Wednesday, 1 October 2014

"Valiant Beauty" — ASIAN CHA Issue#25 Editorial





Words from educators in Hong Kong:

My students have told me they're boycotting classes indefinitely. I am proud of them. How can one not be moved?
—Eddie Tay

I applaud the courage and restraint of the protesters, who are mostly students, and am as proud as ever to call myself a Hong Konger!
—John Wakefield
.

... and you see, you see,
Love is disobedience, disobedience love,
And the dungeon doors open for you
And your questions to walk through.
—Shirley Geok-lin Lim
.

Hong Kong students continue to put 'civil' in 'civil disobedience'.
—Colin Covendish-Jones
.
[A] movement such as this one, defined by youth, by love and peace, by aspiration and inspiration, will always find a way to win.
—Lucas Klein

..
I've seemingly always already been way more cynical than sentimental. But I found myself crying in the face of the generous and caring humanity of Hong Kong's youth, both in Mong Kok and in Central. Hong Kong is my much loved home—and it's the Umbrella Uprising that has delivered this sense of home to me.
—Jason S Polley
.

100,000 people on the street in Hong Kong (a reporter told me it was that many) singing, applauding, chanting. There is a feeling of great hope.
—Michael O'Sullivan


I hope that all of the students participating in the protests will stay safe and remain optimistic for a better future of this place we call home.
—Heidi Huang
.
Hong Kong's higher education system should be proud of the exemplary"knowledge transfer" and "experiential learning" that our courageous students have been exhibiting.
—James Shea
.

Teachers, like many others, have doubts all the time. One that I often ask myself is "Should I keep teaching?" But seeing all of you in the streets, I am moved and I know the answer. Last night at 2am, I encountered a confused 18-year-old, who kept wondering what's next. No one knows, except the battle will be long. And a quote from Hemingway may help: "I did not care what it was all about. All I wanted to know was how to live in it."
—Nicholas YB Wong
.
You'll learn more at the barricades than in my class. Take your notebook with you, this is history, you're making it, and make sure you write it too.
—Justin Hill
.

I have run out of umbrellas to lend to my students,
braving all weathers, all scorn, for a future they no longer have any option
but to believe in.
Now it is my heart I would shelter them with.
I do so happily, without reservation.
They were the first, and will be the last,
to welcome me here.
They have always stood by me.
—Stuart Christie


 

.
:::::

Over the last week, Hong Kong has transformed—gone from a city that, while not politically apathetic, was generally willing to put prosperity and business first. But Beijing's refusal to allow Hong Kong open elections and the growing unease among its residents about the SAR's future in China have finally come to a head. The Umbrella Revolution has shown that Hong Kong is no longer content to allow Beijing to dictate its fate. The city has decided to stand up and fight. And it has brought umbrellas.

The struggle for free elections is nothing new—the pro-democracy camp has for decades been determined in its efforts to bring self-rule to the city. But something changed this week: the passion and energy of youth. Young people, yellow-ribboned, faces covered with cling film and goggles, and equipped only with umbrellas to fend off the fierce sun, rain and tear gas, have fought peacefully, proudly and insistently, for genuine democracy in their—my—beloved city. It is their efforts—nonviolent but still resolute and resourceful—that have not only captured the attention of the city, but of the world.

Like many people who care about Hong Kong's political future, I have been able to focus on very little else over the past few days. At times, I have been worried—worried about the safety of the protestors; worried that their efforts will fail to bring change; worried about the future of the city that I love. But I have also been deeply moved and inspired. I have never been so proud of Hong Kong. It has never been so determined.

For those of us who support democratic change, we realise that the time has come, that we have to fight now, before it’s too, too late. We are uncertain of what the outcome might be, but we are nevertheless united, hearts with one purpose, and we are fighting.

Will we succeed? We already have. Hong Kong will never be the same again. A valiant beauty has been born.

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
 / Co-editor
Cha
1 October 2014



Tuesday, 30 September 2014

CHA's Best of the Net 2014 Nominations

http://www.asiancha.com

We are happy to announce that the following pieces of work, selected from the December 2013, March 2014 and June 2014 issues of Cha, have been nominated by us for inclusion in Best of the Net Anthology 2014 (published by Sundress). Congratulations to these writers and good luck!
 
