The only name we can call it now is not its only name
Valerie Hsiung

Unspooling from a mysterious and deeply discomforting encounter between the speaker and “K,” The only name we can call it now is not its only name slowly morphs into a long and impossibly personal examination of willfulness and ownership, mother tongue and mother earth, chronic illness (of body and soil), homelessness and exile, violence and place, severance and longing, private parts and public spaces, intimacy and institution, affliction and ardor, performativity, faciality, vernaculars, voice, filth, instinct, and clowning. Written in a suspended moment when Hsiung experienced a profound crisis of silence in her life, what begins as a truly hybrid interrogation of an interrogation between student and teacher contorts into an entangled and incantatory excavation of the origins of a poet’s psyche and relationship with the world itself. A work that was not composed but decomposed by way of worms and flies and a hazardous exposure to the elements of mythology, ecology, and epistemology, The only name we can call it now is not its only name is both a perennial coalescing convalescence between individual and societal specters and the tectonic documentation of a repeated attempt to endure.

Valerie Hsiung is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and the author of several poetry and hybrid writing collections, including To love an artist (Essay Press), selected by Renee Gladman for the 2021 Essay Press Book Prize, outside voices, please (CSU), selected for the 2019 CSU Open Book Prize, Name Date of Birth Emergency Contact (The Gleaners), YOU & ME FOREVER (Action Books), and e f g (Action Books). Her writing has appeared in print (The Believer, Chicago Review, Black Sun Lit), in flesh (Treefort Music Festival, Common Area Maintenance, The Poetry Project), in sound waves (Montez Press Radio, Hyle Greece), and other forms of particulate matter (WATERPROOF Miami, Downs & Ross). Her work has been supported by Foundation for Contemporary Arts, PEN America, Lighthouse Works, and public streets and trails she has walked on and hummed along for years. Born in the Year of the Earth Snake and raised by Chinese-Taiwanese immigrants in Cincinnati, Ohio, she now lives between nowhere and somewhere.

The only name we can call it now is not its only name
2023
Valerie Hsiung
$20.00; 6″ x 9″
120 pgs.
ISBN 978-1-93-399678-3