Monica Ong – Silent Anatomies
Late Night Conversation, hosted by Kristin Maffei
This week Kristin talks to visual artist and poet Monica Ong. Monica is the daughter of immigrants and talks about her work at the intersection of visual art and poetry, the physical repercussions of cultural change, and the impact of what she calls cultural silences.
Listen to the full episode here:
[Silent Anatomies] is a collection that explores cultural silences. While the word silence implies the absence of sound, these poems reveal a cultural silence as a phenomena with a lot of different expressions, from the erasure of identity to social shame, the persistent under-reporting, as well as the forgetting that comes with time and distance. A lot of these poems actually arose out of art installations that I had been doing over the years looking at the relationship between cultural silences and public health. This journey began with family stories that kind of travel from China to the Philippines to the United States, in terms of the cultural narrative that envelops them.
GIVEAWAY: You can win a copy of Monica’s collection Silent Anatomies. Win by listening for Kristin’s question in the episode and being one of the FIRST THREE LISTENERS to email the correct answer to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PURCHASE SILENT ANATOMIES HERE
ABOUT OUR GUEST
MONICA ONG is a visual artist and poet whose hybrid image-poems juxtapose diagram and diary, bearing witness to silenced histories of the body. She completed her MFA in Digital Media at the Rhode Island School of Design and is also a Kundiman poetry fellow.
Her work has been published in several journals including the Lantern Review, Drunken Boat, Glassworks Magazine, Loaded Bicycle, Tidal Basin Review, and the Seneca Review. She has also been exhibiting work for over a decade nationally and internationally.
Ms. Ong’s debut collection, Silent Anatomies, was selected by poet Joy Harjo as winner of the Kore Press First Book Award. Of the collection, Ms. Harjo noted: “This is one of the most unique poetry collections. It’s a kind of graphic poetry book, but that’s not exactly it either. Poetry unfurls within, outside and through images. They establish stark bridges between ancestor and descendant time and presence. This collection is highly experimental and exciting.”