 
Poetry
1. “The Wonton Noodle Seller" by Daryl Lim Wei Jie (June 2014)
2. “A Contingent of Birds" by Daryl Yam (June 2014)
3. “Remember How the Night is Elsewhere Void in the Metamorphosis of Man" by B.B. P. Hosmillo (March 2014)
4. “Ghost Husband" by Renée M. Schell
(March 2014)
5. “Daniel Defoe to His Dead Mistress (ca. 1704)" by Stuart Christie (December 2013) 
6. “Ou-Yang Hsiu’s Fu on The Sound of Autumn (1069)" by Eliot Weinberger (December 2013)

Fiction
1. “Incident on Abiko Street" by Mark Crimmins (March 2014)
2. “Inclusion" by John Givens (December 2013)

Creative non-fiction
1. “The Far Country" by Mary J. Breen (March 2014)
2. “Post- (Almost) LKY Singapore" by Pavle Radonic (December 2013)
 
 :::::

// PAST
 
 
 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Cha - Call for Submissions - Issue 27 (March 2015)

due out in March 2015.
-

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for Issue 27, scheduled for publication in March 2015.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 December, 2014.

Dorothy Chan (poetry) and David Raphael Israel (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors Tammy Ho and Jeff Zroback. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors - past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

We are also accepting submissions for the special poetry section "Hong Kong Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon". Closing date: 30 September 2014.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.-
-- ,

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Nominate a 2013 Cha story | Million Writers Award

-
Nominate your favourite Cha story published in 2013.

The Million Writers Award for last year's best online short fiction is now inviting nominations from readers, writers, and editors. The award is for any short story of at least 1,000 words first published in an online publication in 2013. Below you can see a list of Cha stories eligible for the award. If you have read a piece and liked it, please consider nominating it. Deadline for nominations is 15 August, 2014. 



March 2013

Love Is No Big Truth by Amanda Lee Koe
[READ it here] [NOMINATE it here]

A Meander Through Memory After Death by Saptarshi Basu

Shooting by Glenn Diaz

The Cripple by Bina Shah

:::::


June 2013

Rising River by Sim Wai Chew

The Glass Cadaver by Shirley Shao

The Uninvited Guest by Cathy Adams

Happy and Glorious by Peter John Humphreys

The Lodger by Balvinder Banga

:::::


December 2013

Inclusion by John Givens

As Told By A Fox by Xie Shi Min

Ellora Caves by Sharmistha Mohanty

The Cowherd and The Weaver Girl by Zhou Tingfeng

A Fable by Khanh Ha

::::::







.

Monday, 30 June 2014

CHA Issue #24 goes live



.

 

.
The June 2014 Issue of Cha is here. We would like to thank guest editors Michael Gray (poetry), Royston Tester (prose) and Reid Mitchell (prose) for reading the submissions with us and helping us put together this edition. We would also like to thank Eddie Tay for a fine selection of book reviews. The issue includes an editorial by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming titled "A Touch Of Cruelty In The Mouth" and poems from David McKirdy's new collection, Ancestral Worship.

The following writers/artists have generously allowed us to showcase their work:

Poetry: David McKirdy, Timothy Kaiser, Kenneth Alewine, Joshua Burns, Daryl Yam, Daryl Lim Wei Jie, Insha Muzafar, David W. Landrum, Susan Kelly-DeWitt, Randy Kim, Zachary Eller, Divya Rajan, Mathew Joseph, Michael O’Sullivan, Tjoa Shze Hui
Fiction: Sarah Bower, Michael X. Wang
Creative non-fiction: Qui-Phiet Tran
Interviews
: Smita Sahay interviews Tabish Khair, Usha Akella interviews Marjorie Evasco, Sharon Ho interviews the organisers of three Hong Kong poetry-reading groups
Lost tea: Jonel Abellanosa
Photography & art: Franky Lau (cover artist), Divya Adusumilli, Allen Forrest
Reviews: Grant Hamilton, Sarah Bower, Emma Zhang, Michael Tsang, Drisana Misra, Carolyn Lau, Cecilia Chan

Our next issue is due out in September 2014. We are currently accepting submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue and entries for the "Reconciliation" poetry contest and the "Hong Kong Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon" section. If you are interested in having your work considered for inclusion in Cha, please read our submission guidelines carefully.

