"For years I have carried with me the following lines from Li-Young Lee’s poem, 'For a New Citizen of These United States': 'After all, it was just our life,/ merely years in a book of years.' I have carried them as I have carried, from state to state and house to house, boxes of papers and photographs documenting my time in the United States since arriving from the Philippines at the age of eight. After living undocumented for fifteen years, I used these records as part of my application to become a legal permanent resident and, years later, a naturalized citizen. In many ways, of course, there was documentation of my presence in this country before I became 'documented'—for one, I paid taxes. The tone and sentiment of Lee’s lines reached me differently through the years and I was grateful for their flex." –– Janine Joseph
This month, Kundiman has created a Poetry & Democracy Action Calendar for the Poetry Coalition's March programming. We've enlisted 4 curators to create folios of material for each week. Janine Joseph is our curator for the week of Documentation. See the whole week here! Read more about our Poetry Coalition project on our website.