Janine Joseph Driving Without a License

ISBN 13: 9781938584183

Driving Without a License

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9781938584183: Driving Without a License

* Winner of the 2014 Kundiman Poetry Prize* Profiled in The Los Angeles Times * Finalist for the 2017 Oklahoma Book Award (Poetry)* Longlisted for the 2016 Julie Suk Award* Named an "11 Immigrant Authors Who Are Transforming Literature" title in Bustle magazine. * Named an "Immigrant Authors are Making American Literature Great Again: 12 of the Best Books of 2016" title in Vice magazine* Named an "Editors' Picks for Best Books of 2016: title by Pleiades journal
* Late Night Library's August 2016 Book Club Selection
* Featured on NBC News' list of emerging Asian-American writers to read
* Featured as a "Top Poetry Pick" and "Don't-Miss" poetry title by Library Journal 
* Featured as a must-read book for 2016 by Brooklyn Magazine
The best way to hide is in plain sight. In this politically-charged and candid debut, we follow the chronicles of an undocumented immigrant speaker from the Philippines over a twenty-year span as she grows up in the foreign and forbidding landscape of America.
"It stands far apart from most first books, and from most books of autobiographical or narrative poetry, for the unpredictable vigor in its rhythmically irregular lines, especially in its depictions of youthful adventures." -- Steph Burt, The Los Angeles Times
"Through her variety of lines, of old and new forms, and of voices adopted and inhabited, Joseph, herself Filipina-American, does justice to the raw emotions around immigration with verve." -- Publishers Weekly
"As she guides us through constant fearfulness...and unimaginable hurt...Joseph blends everyday anxieties with deeper ones, avoiding outright reportage for smarter inflection. The tensions of visiting the immigration lawyer's office, for instance, are seen in the mad drive away. VERDICT: A gifted writer's view on an all-American issue." -- Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal From "Ivan, Always Hiding":
 
I strained for the socket
as you pulled me,
bare legs against your legs
 
in the windowless dark. The room,
snuffed out,
 
could have been no
larger than a freight car,
no smaller than a box van;
 
we couldn't tell anymore, the glints
in the shellacked floor, too,
 
were dulled. This is like death, you said,
always joking. I slid my head
into the crook of your neck,
 
and didn't disagree.JANINE JOSEPH was born and raised in the Philippines and Southern California. Her poems and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Best New Poets, Best American Experimental Writing, Zocalo Public Square, the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. Her commissioned libretti for the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco include What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline, "On This Muddy Water": Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, and From My Mother's Mother. She holds an MFA from New York University and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston, where she was a poetry editor for Gulf Coast. Janine is an Asisstant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.

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About the Author:

JANINE JOSEPH was born and raised in the Philippines and Southern California. Her poems and essays have appeared in Kenyon Review Online, Best New Poets, Best American Experimental Writing, Zócalo Public Square, the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. Her commissioned libretti for the Houston Grand Opera/HGOco include What Wings They Were: The Case of Emeline, "On This Muddy Water": Voices from the Houston Ship Channel, and From My Mother's Mother. Janine holds an MFA from New York University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Houston, where she was a poetry editor for Gulf Coast. She has taught creative writing with Writers in the Schools, Community~Word Project, and the Starworks Foundation. A recipient of a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, an Inprint/Barthelme Fellowship in Poetry, a Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Fellowship for Collaboration Among the Arts, a PAWA Manuel G. Flores Prize, a Howard Nemerov Poetry Scholarship, and an Academy of American Poets prize, Janine is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University.

Review:

"These poems create a disquieting narrative of American immigration, one in which an undocumented young woman from the Philippines hides in plain sight among the pizza places and schoolyards of Southern California, surrounded by opportunity, risk and threat. Joseph's sensibility is as psychological as it is political, reminding us that concealment is more than a physical act; it is also a profoundly disruptive emotional and psychological position, one that informs not just the speaker's sense of the world, but her sense of her self. Brilliantly crafted and intimate, Driving without a License complicates the narrative of American immigration, creating from it a poetry of beauty and empathy."  -- Kevin Prufer

"Janine Joseph writes with an open and easy intimacy. The language here is at once disruptive and familiar, political and sensual, and tinged by the melancholy of loss and the discomforting radiance of redemption. A strong debut."  -- Chris Abani

"We've never read a book like Janine Joseph's, Driving without a License. By "We" I mean all of us. With its ferocious formal range and deep compassion Joseph shows us the world we all live in but often choose to ignore. Here are the lives of mothers and fathers, teenagers and grandparents, all living under the threat of deportation. Here are people making a new home while holding onto the dignity and beauty of the place that they were once from. Joseph is that rare poet who makes a poem that devastates a reader while being entirely free from judgment. These are political poems because simply being alive in the United States is a political act. These are narrative poems because everyone has a story. At the heart of each poem is the lyric, that moment in which there is no separation between ourselves and the world Joseph lets bloom. This makes us citizens of these poems, which is a testament to Joseph's staggering grace."  -- Gabrielle Calvocoressi

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