Manifesto, or: Hysteria - Catherine Chen

Manifesto, or: Hysteria - Catherine Chen

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Release: August 26th, 2019
44 Pages
5.8” x 8.3”
Ltd. Edition of 100

Manifesto, or: Hysteria is a living, breathing cyborg of a chapbook and it will reach into your soul and hold you in its mirrored reality. Through hybrid-genre fever dreams & memories of childhood longing, Chen creates a world of simultaneous loneliness and limitless possibility. It is here that we begin to create the self. Manifesto, or: Hysteria is an invocation, a story of queer awakening, kinship, and lineage both within the space of the book and beyond its pages.

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“Catherine Chen’s astonishing Manifesto, or: Hysteria presents an incompleteness masquerading as both question and statement. What makes Chen’s work so compelling, even prophetic, is its acceptance of this incompleteness while refusing to stop witnessing, experiencing, and remembering. The result is a poetry of disjuncture, with wisdoms akin to detachment, but far more persistent, maddening, and provocative.”

Ryka Aoki, author of Seasonal Velocities and He Mele a Hilo

These poems are a catalogue of thoughts and logic that one must traverse when faced with the task of surviving this world, surviving with a self intact. The desperation of survival brings cause for the existence of such words as “hysteria,” but Catherine sees these words and adorns them while, in turn, refusing the intention of those that spun them. These poems are the paradoxes, both the truths and the half truths that bubble in the speaker’s body—a body that the world wants to diagnose, gender, and limit.”

Bernard Ferguson, winner of the 2019 92Y Discover Contest

“In turns, arch and poignant, Catherine Chen dissects the many facets of sanity in Manifesto, or: Hysteria. Chen's poetry refuses confinement while honing in with delicious precision on emotion and experience, while toggling between the physical and technological, the amorphous and concrete. Did I also mention that she's funny? It's true---somehow, while interrogating questions of isolation or madness, Chen will throw out a one-liner that will stopper your expectations, conjuring a chuckle. All in all, a kaleidoscopic, expansive collection.”

Nina Li Coomes, author of Haircut Poems (dancing girl press)