I WORK HARD, EVERY DAY.
My labor is not free.
I built HAPTIC,
a PRESS to empower the voices and attempts of artists.
I CREATE, WRITE, EXPRESS.
And make myself vulnerable
because the personal is political.
Currently in development (May 2020): “Translating Across Time & Space Refugee Film” (Funded in part by the Brown Arts Initiative)
Excerpt from “The undeniable force of khó khăn” / FILM
She used a certain vocabulary to tell her stories.
I did not understand their precise meanings, but became familiar with their sounds. Whispers of the past professed through stories of struggle and sacrifice.
The words were fragmented totems—heavy with a metaphysics of meaning and untranslatable into the American English of my suburban childhood realities. I held the totems in my hands, ran my fingers along their textures, and carefully placed them in my treasure chest.
The words represented my mother’s life. Each word embodied tales of worlds past, dreams lost, the impossible overcome.
MISS/MIS is a feminist exploration of all things deemed ‘mis-‘ –wrong, dirty, broken, ‘abnormal.’ From misfits to misreading, misunderstandings to mistakes, MISS/MIS confronts the categorical impulse of labeling things as good/bad, yes/no, men/women, appropriate/not. I pause, ponder, and ask why? Join me on this journey.
MISS READING’S Journey
Chapter 1: MISSFIT [Recognition]
I am tired of treading softly between glass boundaries of what is considered ‘appropriate.’ I am tired of listening obediently to the voices of Reason, the Future, and Others tell me that I must be more or less. I want to look in the mirror and see myself, not others.
Chapter 2: MISSTEP [Movement]
A celebration of the chaotic sublime of self.
A song in my stomach, twisted into computerized contortions
A wellspring of movement, made mistakenly malicious.
The way you make me feel, I make me feel, I make me me.
Seeps out, secretly through the meticulous cracks of caked fears.
Selected Publications, Film Premieres, and Public Readings
- Film “Velcro Shoes” featured at Mỹ (American) Việt (Vietnamese) Storyslam (2019) co-hosted by Vietnamese Boat People and WHRO and sponsored by Asian Nation of Live Nation, Asian Women Giving Circle and PBS
- Audio Poemscape “Flicker”, LA Review of Books Publab (2019)
- Essay “Confessions of a Vietnamese Refugee” and Film poetry “Liberation Time”, Diacritics (2019)
- Film “The Undeniable Force of Khó Khăn” California Premiere at Viet Film Festival (2019) and Boston Premiere and Artist Talkback at Harvard (2019), published Diacritics (2018), published in AJAR Press (2018)
- Essay “An Asian American’s Language of Mental Health,” If-Me.org mental health non-profit and open source project (2018)
- “Train/Xe lửa” Bi-lingual poetry on History, Memory, and Language published in independent Vietnamese and transpacific publisher AJAR PRESS, issue 5, song song || para||el, Fall (2017)
- Essay The Slow Undoing of Velcro Shoes (2017) | Visual publication on “The Thirsty” (2017)
- Essay How I had a feminist Asian American wedding (2016)