Sheila Sundar on Affirmative Action

•April 16, 2022 • Leave a Comment

“…though the immediate power is with the institution, the ultimate power is with students and faculty of color; they will find their home, but without their presence, an institution loses credibility.”

Shiela Sundar has a good essay “I Was a Diversity Hire. Then They Unhired Me.” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (April 14, 2022).

Reading at Pomona College, 3/30/22, 4:15PM

•March 26, 2022 • Leave a Comment

FUGITIVE PAPERWORK: Documentary practices in literature, art, and history – Nov 28 / Nov 29

•November 23, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Media Futures Hub presents a conversation with Joaquín Segura, Carlos Soto Román, Michael Leong, and Livia Lazzaro Rezende, facilitated by Astrid Lorange.

The conversation will focus on different approaches – across criticism, poetry, art, and history – to working with the ‘documents’ of statecraft. How do contemporary practices that work against and beyond the official archive draw our attention to the paper infrastructures that administrate state power? How do such documentary practices suggest new ways of reading the nation-state?

The event will be livestreamed:

Monday 29 November 10–11:30am (Sydney)

Sunday 28 November 3–4:30pm (Los Angeles)

Sunday 28 November 5–6:30pm (Mexico City)

Sunday 28 November 8–9:30 (Santiago)

Fall 2021 Aesthetics & Politics Lecture Series at CalArts

•September 7, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I’m happy to share the design for the lecture series I’m organizing for F21; the series is tied to one of the required courses in the Aesthetics and Politics MA Program, where I’m an affiliated faculty member.

Jacob Edmond’s Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia UP, 2019)

•August 7, 2021 • Leave a Comment

My review of Jacob Edmond’s Make It the Same: Poetry in the Age of Global Media (Columbia UP, 2019) entitled “Contemporary Poetry and Comparative Iterature” is in the new issue of Contemporary Literature.

This is the publisher’s description of Edmond’s book:

The world is full of copies. This proliferation includes not just the copying that occurs online and the replication enabled by globalization but the works of avant-garde writers challenging cultural and political authority. In Make It the Same, Jacob Edmond examines the turn toward repetition in poetry, using the explosion of copying to offer a deeply inventive account of modern and contemporary literature.

Make It the Same explores how poetry—an art form associated with the singular, inimitable utterance—is increasingly made from other texts through sampling, appropriation, translation, remediation, performance, and other forms of repetition. Edmond tracks the rise of copy poetry across media from the tape recorder to the computer and through various cultures and languages, reading across aesthetic, linguistic, geopolitical, and technological divides. He illuminates the common form that unites a diverse range of writers from dub poets in the Caribbean to digital parodists in China, samizdat wordsmiths in Russia to Twitter-trolling provocateurs in the United States, analyzing the works of such writers as Kamau Brathwaite, Dmitri Prigov, Yang Lian, John Cayley, Caroline Bergvall, NourbeSe Philip, Kenneth Goldsmith, Vanessa Place, Christian Bök, Yi Sha, Hsia Yü, and Tan Lin. Edmond develops an alternative account of modernist and contemporary literature as defined not by innovation—as in Ezra Pound’s oft-repeated slogan “make it new”—but by a system of continuous copying. Make It the Same transforms global literary history, showing how the old hierarchies of original and derivative, center and periphery are overturned when we recognize copying as the engine of literary change.

La Guagua Poetry Festival Reading Series, Saturday, May 1st, 2021 3:00-5:30 PM ET

•April 27, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Michael Leong reads via Zoom for the City College of San Francisco Visiting Writers’ Series, Thu, April 8, 2021, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT

•April 7, 2021 • Leave a Comment

HYPERLINK / 002 / Prageeta Sharma, 3/25, 5-6:30PM PT

•March 18, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Join us for the second installment of HYPERLINK, with featured reader Prageeta Sharma and very special guests

About this Event

KENNETH REVEIZ, JIMMY VEGA, & ICA SADAGAT proudly present the second installment of HYPERLINK: a multidisciplinary online production.

Our featured guest is poet Prageeta Sharma, author of the poetry collections Grief Sequence (Wave Books, 2019), Undergloom (Fence Books, 2013), Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books, 2007), The Opening Question (Fence Books, 2004), which won the 2004 Fence Modern Poets Prize, and Bliss to Fill (Subpress, 2000).

