"Something of a Proverb on Luck"
We love collaborating with local artists, and this month we had the opportunity to work with not one, but two artists for a capsule collection: Dinosaur Hampton and Su Hwang.
Our March 2018 release is a collection of four vintage denim jackets, each embroidered with an excerpt from Hwang's poem "Something of a Proverb on Luck". Each jacket stands on its own while being part of a whole.
Hwang's Artist Statement:
Su Hwang is an award-winning poet currently based in Minneapolis. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, raised in New York, and lived in San Francisco before transplanting to the Midwest to attend the University of Minnesota, where she received an MFA in Poetry. You can read more about her work at suhwang.com.
She is co-founder of Poetry Asylum along with award-winning poet Sun Yung Shin, whose third book Unbearable Splendor won the 2017 Minnesota Books Award and was a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award, among other accolades that can be found at sunyungshin.com.
Poetry Asylum creates diverse platforms outside privileged spaces to bring poetry to traditionally marginalized communities through open dialogue, innovation, collaboration, and advocacy. In recognition of the urgencies of our political moment, Poetry Asylum aims to provide refuge for underrepresented voices by celebrating the expansive field of language and expression in all its forms. Please follow Poetry Asylum on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for more information. The website, thisispoetryasulum.com should be up and running by the end of March 2018.
Su Hwang + Poetry Asylum's collaboration with Benjamin Kelly of Dinosaur Hampton is thanks to poet extraordinaire Sierra DeMulder. The poem selected for this project with Hazel & Rose, "Something of a Proverb on Luck", opens up Hwang's debut poetry collection titled BODEGA. Using the metaphor of an urban, communal space, she explores the intersectionality of race, identity, im/migration, sacrifice, and marginalization within marginalized communities from the lens of a coming-of-age story. BODEGA has been a finalist with Pleiades Press, Noemi Press,and BOAAT -- and is being considered by Coffee House Press and Milkweed Editions for publication.
"Something of a Proverb on Luck" was first inspired by having to sketch my hand for a drawing class. A close study of an open palm reveals the "threads" that connect and bind us -- despite the fact that borders are closing and walls are being erected to separate and alienate other humans around the world. I wanted to highlight that humans, inside and out, are the same -- that "we are all blood, guts, and wants". The poem was partly influenced by Shakespeare's famous line: If you prick us, do we not bleed. The second half of the poem is then looking at the hand made into a fist as an act of resistance and power -- but also recognizing that we are just one small facet of our natural world and that magic, beauty, joy, and peace already exist if we look closely enough.