:::::





Reconciliation

A Cha Poetry contest




This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems on the theme of "Reconciliation".  

Judges:

  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha
  • Jason Eng Hun Lee has been published in a number of journals and he has been a finalist for numerous international prizes, including the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2012) and the Hong Kong University's Poetry Prize (2010).
Rules:
  • Each poet can submit up to two poems (no more than 80 lines long each).
  • Poems must be previously unpublished. 
  • Entry is free.
Closing date:
  • 15 September 2014
Prizes:
  • First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £15, Highly Commended (up to 5): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
  • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha, due out in November/December 2014.
The prizes were generously donated by an expat reader residing in Hong Kong.
Submission:
  • Submissions should be sent to t@asiancha.com with the subject line "Reconciliation".
  • Poems must be sent in the body of the email.
  • Please also include a short biography of no more than 30 words.
Previous Cha contests:



Sunday, 29 June 2014

ASIAN CHA Issue#24 Editorial





A Touch Of Cruelty
In The Mouth

.

Looking at old photos leads me to believe that the body evolves.
—Edouard Levé

I love to recall my dreams, no matter what is in them.
—ibid.

Of course, telling someone your insult is like telling someone your dream; the specific emotional core of it cannot be communicated ...
—Sheila Heti
.
.
.
The golden boy Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde's memorable creation, continues to capture our imagination, as seen in his most recent representation in Showtime's Penny Dreadful. Who doesn't want to stay delicate, young and exquisite? Skin flawless, teeth intact, hair shiny. In fact, our modern beauty industry relies on nothing but this overblown desire to slow down the clock. I am sure many of us, while reading Wilde's story or watching an adaptation, have imagined, even if only very briefly, what it might be like to be Dorian.

For a large part of the story, Dorian's physical appearance is unaffected by the passage of time, while his painted double, hidden in the attic, ages, withers and becomes loathsome and unrecognisable. That face on the canvas evolves with the sordid force of life, as it absorbs the negative energy of its original. This all begins with "the touch of cruelty in the mouth":

He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young, and the portrait grow old; that his own beauty might be untarnished, and the face on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins; that the painted image might be seared with the lines of suffering and thought, and that he might keep all the delicate bloom and loveliness of his then just conscious boyhood. Surely his wish had not been fulfilled? Such things were impossible. It seemed monstrous even to think of them. And, yet, there was the picture before him, with the touch of cruelty in the mouth.

The cruelty here is Dorian's, conferred to his pictorial likeness. But cruelty is an inherent element of every portrait or photograph of a human subject. The American comedian Mitch Hedberg, whom I admire a great deal, sums it up wisely and poignantly: "Every picture is of you when you were younger." Everything that bears a reproduction of your image, then, is an inevitably cruel reminder that nothing good lasts, that you will grow old. Very old if you are lucky. Or unlucky.

At some point, you will envy your younger self, sitting awkwardly on an uncomfortable rug, drinking a cheap red wine as you and your friends couldn't afford anything good, or wearing an embarrassingly slutty dress, silver and black, with no cleavage showing, for you had none (you still have none) or grinning so goddamned happily for something so life-defining then and so insignificant now that you don't remember what it was that sparked that bright smile or even who else you were with at the time. You grow old ... you grow old ... You shall wear the bottoms of your trousers rolled. 

It is perhaps disingenuous of me to complain about ageing, for I am still regularly asked if I am a student due to my small size and unaggressive chest. But all the above acts as an introduction to a vivid dream that I had one night some weeks ago. I am one of those people who remember their dreams quite well and that particularly dream, I remember intensely. 

In the dream, I am in my old family home in Tuen Mun with my parents and two younger sisters. It is a small flat, with two small bedrooms, and, at night, we turn the small wooden sofa in the small living room into a small bed, which I sleep on with one of my sisters (everything was small in my past, nothing is grand in my present). My mother must have turned off the lights, and I, without much thought, reach for a torch that gives out enough light that familiar household objects cast strange, enlarged and dreamy shadows on the wall, which is by day covered with crayon marks, traces of my sisters' creative vandalism. 

