Diode author Teow Lim Goh speaks with Ernest Hilbert at E-Verse Radio about Faraway Places, Teow's newly released chapbook, available now from Diode Editions.
Faraway Places resides in the spaces between the wild and the tamed, from orchid gardens and immense seas to caged birds and high alpine landscapes. It resists narrative and instead inhabits the residues of experience. It may be a private dictionary: “Those / who know the lore can use them / to find their way / in the world.” Haunted and searching, these poems navigate the distances between light and shadow, secrets and silence.
In 2014, I finished writing my first book Islanders, a volume of poems on Chinese exclusion at the Angel Island Immigration Station. It was an achievement, but I was also burned out from the pressure and intensity of the work. I was stuck, I had no ability to concentrate, and I could barely even read a book. I cast around for something else to write, but the ideas did not come.
Teow Lim Goh is the author of Islanders (Bower House, 2016), a volume of poems on the history of Chinese exclusion at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Her work has been featured in Tin House,Catapult, PBS NewsHour, Colorado Public Radio, and The New Yorker.