Essay, “Where Are You From?"

in Others Will Enter the Gates: Immigrant Poets on Poetry, Influences, and Writing in AmericA


No two immigrant poets are the same. Even those from the same country don’t necessarily answer to the same poetics or, for that matter, speak to the same concerns. How, then, do immigrant poets in America define themselves? How do they see and position themselves within the landscape of American poetry or the poetic traditions of their own country? Who might they consider their influences? Answers to these questions are complex, individual, and varied, as seen with the essays included in this anthology.

Contributors: Zubair Ahmed, Kazim Ali, Abayomi Animashaun, Lisa Birman, Ewa Chrusciel, Kwame Dawes, Michael Dumanis, Megan Fernandes, Cristián Flores García, Danielle Legros Georges, Rigoberto González, Maria Victoria A. Grageda-Smith, Andrei Guruianu, Piotr Gwiazda, Fady Joudah, Pauline Kaldas, Ilya Kaminsky, Vandana Khanna, Jee Leong Koh, Vasyl Makhno, Gerardo Pacheco Matus, David McLoghlin, Majid Naficy, Marilène Phipps-Kettlewell, Shabnam Piryaei, Barbara Jane Reyes, José Antonio Rodríguez, Matthew Shenoda, Sun Yung Shin, Anis Shivani, Ocean Vuong, and Sholeh Wolpé.

Poem, "Easter Vigil"

IN Even The Daybreak - 35 Years of Salmon Poetry


There is a memory, somewhat hazy and, therefore, probably romanticised, of the shop door opening one Summer morning and a young Lady sailed in wearing a flowing colourful cloak somewhat reminiscent of an Adrienne Monnier or a Sylvia Beach. In her hands she had what looked like a small pile of badly printed pages which with an air of pride and dignity she presented to the mother.  The mother graciously accepted the offer, priced the leaflets and placed them on the counter. The ceremony, for ceremony it was, was imbued with a tremendous sense of joy and dignity. Salmon Poetry had come into being and these leaflets were its first fruits. Over the next 35 years, Salmon Poetry was to become the platform on which the young poets of the West of Ireland and further afield giving voice to such now internationally known poets as Rita Ann Higgins, Mary O’Malley, Anne Kennedy, Moya Cannon and Patricia Burke Brogan. This comprehensive anthology brings these 35 years back to life, allowing the reader to relive the extraordinary poetic energy and creativity that it engendered since that halcyon day in 1981. It is a journey well worth taking.

—Des Kenny