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Village of Knives

Helli Fang's Village of Knives dives headfirst into harrowing poems that call forth the experiences of Asian American identity and generational tension. 

“Train-sounds, dew-sounds, sounds from the hair, prayerful sounds and python sounds, fish market then mooncake sounds, sounds of falling into water, sounds of rising from fire—these are the sounds of Village of Knives, a collection that speaks through how much, how closely and imaginatively it listens. The poems here listen to immigrant life and dream, to gendered expectation and subversion, to desire, to the body’s surging, briny rhythms. This is a poet who understands the power of paring away the noise to zero in on the music: ‘How we turned off all the lights in the house / & fell to our knees / just to hear the sound of bone.’”

— Chen Chen, author of When I Grow Up I Want to be a List of Further Possibilities

“Fierce and full of teeth, these poems are living creatures that will eat you alive. Helli Fang crafts each surprising image with care and incisiveness, pr obing the past and its living lineage of violence, migration, and love. Village of Knives is razor-sharp and lyrical,full of language that is both divine and bodily, grief-ridden and ecstatic. These poems give us a new and necessary vocabulary for displacement, diasporic desire, and daughterhood. Fang reminds us that language is a weapon and a refuge, a site of resistance and memory and regeneration. Her words reach for the light beyond loss.”

— K-Ming Chang, author of Past Lives, Future Bodies

Cover Artist: Sam Alden

Cover Designer: Sally Franckowiak

Helli Fang is an undergraduate student at Bard College. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diode, The Margins, Salt Hill, The Adroit Journal, DIALOGIST, Columbia Journal, Blueshift Journal, Wildness, and more, and has been recognized by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Columbia College of Chicago, and Bennington College. She has also participated in programs such as Iowa Young Writer’s Workshop, The Adroit Mentorship Program, and The Speakeasy Project. Currently, she works as the communications intern for Kundiman. When Helli is not writing, she enjoys playing the violin and climbing trees.

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