In the dream, I am looking at an older picture of my parents, my sisters and me sitting on a leather sofa so worn that it had been replaced by the wooden one. My mother is holding Ying on her lap, and my father has Ching on his. I stand in the middle. Squeezed in the middle. No one is holding me. I am too old.

The next moment in the dream, I am my current age again and frantically looking for that picture. When I find it, I see that Ying is no longer sitting on my mother's lap and Ching is no longer on my father's. They are grown-ups in the picture, and they stand next to my parents. I stand as before. I too am grown-up. My parents are eighteen years older, but on our faces we have the same expressions as before. My parents: reservedly proud of having three healthy and moderately intelligent daughters. My sisters: clueless. Me: clueless.

It dawns on me, in the dream, that all our images grow with us, age with us, probably die with us. Whatever our present age, we are now the same age in past photographs. It has become impossible to recover photos of ourselves at a younger age—our Facebook accounts automatically update; in our photo albums we are no longer babies, but our current selves trapped in the faded photos of bygone days. We are all Dorian Grays without the benefits: our pictorial selves age but so do we.

In my dream, no one could remember exactly what others looked like in the past. No one could boast, "Look at this. I was once considered a beauty." When I woke up, I instantly went on Facebook to check if my profile pictures were unaltered. They were. Thank goodness I had taken these photographs when I was younger, easier, more carefree. And better still, I remain that way in them, even though the flesh-and-blood me moves on, marching towards decay and death. Which is the way it should be, and I am glad.


http://www.asiancha.com 

... likeness, once caught, carries the mystery of a Being.
—John Berger

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming
 / Co-editor
Cha
29 June, 2014








Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Call for Submissions: "Hong Kong Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon"

Pictured: Hong Kong Column - Translated (http://facebook.com/hkcolumn)

Introduction
Cha is seeking entries on the theme "Hong Kong Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon" in response to the Chinese Government's White Paper (click here for more information) to be included in a special section in the journal.

Submission period
20th June (Fri.) - 30th September (Tue.)

Editors of the section
-Tammy Ho Lai-Ming [bio]
-Michael O'Sullivan [bio
-Kate Rogers [bio]

-Michael Tsang [bio]

Guidelines
Please send submissions to t@asiancha.com by 30th September with the subject line "White Paper—your name". Each writer can submit up to two poems.


A Polite People

First they took their land, then their fish, then their trolleys
After it was their backs, then their loins,
Then their rented apartments, their shacks, their rusting bicycles
In the end all they had was chicken gristle, chickens feet,
And dung lai chas.
Still they waited and said it wouldn't be polite.

Then they started on their voices,
They took their tones, their gutturals, their
Argumentative low tones, their cackling old woman's laugh,
Their hanging end-tones,
Their flippant, rising soft tones,
And then their babies' coughs.
Still they waited and said it wouldn't be polite.

Then they came to take their shadows,
Their memories and the ghosts of ancestors they
Had buried on their hills
Ma On Shan, Tai Mo Shan, Lion Rock
Old Animals hurting now as they looked on
Over the flagrant ripples washing their tired limbs,
Still they waited and said it wouldn't be polite.

But when they took their dreams hung with
Luk Fuk red pockets and
Banyan leaves they wondered if their time had come
So they stretched out their legs, gritted their teeth
Counted their number and rose together
As an angry sun told them their day had run.
We waited because they said it wouldn't be polite.

Iris Ho

Monday, 16 June 2014

Cha - Call for Submissions - Seventh Anniversary Issue (December 2014)

due out in December 2014.
-
http://www.asiancha.com

Cha: An Asian Literary Journal
 is now calling for submissions for the Seventh Anniversary Issue, scheduled for publication in December 2014.

Please send in (preferably Asian-themed) poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, reviews, photography & art for consideration. Submission guidelines can be found here. Deadline: 15 September, 2014.

Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) will act as guest editors and read the submissions with the editors. Please contact Reviews Editor Eddie Tay at eddie@asiancha.com if you want to review a book or have a book reviewed in the journal.

We love returning contributors - past contributors are very welcome to send us their new works.

We are also accepting submissions for the "Reconciliation" poetry contest (judges: Tammy Ho and Jason Lee) and the special poetry section "Hong Kong Isn't Going Anywhere Anytime Soon".

