Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Brief Note on the Book Publication Reading



Thank you to everyone who came out to Samos Kitchen Korean Restaurant last Wednesday night to celebrate the publication of my first book of poems. I could not have imagined a better night, and it felt great to have so many friends and family members there, along with so many people from the community, some of whom I had not seen in years and some who I had the privilege of meeting for the first time, such as Cheng Lok Chua, co-editor of the groundbreaking anthology Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing (2000). It was an honor to meet him, and I'm grateful he came to the reading. It was also nice to see Mor Chang, a former student of mine and founder of asianamericanpoetry.com; and to meet Pacyinz Lyfoung, who recently moved from Minnesota. There were former and current students of mine there as well, and it was especially nice to have my oldest friend, Optimism One, there along with my mother, father, and sister who made the hour and a half drive. They're my biggest influences and the most amazing people you could ever meet. They gave me a beautiful gift afterwards as well, which was very thoughtful, and it will be placed prominently in my office.

It was also an honor to be joined by two fantastic poets, Kenneth Chacon and Mike Maniquiz. They read about three or four poems each and were well-received by the audience. Serena and Sam of Samos Kitchen were the most gracious hosts I've ever been around, and the food was incredible! There was jap chae (traditional Korean noodle dish), fried rice and maw tang (a sweet yam dessert), seafood pancakes and all kinds of other delicious Korean dishes. Serena even bought flowers, and the room was beautiful.

I read for around 40 minutes, with a setlist that went something like this: Salvation, Ars Poetica, Adoption Music, Korean Adoptee Returns to Seoul, Raison D'Etre, Ghost in a Museum, Rurrenebaque, Dancing Near a Body of Water, Ode to the Graduate, Yoga on the Beach, A Thousand Saxophones. I also got to tell the backstory of the great cover photo (taken by my wife in Hoi An, Viet Nam). I received so many heartfelt comments before and after the reading, and it was a pleasure talking with everyone and signing copies of the book. Someone said there were around 75 to 100 people there, and I sold about sixty books. Numbers aren't all that important to me, though, quite frankly. But it was nice to have such a good turnout. From the Korean community, to the poetry community, the City College community, and to friends and family and those who wanted to just see what it's all about, thank you one and all. It was a night to remember.

19 comments:

Jae Ran Kim said...

Congratulations!

soon-young said...

sounds excellent! wish i could have been there!

Ivy said...

Well done, Lee! So glad that you had a great turnout! Wish I'd been there... :-)

Lee Herrick said...

thanks jae ran, soon-young, ivy---i appreciate your good wishes!

barbara jane said...

So awesome, Lee. Congratulations!

Braving the Arirang said...

So how will I be able to pick up a copy of this fine publication?

I miss you Lee, hope all is well.

-EJ

Puka said...

I'm so glad to hear you had a great celebration with family and friends. If we were still in Fresno, I would have definitely been there. Congratulations on your book!

Lee Herrick said...

thanks, b, ej, and p--- i'll take all the good vibes i can get. ej, you can get a copy at amazon or leeherrick dot com (my website)---or if you want, i could mail you one.

Braving the Arirang said...

I would love if you could mail me one!! :-) hehe and if you could, sign it for me? :-D

I put a link to your blog on my blog. I am glad that I found it through Facebook.

Lee Herrick said...

Sure, I can definitely do that. E-mail me your mailing address, and I'll drop it in the mail this week. leeherrick [ a t ] hotmail. Thanks for adding my blog to your links.

jenni said...

Congrats! Sounds wonderful!

Jee Leong Koh said...

Congratulations, Lee. The event sounded tremendous--food for body and soul.

Bryan Thao Worra said...

Awesome report. We can't wait 'til you're up here in MN. :)

Hyun said...

yup, like everyone else said. looking forward to your reading in oakland. btw, in your announcement of upcoming events, i think the dates are switched between kaas and uc berkeley's event.

Lee Herrick said...

thanks, ya'll---i appreciate the good vibes---& hyun jin, thanks for pointing that out! i fixed them, so they should be right now. nov. 2 in oakland, yes!

sume said...

Stumbling in later, Lee, but just wanted to wish you congratulations and continued success.

It would be great if I could catch one of your readings in the future.

All my best!

Lee Herrick said...

thanks, sume!

Ana said...

Hey Mr.Lee this is Ana Caballero a former student of yours from your English 250 class. I am glad to hear that your doing so well with your new book. Congratulations!

Lee Herrick said...

Thanks, Ana! It's good to hear from you---I hope all's well!