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Praise for Having a Coke With Godzilla:
What a progressive and transformative path Kazumi Chin clears in his debut collection, Having A Coke With Godzilla. With feminism, empathy, and solidarity, Chin’s poems assert at every turn that they weren’t made on their own. Poems like “Camp” and “With Lines From Stephanie, Kelly, Matt, Cam & Kim,” reveal a speaker who recognizes the lives and struggles of women and their allies as his struggles, too. Humor and defiance are at work in these poems that charm with humor and metaphor, but make plain their adversaries: “you’ve lived / your whole life taking away land and time / and wages and security and dignity… / yelling at people you don’t really see….” From Ariana Grande to the speaker’s beloved Michelle, these poems don’t flinch in their expressions of affinity and tenderness. They are love letters to the future, really, redefining what American masculinity can be. Even the poet’s grandmother-given name, is a testament to this change: “Kazu for peace… / “Mi, as in me, we, the river, the ocean, / endless. And she, the beauty / inside me.”
– Yona Harvey
These poems by Kazumi Chin learn to create intimacy and connection in the age of social media. They embrace the consumption of pop culture and reflect back how this country is experienced by those who are marginalized and oppressed. They understand history, the work of ancestry, but sit in the here and now, inside the dearth and speed of information and reaches out its hand. And in there may be a certain sadness but moreso a certain hope.
– Jason Bayani
Kazumi Chin is a genius.
– Bhanu Kapil