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to any of the Cha staff at editors@asiancha.com.-
-- ,

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Call for Submissions—Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz

http://www.chameleonpress.com/octaviopaz/
You are invited to submit poems to Desde Hong Kong: poets in conversation with Octavio Paz, a collection in celebration of the centenary of the great Mexican poet, Octavio Paz, who built bridges among cultures, and especially among poets, and whose connections with Asia were considerable.

The editors have selected eight works by Paz to initiate and stimulate the conversation or to act as references. These poems can be found HERE.

As the title Desde Hong Kong suggests, the editors expect the poems to be rooted in some way in, from or about Hong Kong. The book will be published by Chameleon Press and edited by Germán Muñoz Díaz, Juan José Morales and Cha founding co-editor Tammy Ho Lai-Ming. You can find out more about Germán, Juan and Tammy HERE

Unless you are invited to submit work personally by one of the editors, general submissions should be made by 31 July, 2014 via Google Docs and sent to octaviopazhk@gmail.com. More information: http://www.chameleonpress.com/octaviopaz

Sunday, 30 March 2014

CHA Issue #23 goes live


http://www.asiancha.com
.

 

.
The belated Sixth Anniversary Issue of Cha (March 2014) is here. We would like to thank guest editors Arthur Leung (poetry) and Royston Tester (prose) for reading the submissions with us and helping us put together a great edition. We would also like to thank Eddie Tay for another fine selection of book reviews and Daryl Yam for reading the contest poems and writing a commentary on why we chose the poems. The issue includes an editorial by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming titled "Meetings with Remarkable Men and Women".

The following writers/artists have generously allowed us to showcase their work:

Poetry: Reid Mitchell, B.B.P. Hosmillo, Renée M. Schell, Edward Ragg, Bryan Thao Worra, Mingjuan Tan, Reihana Robinson, Amy Uyematsu, Deborah Guzzi, Jenna Le, Ranu Uniyal, Suzanne Hermanoczki, Eileen Chong 
"Void" poetry contest winners: Catherine Edmunds, Richard L. Provencher, Arlene Yandug, Maj Ikle, Hao Guang Tse, Leondrea Tan, Amit Shankar Saha 
Fiction: Mark Crimmins, Sreedhevi Iyer, Peter Phillips, Peabody Winston 
Creative non-fiction: Mary J. Breen, Amanda Faye Lacson, Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, Jyoti Omi Chowdhury
Excerpts: Priya Sarukkai Chabria, Christopher Taylor 
Interviews
: Rhiannon Jenkins Tsang, Shaily Sahay
Lost tea: Fehmida Zakeer
Photography & art: Hu Jiamin (cover artist), Johanna Audiffred, Eddie Tay, Jyoti Omi Chowdhury 
Reviews & essays: John Wall Barger, William Noseworthy, Shaily Sahay, Emma Zhang, Bhanumati Mishra, Cecilia Chan, Elen Turner, Vaughan Rapatahana 

Our next issue is due out in late June 2014. We are currently accepting submissions for the September 2014 issue. If you are interested in having your work considered for inclusion in Cha, please read our submission guidelines carefully.

:::::





Reconciliation

A Cha Poetry contest




This contest is run by Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. It is for unpublished poems on the theme of "Reconciliation".  

Judges:

  • Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born poet. She is a founding co-editor of Cha
  • Jason Eng Hun Lee has been published in a number of journals and he has been a finalist for numerous international prizes, including the Melita Hume Poetry Prize (2012) and the Hong Kong University's Poetry Prize (2010).
Rules:
  • Each poet can submit up to two poems (no more than 80 lines long each).
  • Poems must be previously unpublished. 
  • Entry is free.
Closing date:
  • 15 September 2014
Prizes:
  • First: £50, Second: £30, Third: £15, Highly Commended (up to 5): £10 each. (Payable through Paypal.)
  • All winning poems (including the highly recommended ones) will receive first publication in a special section in the Seventh Anniversary Issue of Cha, due out in November/December 2014.
The prizes were generously donated by an expat reader residing in Hong Kong.
Submission:
  • Submissions should be sent to t@asiancha.com with the subject line "Reconciliation".
  • Poems must be sent in the body of the email.
  • Please also include a short biography of no more than 30 words.
Previous Cha contests:



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