Valerie Hsiung is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and the author of several poetry and hybrid writing collections, including To love an artist (Essay Press, forthcoming), selected by Renee Gladman for the Essay Press Book Prize, outside voices, please (CSU), 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 (The Believer, New Delta Review, Black Sun Lit), 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 between nowhere and somewhere.

“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

"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



“Mutual assured destruction, the cold war, the narrative strategies of the bible, war and translation and the translation of war, childbirth, copper mining, disease and the history of medicine, climate change, plague, how we know things, how we know that we know things, how we think and how we produce knowledge, how we understand our bodies in relation to the collective bodies and how our bodies absorb and resist and persist and absorb. We might say, correctly, that Valerie Hsiung’s To Love an Artist is about these things, but really these things are the vehicle through which the book meditates, in a form that’s vivid and hypnotic, about the violence and vehemence of language, voice, memory, composition and the various tools of love and art and their intricate and unruly intermeshings. This is a book of sustenance, danger, and generosity.”
         - Daniel Borzutsky

“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

"We begin at the beginning of written language. Or we begin in mineral. Or we begin in the body where minerals are stored along with breath and utterance. Buoyed by all of the elegant thinking (elegant like a molecule) that Valerie Hsiung offers us in these poems, we traverse narratives of inflections and infections, plagues and poets, vectors and trade routes. And yet there are no binaries here (“After we were split in two, everything became two, and everything wanted closure at a seam down the middle.”) but webs of urgent inquiry. In To Love An Artist, Hsiung has created a catalogue of queries as well as a history both expansive and particular, unfurling a lyric of oracular knowledges and disasters. We begin at the beginning of written language and end in litany. I am awed, and I am grateful for this journey.”
            - Susan Briante 


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