Crevasse by Nicholas Wong
Crevasse, Hong Kong–based writer Nicholas Wong's newest collection of poetry, which won the 2016 Lamda Literary Award, starts with an epigraph from Maurice Merleau-Ponty that notes the impossibility of observing one's own physical body and, therefore, the necessity of a "second," "unobservable" body from which to view one's own. The poems in Crevasse seek to uncover the thread connecting these mutually observed and observing bodies. Like Samuel Beckett and others before him, Wong has deliberately chosen to write in a non-native language—English, his second language after Cantonese. Freed from the assumptions and conventions of his mother tongue, Wong strips down, interrogates and ultimately reorients the fragmented complexities of the multiple communities he inhabits—queer, Asian, poet, reader, lover—in a collection of poems that exposes the gap between familiarity and the inevitable distance of the body.