Saturday, April 15, 2006


"Founded in the United States of America in June of 2005, is a non-profit Internet-based site created to share poems by Asian poets from the U.S. as well as from all around the world. Our mission is to encourage and strengthen Asian poets to share their poetic works or art and have their brilliant gifts discovered." -

"One does not need to be the greatest of poets andwriters to be in the "spotlight." Anyone who strives to be the best they can be as a writer and poet will be recognized and acknowledged." -Mor X. Chang,

There are many things to like about First, it accepts submissions not only from Asians and Asian-Americans but from individuals of all races and ethnicities. Second and related, its policy of open submissions maximizes inclusivity by not imposing a fixed idea of what "Asian-American poetry" is, thus leaving this important question open. Third, it has attracted a diverse array of poets from different ethnicities, particularly southeast and south Asian-American poets. Fourth, it does not arrange poets or poems into any kind of artificial hierarchy.

But perhaps most importantly, provides a great online repository for poems being written today by various Asian-American and non Asian-American poets. I think of it as "primary source material," as I learned the term in elementary school, in the sense that it contains useful documents from the original sources, i.e., the poets, unfiltered by a secondary source.

For me, there is a certain innocence to the site, because it recaptures the egalitarian ideal -- imagined though perhaps never really existing -- that there is a place for everyone's poems (an egalitarian ideal that remains strong in poetry but is captured maliciously by "vanity" publishers that make people pay exorbitant prices for their anthologies). In essence, works at least partly by filling a void left by the commodification of poetry, which has its own set of positive uses but does largely exclude poets who do not want to go through the traditional submission/publication process. The brilliance of resides in its fostering of an inclusive community.


Blogger Lee Herrick said...

thanks for this post, roger. it's a really nice site, and mor (the founder) has done a great job with it/ keeping it high quality and open to all.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Yeah, I really think that it offers something unique and important to the online poetry world.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Bryan Thao Worra said...

Well- I know that Mor has put in a lot of hard work on the site and in trying to do outreach to the community while also managing the day to day things. I'm glad that it's out there, and hopefully, it will expand even further in the future. But sites like this don't thrive without an active community committing itself to the idea that poetry can and should matter to us.

7:55 PM  
Blogger Roger Pao said...

Yes, I think it's cool that poets of all races and backgrounds have been submitting to Mor's site, and the more poets/readers, the better.

5:06 PM  

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