筷子1

Isabella Wang

  [1] chopsticks    an expression of the heart and determination
                               arrives in pairs[2]

                 []      semantic     heart
                             phonetic     determination

                               radical  𥫗      bamboo

                  the heart hurries      to light incense
                                    prays        for another’s week of rain / year of harvest /gentle flood
                       every morsel       motivated by determination and pleasure in one’s daily work
                         we collected       rain in a pot
                  served each day      fresh on a bed of steamed plain noodles / sesame oil
                       spring onions      diced
                      the chopsticks      were our ancestors’          way of turning over morsel
                         after morsel       of soil      we called           home
                       the invention       of the speed of bamboo scrambles in the hands of the young
                          determined       to serve the elders who fed them first

  [2]              learning to use      chopsticks is a lot like riding the bicycle
                                       both      muscle memory
                               meaning      the origins of the human need
    for  feeding / sustenance
     / salt       and movement       (in select cases)
                                 are one and the same

Note: With thanks to Doyali Islam for inspiring me with her unique innovations with the rupturing of the poetic form in Heft (McLelland & Stewart 2020).

Isabella Wang stands on a rope swing in front of a field of sunflowers. She is smiling and wears a woven hat.

To celebrate the publication of issue 44.1 Growing Room, we’re delighted to share a poem by the 2020 Growing Room Literary & Arts Festival Youth Engagement Coordinator, Isabella Wang. Isabella worked hard to coordinate our youth reading held at Massy Books, one of the only events that was able to occur before the cancellation of the festival due to COVID-19. Isabella’s enthusiasm for supporting and uplifting emerging young writers is inspiring, and she’s also a brilliant writer and poet in her own right. You can read more from our amazing contributors by ordering the issue online, and watch this space as we share more content from contributors to the Growing Room 44.1 issue all throughout the month of March.

Isabella Wang is the author of two poetry collections, On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019) and Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions forthcoming fall 2021). She has been shortlisted for The Malahat Review’s Far Horizon’s Poetry Contest, Minola Review’s Inaugural Poetry Contest, and shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies, including Watch Your Head (Coach House Books, Ed. Kathryn Mockler). She is the Editor for issue 44.2 of Room magazine.

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ROOM 45.2 TIPPING POINT
Edited by Lue Palmer
Assistant Edited by Micah Killjoy
Shadow Edited by Ruchika Gothoskar and Omi Rodney

In This Issue: Eberechukwu Peace Akadinma, N.B., Manahil Bandukwala, Chief Lady Bird, Myriam J.A. Chancy, .chisaraokwu., Michelle Contant, Morgan Cross, Jaki Eisman, Ava Fathi, Maria Ford, Jennifer A. Goddard, Michelle Good, Ruchika Gothoskar, Jonsaba Jabbi, Sneha Subramanian Kanta, Micah Killjoy, Moe Kirkpatrick, Lydia Kwa, Margo LaPierre, karen lee, Lynn Hutchinson Lee, Y.S. Lee, Annick MacAskill, Kama La Mackerel, Sarah McPherson, Michie Mee, Zoë Mills, Lue Palmer, Emily Riddle, Alana Rigby, Omi Rodney, Edythe Rodriguez, Victoria Spence Naik, Unimke Ugbong, Nadia Van, semillites hernandez velasco, Dr. Njoki Wane, Yilin Wang, Jenny Heijun Wills, Lacey Yong, Dr. Rachel Zellars, Zhang Qiaohui

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ROOM 45.1, Ancestors
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In This Issue: Yasmine Ameli, Manahil Bandukwala, Elena Bentley, Meagan Berlin, Serena Lukas Bhandar, Emily Chan, Kathy Crabbe, Asheda Dwyer, francesca ekwuyasi, Mercedes Eng, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Juliette Blake Jacob, Jessica Jane Khuu, Melissa Kuipers, Holly Lam, Arshiya Malik, Samantha Martin-Bird, Victoria Mbabazi, Nicole Nanayaa M’Carthy, Erin McGregor, Kristin Michelle, Zamina Mithani, Haley Montgomery, Mridula Morgan, Tiffany Morris, Madalyn Murray, Sofia Navarro, Faith Paré, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Maryam Rafiee, Deepa Rajagopalan, Remy Ramirez, Romila, Trish Salah, Jane Shi, jessica ainsli todd, Sara Truuvert, Maneesa Veeravel, Anne Walk, Syrus Marcus Ware, Adrienne Weiss, Evelyn C. White

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