[-empyre-] Decolonial Poetry & Play in the Pacific

Margaret Rhee mrheeloy at gmail.com
Thu Oct 24 03:12:02 AEDT 2019

Thank you Craig for your message, and for participating. Such a honor to
engage with your work and continue the thread on poetry, activism, and
decolonial play. I've always been moved by your collaborative work across
mediums such as poem-videos and visual art, and your work on the page in
your collections too. I've inserted an excerpt from your first collection
from unincorporated territory [hatcha] that to me, exemplifies the play on
the page, that is all at once decolonial and experimental in terms of the

It's incredible to think of land, the ocean, and the poem in this way. It
certainly reminds me of Maria's play with poetry and of Jerry's work on
environments too. I wonder if you can speak more to your work in the visual
and when thinking about oceans, land, environments, and poetics?

I've also been moved in your collaborations as a publisher of Pacific and
POC poetry in your practice. I wonder if you can speak more to this work of
fostering Pacific poetry, and social justice movements through poetry
readings and publishing as an activist practice? Always moved by your
interventions, and excited to hear from others for this week.



"The Page Transformed" Interview with Craig Santos Perez:

[image: image.png]

On Tue, Oct 22, 2019 at 12:36 PM Craig Perez <csperez at hawaii.edu> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hafa adai and Aloha!
> Thanks, Margaret, for the invitation to join this exciting discussion.
> My poetry focuses on my home island of Guahan (Guam), my current home of
> Hawaiʻi, and the larger Pacific and our diasporas. Thematically, I address
> issues of decolonization, demilitarization, environmental justice, food
> sovereignty, political self-determination, and migration. Four of my books
> have been published thus far, with my fifth forthcoming next year (you can
> see my books here at my website: www.craigsantosperez.com). When I think
> about "play" in my work, I think about my use of playful
> techniques/aesthetics, including collage, polyphony, satire, humor, gossip,
> the carnivalesque, and metanarratives.
> I enjoy thinking of collaboration as a kind of inter-play. The two main
> collaborations I have done have been with Hawaiian artists/writers. One art
> installation called "defence" can be found here:
> http://craigsantosperez.com/defence/. A poem-video, called "praise song
> for oceania" can be found here:
> http://craigsantosperez.com/praise-song-oceania/.
> Lastly, I have found that creating a space of creative play at activist
> events have been very fruitful. I have organized many poetry writing spaces
> and creative writing workshops at different kinds of protest marches,
> activist festivals, cultural events, and more for people to express
> themselves. I have also hosted poetry reading and open mics at activist
> events, teach-ins, etc. I believe making these kinds spaces are vital for
> social justice movements to keep things playful (engaging, fun,
> pleasurable, expressive, creative, etc).
> I look forward to learning from everyone one.
> Cheers,
> Craig
> --
> Dr. Craig Santos Perez
> Interim Director of Creative Writing
> Associate Professor, English Department
> Affiliate Faculty, Center for Pacific Islands Studies
> & The Indigenous Politics Program
> University of Hawai'i, Mānoa
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu


Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.

College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
Department of English
Harvard University

Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
Department of Media Study
SUNY Buffalo
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