around, angle your eye slides down, a close record of each infiltration."
          - Ching-In Chen

"There’s a kind of disease to speaking in Valerie Hsiung’s outside voices, please. Like it’s hacking something up out of the psychic, xenophobic, (neo)colonial bullshit that is English. Like it ingested history and agitated, agitated, agitated it. Like a maddened landline whose busy signal intones wickedly, multilingually, polyvocally: ‘Here is a book for you to read, pernicious reader.’”
           - Aditi Machado


“In outside voices please, Valerie Hsiung orchestrates a symphony of voices past, present, and prescient: time (and with it, history) compresses and expands, yielding long poetry sequences reminiscent of Myung Mi Kim’s sonic terrains and C.D. Wright’s documentary poetics. Hsiung’s own geography is inclusive of handwritten documents, multi-communicative (verbal and nonverbal) mini-plays, erasures, concrete poetry, and meta-commentary notes. Certainly this is a poetics of witness, of approaching atrocities too ignoble to repeat, but impossible not to excavate. ‘It’s war,’ Hsiung proclaims, ‘A war out here. And we're preparing for it to get much, much worse.’”
          - Diana Khoi Nguyen


“A storied, oscillating breath-scape, a wondrous tertium quid, Valerie Hsiung’s You & Me Forever maps a world that moves as simultaneously paradoxical, relational, and permutational. Edged with the epic, speech-based and strange, the writings enact the promise of dreams as they address matters of hauntings and bodies, displacement, and the nature of capital, exile, and art. Here the narrative ripples, achieves both temporal and spatial possibilities, works both boundariness and dissolve. A destabilizing marvel.“
            - Hoa Nguyen

"The first time I read Valerie Hsiung’s You & Me Forever, I had a vision of a bonfire in which countless volumes of love-twisted and love-twisting works of literature, including sculptures and films, were reduced to ash, and from the ashes were intuitively yet precisely drawn filaments on which were inscribed prophetic dialogues that voiced the poet’s relationship with the forces that would come to make, and perpetually threaten to unmake, her world. The second time I read You & Me Forever, there was neither filament nor fire, but an animated frieze, or maybe rainfall, or serrated light, of intimate retribution, that is retributive intimacy. I say read, but that is not exactly what happened."
           - Brandon Shimoda

“In the fleeting, quicksilver language of Valerie Hsiung’s You & Me Forever, accumulated peripheries jostle, rock on the waters, gain some traction, but they never quite settle. The worlds Hsiung delicately folds together create friction, a low steady hum builds and then disperses — only to try and build again. We, the reader, are invited to sit inside the hum of this continual construction, to place our bodies in the chamber alongside the many other bodies that fill You & Me Forever. A thread pulls us along. What saline logic this book holds.”
            - Asiya Wadud

"More than original, You & Me Forever is the afterlife of the original, a hand-drawn map of memory animated ‘when we breathe on a page to translate it’ and sense the entire book a ‘fluttering yearning being capable of mass loss capable of feeling when touched.’ And as in every afterlife, Valerie Hsiung's book is bruised by personal and historical monsters but is also proof of endurance, of refusal to ‘tell us anything we want to hear.’ What should we want? To metabolize through our very bodies Hsiung's gorgeously ‘sublingual language,’ 4 EVER & EVER."
          - Rosa Alcalá

  1. e f g (Action Books, 2016) 
  2. YOU & ME FOREVER (Action Books, 2020)
  3. Name Date of Birth Emergency Contact (The Gleaners, 2020)
  4. outside voices, please (CSU, 2021)
  5. To love an artist (Essay Press, 2022)
  6. The only name we can call it now is not its only name (Counterpath, 2023)


Books



        

  


 

Events

Sept 23rd 2022 Friday 7:00pm MT 
Counterpath (Denver, CO)
w/ Eric Baus, Ahja Fox, Peter Gizzi

Oct 1st 2022 Saturday 1:00-2:30pm PT
Ten Years of Convergence @ University of Washington, Bothell (Virtual)
w/ Andrea Abi-Karam, Kazim Ali, Yanara Friedland, Jen Hofer, Philip Metres, Tracie Morris, Cecilia Vicuña

Oct 13th 2022 Thursday 8:00pm ET
BathHouse Journal Volume 23 Launch Celebration (Virtual)
w/ Megan Duffy, Mack Gregg, Deborah Meadows, Jocelyn Saidenberg, Dinisha Thompson

Oct 17th 2022 Monday 7:00pm MT
Jack Kerouac School Fall Symposium Faculty Reading @ Naropa (Boulder, CO)
w/ Steven Dunn, Michelle Naka Pierce

Oct 27th 2022 Thursday 7:00pm ET
Greetings Reading Series @ Unnameable Books (Brooklyn, NY)
w/ Dara Barrois/Dixon, Brittany Dennison 

Nov 2nd 2022 Wednesday 7:00pm ET
Poet-in-Residence Reading @ University of Notre Dame (South Bend, IN)
w/ Mike Corrao




Contact    
                                                                                   


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