Silent Anatomies: 2014 Kore Press First Book Winner Selected by Joy Harjo

Silent Anatomies: 2014 Kore Press First Book Winner Selected by Joy Harjo


, poetry, Poetry, Art

Monica Ong investigates cultural silences that shape the medical-emotional landscape of family diaspora, extending from China to the Philippines and North America. Her collection of image-poems juxtaposes diagram and diary, bearing witness to underrepresented histories of the body. Created as an assemblage of poetry, archive, and medical ephemera, it unpacks silence not only as the absence of language, but also as historical erasure, the loss of cultural memory, reconstructed truths, and ghosted identities. Writing in the voice of Medica, a daughter and witness, Ong questions the social hierarchies and gender roles of her upbringing, particularly their impact on women’s health-seeking habits across generations. X-ray scans and anatomical drawings are rewritten to map identity and elegy, taking us to emotional landscapes in otherwise clinical spaces. Another series of apothecary bottles seeks to remedy anxieties about gender, race, and even mental illness, drawing from a fusion of multicultural folklore and belief. With this experimental debut, Ong invites readers into her complex lineage, much of it fading, with the remains collected here as documentation of nomadic heritage, resilience, and quiet devotion.

Title:Silent Anatomies: 2014 Kore Press First Book Winner Selected by Joy Harjo
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    Silent Anatomies: 2014 Kore Press First Book Winner Selected by Joy Harjo Reviews

  • Patty Enrado

    This collection is gorgeous, innovative, visually stunning, heartbreaking, and more. The stories, the narratives, are as seductive and fascinating as they are astonishing and heartbreaking. I wanted t...

  • Allison Church

    each poem was a new challenge to figure out. my mind never stopped working and it was worth it to understand these captivating stories that reflect a culture so few take the time to consider in today'...

  • Susan

    Silent Anatomies by Monica Ong is a deeply personal, illustrated collection of poetry which explores family history, race and gender within an Asian national context (“fa-ther-land, fas-cism, fas-ci...

  • Janel Brubaker

    There are some poetry books that you have to read more than once. Not because they're too complicated or because you didn't get them the first time; rather, the book carries in its pages so many visce...

  • Riah

    This is a piece that needs to be appreciated. Because it is so short, a re-read is essential. I love the premise. I love the art. There are gorgeous phrases. I struggled to connect with it, but that w...

  • Andy Marin Contreras

    This book pushed me as a poet to expand my work. It reminds us that there are limitless ways in how we can express emotions and tell stories. This collection is vulnerable and visceral while welcoming...