Twenty-one years after Kaya Press first published Sesshu Foster’s City Terrace Field Manual, a powerful collection of prose poems that map the East Los Angeles neighborhood of Foster’s childhood, comes a new collection of poetry and prose that takes on gentrification, modernization and globalization, as told from the same corner of this rapidly changing metropolis.
These poems are, in the poet’s words: “Postcards written with ocotillo and yucca. Gentrification of your face inside your sleep. Privatization of identity, corners, and intimations. Wars on the nerve, colors, breathing. Postcard poems of early and late notes, mucilage, American loneliness. Postcard poems of slopes, films of dust and crows. Incarceration nation ‘Wish You Were Here’ postcards 35 cents emerge from gentrified pants. You can’t live like this. Postcards sent into the future. You can’t live here now; you must live in the future, in the City of the Future.”
Poet, teacher and community activist Sesshu Foster (born 1957) was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He earned his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and returned to LA to continue teaching, writing and community organizing. His third collection of poetry, World Ball Notebook (2009), won an American Book Award and an Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. Foster is the author of the speculative-fiction novel Atomik Aztex (2005), which won the Believer Book Award and imagines an America free of European colonizers.