The Fish and the Dove


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Thu, 09/24/2020 - 11:00am to 11:30am
The Fish and the Dove

"In The Fish & The Dove, Mary-Kim Arnold’s lyrical scope sweeps across intersecting terrains, moving through time to capture the history of occupation and legacy war in Korea, through the delicate tethers between biological mother, adoptive mother, motherland and daughter, and through the permeable membranes which exist between person and place; here, we follow an adopted Korean-born speaker from “American Girlhood” through womanhood and motherhood, witnessing what it means to be a woman in this world. “No war is forgotten to those who lived through it,” Arnold writes, and with this fiercely tender offering, she lays bare multiple wars: ones between countries, in memory, within a family, as well as the ones between women and men. When in war, “[o]ne must choose sides, it seems,” but Arnold deftly occupies both sides through careful vigilance–she looks forward, she looks back, keeping careful watch for menace. At the core of this collection is the legendary Semiramis who, born from an Assyrian goddess, married an Assyrian king, ruling his empire after his death in a time when a female ruler was unthinkable. Through persona and self-portraiture, as well as found language, Arnold has masterfully crafted a searing account of personal history unflinchingly situated within fraught contexts. “[T]ime is a robe stitched through with ash” that Arnold keeps “trying to shake off.” And it is an astonishing sight to behold."--Diana Khoi Nguyen


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