Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 17 February 2020

  • New Haven, August 8, 2017

    I lack the libido to write city poems
    writes Cam, and I

    now lack the city
    and its popular synecdoches: 

    straphangers, manholes
    grids and bridges. 

    I despise Whitman
    and Brooklyn, and gatherings 

    of euphonic youngthings
    about whose oratorios 

    he and I would then
    dash to pieces 

    our two heads, ambulatory
    and intransitive, 

    standing on the pier
    in the freezing cold 

    on Halloween
    every night of the year, 

    the city a ship or a crazy castle
    across this or that river, dark 

    moving line we mark
    with pleasure 

    objecting indirectly
    and hardly holding hands.


    by Mia Kang

    Listen to Mia read the poem here (scroll to the link towards the bottom of the page).

    The Poetry Centre is excited to share with you the final selection from our newest pamphlets - a poem from City Poems by Mia Kang, just published by ignitionpress. Alongside Mia’s pamphlet we are also very pleased to be publishing Hush by Majella Kelly and Hinge by Alycia Pirmohamed, whose work we featured in previous Weekly Poems.

    We will be launching all three pamphlets this week! Join us at the Poetry Café in London on Thursday (20 February) and at Waterstones in Oxford on Friday (21 February). We’ll also be appearing at the Poetry Book Fair on Saturday 22 February (with a reading by Alycia Pirmohamed and fellow ignitionpress poet Joanna Ingham). Register for free tickets for the launches here and buy the new pamphlets here.

    We have also just released the latest episode of our Poetry Centre Podcast which features Oxford-based poet Mariah Whelan, whose novel in sonnets, the love i do to you, was recently published by Eyewear Publishing. Listen to Mariah talk about the book here or subscribe to our podcast via iTunes or other podcast providers.

    ‘New Haven, August 8, 2017’ is copyright © Mia Kang, 2020. It is reprinted from City Poems (ignitionpress, 2020) by permission of ignitionpress.

    Mia Kang writes poems and other perversions. Named the 2017 winner of Boston Review’s Annual Poetry Contest by Mónica de la Torre, her writing has appeared in journals including POETRY, Washington Square Review, Narrative Magazine, and PEN America.

    A Brooklyn Poets Fellow and runner-up for the 2019 and 2017 Discovery Poetry Contests, she is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ 2016 Catalina Páez and Seumas MacManus Award, among others. Mia is a PhD student in the history of art at Yale University, where she studies the contested rise of multiculturalism and its failures. Find out more about Mia’s work on her website and follow her on Twitter.

    ignitionpress is a poetry pamphlet press from Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects. 

    The first eight pamphlets to be published by ignitionpress, featuring work by Lily Blacksell, Mary Jean Chan, Patrick James Errington, Natalie Whittaker, Belinda Zhawi, Joanna Ingham, Jennifer Lee Tsai, and Sarah Shapiro are available from our online Shop. Each pamphlet costs £5 and you can buy three for £12. You can find out more about the poets and their work on our dedicated page.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers.