The AACP Newsletter
Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. - Books for All Ages
Since 1970 January 2006
Editor's Notes
Event Schedule
Featured Books
Featured Articles/Editorials
AACP's January 2006
Poetry Selection

A Book Review of
Paper Son: One Man's Story

Poems by AACP
Our staff's Annual Attempt at Writing Poetry
Newsletter Home Page
Printable Newsletter
AACP's January 2006 Poetry Selection
The following poems are copyrighted and are used with permission from the authors.
From the book Full Deck (Jokers playing)
by Oscar Peņaranda
(Guest speaker at AACP's upcoming poetry event)

Alarm Clock
The distant drone of buses
in the half-light of morning
the banshee howling of Bart trains
rounding the bend of metal rails

the thud of the nextdoor neighbor's
footsteps getting up, scurrying
again for another day
the smells of sweetness in the new-born morn
the nudge of humans sleeping
teeth grinding, mouth and lungs coughing
the sighs of unwanted waking-
protests of the reluctant riser-

to be alive once more
and startled
by life.

From the book Circle
By Victoria Chang

Man in the White Truck
Each night your newly learned tricks,
an infinite pit of don't call, don't write, call,

don't write, don't call, just write. Each dusk
I splurge, fill empty flasks, spend money

I don't have, eat donuts I don't need.
I am stalling on a stool at a coffee shop,

Having what the next table thinks is boring shrimp
and cocktail talk with you. Or perhaps

I am in your truck, cutting air, an underbelly
of an aluminum can. How orange the earth is there,

so extraordinarily fire. And I wonder
why I am not on your list of the ten most stolen,

welding my dress into a prison. Some say
you have no heart, but it is beating you to death.

Editor's Message

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year! It's been a pretty busy month since our last newsletter.

New Book and Book Release Celebration
We've just received a shipment of our latest publication "In Good Conscience." The book tells the altruistic stories of individuals who assisted Japanese American that were interned during World War II.

We'll have a longer description of the book in our February newsletter. For now, if you are curious about the book and or would like to join the book release celebration (see our schedule for time and place), just give us a call (800-874-2242) or drop by the store, and we'll fill you in on the details.

Poetry In San Mateo Day
A Beginning of the Year Poetry Celebration
We've been working hard at straightening up our facility for this event. Moving all the cases of In Good Conscience was quite a chore. So please come and join us this Sat. January 14th at 1pm.

Authors Oscar Peņaranda, Hiroshi Kashiwagi, and Cynthia Chin-Lee will be on hand. Plus we've added Professor Maciko Conway, a poet and instructor of Japanese language and calligraphy, to our list. Professor Conway was a member of the Ginushisha poetry club in Hilo. This is the same poetry club that Kurenai Hongo, author of our poetry book Petals of the Vanda, belonged to.

Prof. Conway will be reciting Tanka in Hyaku Nin-Isshu (classic Japanese poem form). Also she will be singing Shigin (poetry singing) "Fujisan"(Mt Fuji).

On Dec. 29, 2005, activist and author
Tsuyako "Sox" Kitashima passed away. AACP helped publish Ms. Kitashima's book Birth of an Activist. Thank you for your many years of service to the community.

Thank you Sophie and Nicole for your help moving books. Thanks to all the writers that contributed poems to this months newsletter. Unfortunately, we don't have a winner for our poetry contest. We didn't receive any non-professional entries from non-AACP affiliated individuals. Don't be bashful, I'm sure many of you can write better poetry than us at AACP. So next year we really want to see some of your works.

Leonard Chan
Executive Editor

Up Coming Events

Here are some events that AACP will soon be attending.
Invite us to your events.
Jan. 14
Poetry In San Mateo Day
A Beginning of the Year Poetry Celebration
529 E. 3rd Ave.
San Mateo, CA
Feb. 4
Book Release Celebration of
In Good Conscience
San Francisco, CA
Feb. 19
San Mateo JACL
Day of Remembrance Event
Film will be shown at 6pm
College of San Mateo
San Mateo, CA
Feb. 19
The 26th Annual San Jose
Day of Remembrance 2006
Stand Up for Justice
Betsuin Buddhist Church
640 N 5th St.
San Jose, CA
Mar. 3-5 California Council for the Social Studies Conference Town & Country Inn
San Diego, CA
Mar. 5 Chinese New Year's Celebration Stockton Civic Aud.
525 N. Center St.
Stockton, CA
Mar. 11-12 Reading the World VIII USF
2350 Turk Blvd.
San Francisco, CA
Other Event of Interest that AACP May Not Attend
Jan. 21
Hiroshi Kashiwagi Reading and Book Signing Western Addition Branch Library
San Francisco, CA
Jan. 29
Vietnamese Spring Festival & Parade
Parade 11am-1pm
Parkside Hall
180 Park Ave.
San Jose, CA
Jan. 21-
Feb. 12
Chinese New Year
Celebration Events in SF
San Francisco, CA
Feb. 11
Chinese New Year Parade San Francisco, CA
Mar. 4-5 Marysville
Bok Kai Festival
3rd & D St.
Marysville, CA

Give Us Your Feedback

Please feel free to send us your reviews, comments, and book suggestions. You can contact us at -

A Book Review of
Paper Son: One Man's Story
By Tung Pok Chin with Winifred C. Chin

Review by Leonard D. Chan

In researching our October 2005 newsletter article on McCarthyism and its effects on the Asian American community, I discovered an interesting story of how one Chinese American poet burned hundreds of copies of his poetry in fear that they could be discover by government agents. That poet was Tung Pok Chin.

When I found out that Tung Pok Chin had an autobiography, entitled "Paper Son," I thought I'd check it out to see if it was something that AACP should carry.

Paper Son reminded me of my parent's generation's lament that the younger generations of Asian Americans cannot comprehend the hardships that they had to endure. Having read a number of autobiographies and biographies of Asian American that came before me, Paper Son reaffirms the notion that we are lucky to have not gone through what they had experienced.

Paper Son reveals Tung Pok Chin's personal life and hardships. It starts with his impoverished life in China and continues on to his entry into the US as an illegal immigrant (paper son status). His marginal existence in the laundry business and broken first

marriage resulting from years of separation reveals a life experience that was probably common to many Chinese that lived in America in the first half of the twentieth century.

The lesser-known Chinese American experience, which is exposed by this book, is the communist witch-hunts of the 1950 and 60s. Chin tells of how his family and friends were questioned, watched, and searched for many years, even after the McCarthy era had ended. What brought on this governmental scrutiny were Chin's poetry pieces for a blacklisted Chinese newspaper.

Tung Pok Chin's life story is reminiscent of the life of Filipino poet Carlos Bulosan who chronicled his life in the classic autobiography "America is in the Heart." Both of these individuals immigrated to the United States during the depression era and both lived hard lives as laborers. The inspirational part of their stories was how they both persevered to have lives as poets and writers.

At this time when AACP is trying to promote new Asian Pacific American poets and their writings, it's good to be featuring a book on one of our community's pioneering poets.

Poems by AACP
If You Think They Qualify

These are also copyrighted. If you really want to reuse them, let us know. It will help our egos :).

The following is our annual AACP staffs' attempt at writing Haiku. This year we've included two attempts at writing Tanka poetry. Tanka poetry is an ancient Japanese poetry form written in 31 syllables-5,7,5,7,7.

Here's an excerpt from our poetry book Petals of the Vanda, which describes Tanka.

Tanka captures the fragile quality of beauty and emotion of a particular moment. The poems are true expressions of the heart and are written on the spur of the moment. Thus, Tanka are pure, simple, spontaneous creations, and yet they have a depth of subtle meaning. When too much thought goes into writing a Tanka, it is no longer an expression of the true self, and it is therefore not a true Tanka.

Haiku by Sophie Wong

If it's meant to be,
We will meet again sometime,
In the dream for sure.

Haiku and Tanka by Philip Chin

Enjoying the Moment
Hear the cricket sing
Jump, shout, dance, whirl, twirl, and love
Watch, learn, and enjoy

A New Year
Rain falling, wet floor
An awful year ends again
Worries and troubles
Vision, money, work, love, loss
New Year brings fortune and luck(?)

Haiku and Tanka by Leonard D. Chan

New Year's With Family
Fading rainbows seen
No pot of gold on this day
Good food served instead

The Unknowable
Quiet chilly night
Unfathomable meaning
My head wants to burst
Danger, danger overloaded
Engineers cannot compute

Haiku by Melissa Eng

Asian Pride
Love whispers in air
Cultural mist swirls in snow
Pride amongst us

Kiss, smile, sunshine
White man, embrace me tightly
cultural mixture

Project Yellow-wash
Blossoms soar on land
Eyes, rice, tea, dim sum, chopsticks
We're everywhere.

Here to Stay
Ching, Chong, Chinaman
Not foreign, subordinate
here to stay for good

This Land is Our Land
My land, not my land
History repeats itself.
Chin, Thind, Ozawa


The following books are discounted for subscribers to our newsletter. The discounts on these books end February 5, 2006.

Stone Bow Prayer

By Amy Uyematsu
2005, 121 pages, Paperback.

Amy Uyematsu third poetry book Stone Bow Prayer covers a wide range of topics and styles. There are poems about the language of math, aging and youth, remembrance of childhood, hip hop, September 11th, and many more. Stone Bow Prayer is an engaging and accessible read that even non-poetry readers will have a tough time putting down.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3338, Price $14.00

Beyond the Great Mountains
A Visual Poem About China

By Ed Young
2005, 30 pages, Hardback.

This book, as author and illustrator Ed Young's note in Beyond the Great Mountain describes it, is visual verse. Using paper-collage, Ed Young illustrates an interesting poetic picture of China. Although the cover and size of the book is in children's picture book format, this is probably more suitable for imaginative pre-teens to adults.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3369, Price $17.95


By Victoria Chang
2005, 63 pages, Paperback.

This is Victoria Chang's first complete book of her own poetry. Read author Marianne Villanueva's San Francisco Chronicle's review of Victoria Chang's book. The review includes another one of Victoria's poems (Seven Reasons for Divorce).

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3370, Price $14.95

Asian American Poetry
The Next Generation

Edited by Victoria Chang
2004, 194 pages, Paperback.

As the title suggests, this Asian American poetry anthology highlights works by the latest Asian American poets. For those that are familiar with the "Next Generation" of Asian American poets, a look at the table contents reads like a who's who list. For those less familiar with this generation of poets, this is your chance to become acquainted with some best of them.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3371, Price $19.95

Paper Son
One Man's Story

By Tung Pok Chin with Winifred C. Chin
2000, 147 pages, Paperback.

Note: 2-3 weeks for delivery

See review above.

View Additional Information
ORDER -- Item #3372, Price $22.95

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Asian American Curriculum Project, Inc. (a non-profit organization since 1970)
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