Prageeta Sharma now teaches at Pomona College, and is the founder of the conference “Thinking Its Presence: Race, Creative Writing, Literary Studies and Art.” Talkback to follow, led by Jimmy Vega.


Zeno Peterson

Michael Leong




Closed captioning will be provided.

*Graphics by CalArts Alum, Alex Cerutti from Change The Game.

HYPERLINK is a three-part interdisciplinary multimedia online series that pairs participation from innovative public intellectuals with performances from across California Institute of the Arts, grounded in readings from MFA1s in Creative Writing at the School of Critical Studies. This event is sponsored by the Nick England Intercultural Arts Project.

The Cambridge Companion to Twenty-First-Century American Poetry (Cambridge UP, 2021)

•March 14, 2021 • Leave a Comment

A new poetic century demands a new set of approaches. This Companion shows that American poetry of the twenty-first century, while having important continuities with the poetry of the previous century, takes place in new modes and contexts that require new critical paradigms. Offering a comprehensive introduction to studying the poetry of the new century, this collection highlights the new, multiple centers of gravity that characterize American poetry today. Essays on African American, Asian American, Latinx, and Indigenous poetries respond to the centrality of issues of race and indigeneity in contemporary American discourse. Other essays explore poetry and feminism, poetry and disability, and queer poetics. The environment, capitalism, and war emerge as poetic preoccupations, alongside a range of styles from spoken word to the avant-garde, and an examination of poetry’s place in the creative writing era.

Table of Contents

Introduction – Timothy Yu

1. New Black Aesthetics: Post Civil-Rights African American Poetry – Keith D. Leonard

2. Traditions of Innovation in Asian American Poetry – Michael Leong

3. Locations of Contemporary Latina/o poetry – David A. Colón

4. Sovereign Poetics and Possibilities in Indigenous Poetry – Mishuana Goeman

5. Changing Topographies, New Feminisms, and Women Poets – Ann Vickery

6. The Nearly Baroque in Contemporary Poetry – Stephanie Burt

7. Disability Aesthetics and Poetic Practice – Declan Gould

8. Queer Poetry and Bioethics – Sarah Dowling

9. Trauma and the Avant-Garde – Sueyeun Juliette Lee

10. Blockade Chants and Cloud-Nets: Terminal Poetics of the Anthropocene – Jonathan Skinner

11. Give Me Poems and Give Me Death: On the End of Slam(?) – Javon Johnson, Anthony Blacksher

12. Anti-capitalist Poetry – Christopher Nealon

13. Of Poetry and Permanent War in the Twenty-First Century – Stephen Voyce

14. Poetry in the Program Era – Kimberly Quiogue Andrews

15. The Future of Poetry Studies – Dorothy Wang

“rolling from echo to echo”: On Sky-Quake: Tremor of Heaven by Vicente Huidobro (Trans. by Ignacio Infante and Michael Leong) by Zack Anderson

•March 9, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Zack Anderson has a tremendous review in the Action Books blog of my co-translation, with Ignacio Infante, of Vicente Huidobro’s Sky-Quake. Thanks to Zack for the insights–and to the good people at Action Books. Here are the last two paragraphs:

Unlike previous translators, Infante and Leong foreground Sky-Quake’s intertextuality, noting that “both works constitute two parallel poetic artefacts contemporaneously produced in two different languages—as such, Temblor de cielo and Tremblement de ciel comprise together a larger artwork.” Infante and Leong approach the “infinite versability” of Sky-Quake “by engaging the translation process as originating from both the Spanish and the French texts. Our translation is, thus, constituted by a fluid translational method constantly connecting both parallel originals.” The translators’ collaborative approach allows them to attend to the Spanish and French texts as equal, mirrored versions, while the English translation takes shape in the mise-en-abîme.

Near the end of Sky-Quake, as Tristan’s death approaches, he declares, “I am not afraid of nothingness and I wouldn’t fear it even if I didn’t have the certainty of remaining in my echo, of intangibly rolling from echo to echo.” It seems plausible that Huidobro might have been thinking of the infinite versioning of translation and its utopic international possibilities. Infante and Leong have managed to capture the infinite versability of this text that pours between genres and languages. Sky-Quake serves as an excellent reminder that, as Berman argues, “the translation is a priori present in any original: Any work, as far as one can go back, is already to several degrees a fabric of translations or a creation that has something to do with the translating operation.”

In addition, Sky-Quake is among fine company as a finalist for Big Other‘s Book Award for Translation.