Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Three of my Favorite Poets: Amy Uyematsu, Burlee Vang, and Julie Kim Garcia

(photo, from left to right: Burlee Vang, Lee Herrick, Amy Uyematsu, and Julie Kim Garcia)

Last week's poetry reading featuring Amy Uyematsu was a sweet success---well over 75 people, probably closer to 100, filled the Student Lounge. The Civil Rights Movement photography exhibit, which still hangs in the room, provided a nice visual backdrop for the reading (you can see the flags in one of the photos in the picture to the left).

It was great to see such a turnout from the community---Mor X. Chang (founder of asianamericanpoetry.com) was there, as was poet Soul Vang. Thank you to the faculty who came and to those who brought students, and a special thank you to the students in my poetry class who came to support.

Amy's so awesome. As if her three books of poems aren't enough, she was also an early pioneer in the Asian American movement, writing influential articles in the 60's and 70's while at UCLA. If you don't yet own her new book of poems, Stone Bow Prayer, what are you waiting for? These are beautiful poems. And Burlee Vang and Julie Kim Garcia are two of my new favorite young poets. I had several people tell me Burlee's short reading was exceptional (and congratulations on your story forthcoming from Random House!) and a few people told me Julie's reading was a highlight. Julie, I hope you remember us when you move to the Bay Area! But it was Amy's night---she's a first-rate poet loaded with wisdom, passion, and the sort of poetry to which we should all aspire. Thank you.


Bridgeowner said...
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Bridgeowner said...

It was a wonderful night. And though my daughters, who are ten and eigth, may not have understood most of the poems, they were impressed by the occasion--they even got a book autographed by Amy. Lee, I enjoyed all the poets and I was glad to finally hear you read your poems.

Lee Herrick said...

I'm glad you and daughters enjoyed the reading, Soul. It really was a special occasion. We should have more readings like that. It was good to see you.

mor x. chang said...


I really enjoyed the event. I was thrill to meet with Amy for the first time. All of your readings were awesome! It was my pleasure being there.

I think you did a great job hosting and making the event possible.

Lee Herrick said...

Thanks, Mor! I was happy you could make it.