Literature & literary studies:

More Than Mere Light


Paperback / softback

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More Than Mere Light by Jason Koo
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Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. "No one has written a finer, stranger, more enjoyably various and intelligent long poem than Jason's Koo's 'No Longer See, ' the central poem in his splendid new book, MORE THAN MERE LIGHT. Schuyler and Knausgaard, Proust and Ashbery, to name just a few, meld into a poetic performance that is joyfully bent, and as gloriously funny as it is self-castigating. Underscoring all this is a sorrowing sense of self that can't shake free of time--time as it drags or stops or flies during romance and sex and the passage from domestic happiness to failure, and as it marks off the progress of a poetry and a life coming into its full, vital strength. With a cool-eyed detachment from his own drama, Koo has written a book that is unforgettable in its candor, its disabused self-knowledge, and its generosity of spirit."--Tom Sleigh "This book is about falling, a lot. There are good falls and uncomfortable falls and quiet falls and in-between falls and falling in and out of love with other people and yourself--as Koo aptly writes, 'That was a falling.' Koo is brilliant at mastering the often anxious way we talk to ourselves in our heads, as a way to recall moments and construct memories, justify behavior to oneself, and explore the roles of gender dynamics and sexuality within a world full of distractions in an often strange modern technological landscape. Throughout the collection, Koo is wonderfully narrative, bringing us into the speaker's world, full of jazz and biking and Brooklyn and girlfriends and students and conversations with both an overload of self-consciousness and a lack of it all at the same time ('What's okay, okay?'). The speaker's unabashed ability to be excessive while also having the reader rely on silence, on what isn't told, creates a captivating world for the reader to explore--and most importantly, see themselves fully immersed in as they navigate their own bizarre lives and landscapes. Read it over and over and over again, so you can, as Koo says, drop back 'against the light.'"--Joanna C. Valente

Author Biography

Born in New York city and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Jason Koo is the author of three full-length collections of poetry: MORE THAN MERE LIGHT, AMERICA'S FAVORITE POEM and MAN ON EXTREMELY SMALL ISLAND, winner of the De Novo Poetry Prize and the Asian American Writers' Workshop Members' Choice Award for the best Asian American book of 2009. He is also the author of the chapbook Sunset Park and coeditor of the BROOKLYN POETS ANTHOLOGY. He has published his poetry and prose in the American Scholar, Missouri Review, Village Voice and Yale Review, among other places, and won fellowships for his work from the National Endowment for the Arts, Vermont Studio Center and New York State Writers Institute. An assistant teaching professor of English at Quinnipiac University, Koo is the founder and executive director of Brooklyn Poets and creator of the Bridge ( He lives in Brooklyn.
Release date Australia
June 12th, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
Prelude Books
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