Poetry & Democracy: Asian American Immigration

This is my history. I crossed the sea.I sat on a plane. I came with the dream of freedom to speak to believe. It is here I begin to write. This is my legacy..png

Alison Roh Park curates a folio of poems on the topic of Asian American immigration, including works by Rajiv Mohabir, Sahar Muradi, and Barbara Jane Reyes.

She writes in her introduction: "Asians arrived in the Americas as miners, railroad workers; as coolies, sailors or slaves on 16th century Spanish ships; as visa overstays or part of the “brain drain.” Some became as part of a booming wartime adoption industry; as camptown “war brides,” refugees, sex workers or domestic workers from over half a century of U.S. bombings that leveled the Asia Pacific. In lockstep with trade and military interests, whether laborer, Celestial, Mongoloid, Malay, or Oriental, race for Asian Americans continues to be a work-in-progress. As Southeast Asian American poet Bao Phi writes, 'Rough immigrant, or/ free refugee–/ floating flagless,/ fading border,/ stamped with words but not your name.' "

Read more on Poetry & Democracy: Asian American Immigration here: www.kundiman.org/week-one-immigration