From the Publisher
The fifth Tinfish Retro Chapbook in a year-long series, Margaret Rhee’s Yellow is at once sexy and statistical, playful and critical. There are lists and lyrics and a closing index, which points to the full range of her concerns: gender, transgender, race, sex and sexuality. While Rhee lists Audre Lorde, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Adrienne Rich under the category of “Women Warrior Poets,” she might include herself among them. Yellow, despite the negative connotation of the word, is a courageous piece of writing.
Purchase Yellow/노란 /노랑/ Yellow here.
Reviews and writing on Yellow/노란 /노랑/ Yellow
“In the title poem, Rhee’s ligatures of “yellow” and “yolk,” “yellow” and “net,” “yellow” and “butter,” “yellow” and “cunt,” “yellow” and “other” become single gestures, single imprints…Rhee ties a suture around the color yellow until it stains everything that comes into contact with it.” – Jai Arun Ravine
Published by: Lantern Review: A Journal of Asian American Poetry
“Margaret Rhee’s chapbook is about being Korean American (as well as about being queer). In the opening poem, “Nectarines,” she writes about the (unmarked) hyphen between Korean and American as being like a nectarine, half one organism and half another. As we find out in the poem, the nectarine was developed by two Korean brothers, the Kims. She then poses a racist statement by Jack London (who is always good for such insults) against the words of Terry Hong: “I consider myself Korean and American. A Korean American is a hybrid product of / both the U.S. And Korean countries and cultures.” According to her biography at the back, Rhee is a hybrid poet-scholar, as well. She “writes poetry in the morning, teaches ethnic lit in the afternoon, and researches race, gender, and sexuality at night.” Hence her “hybrid” might be said to encompass the categories of Asian American and experimental poet, bringing together the two halves of the reception of Dictee.” – Susan M. Schultz
Short review by Rob Mclennan
“Kāne’ohe HI: The fifth in Tinfish’s monthly “Retro Series” of chapbooks (check here for my review of some of the previous in the same series) is Yellow by Margaret Rhee, a wonderful mix of sound and image. As she writes in the last stanza of the poem “Nectarines,” “My parents made love sometime in the year of 1983. I was born in the Hollywood hospital. I have dad’s / mouth & mom’s eyes. I’m a crossbreed. Or a hybrid. Magnificent mixed breed. Am I a nectarine?” I love the mix and mash of this, the stylistic variety in such a small space, and wonder what she might be able to do on a larger canvas. Who is this Margaret Rhee, and is there a trade collection of some sort on the horizon?” – Rob Mclennan