Cut On the Bias
By: Patsy Asuncion
Format: Trade Paperback, 134pp.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
For Patsy Asuncion, professional writing morphed into poetry that was featured in Prevention Magazine and several anthologies: Armadillo, Dead or Alive Poets Society, Anthology Thirty, and Second Monday Muse. Her prize-winning writing has appeared in the VA Writers Club and Miami’s Lip Service, Charlottesville’s Bus Lines, Reckless Writing, National Federation of Poetry Society’s 2013 Encore, The Truth About the Fact, and Female First. She is the recipient of several national and state awards for her poetry. Patsy can be reached at email@example.com. Visit her at www.patasuncion.wix.com/patricia-asuncion and at facebook.com/patricia.asuncion.58. She also has a YouTube Channel: go to Patricia Asuncion or UCi115rl-R04et_XYu70A_Hug.
What reviewers are saying about Cut on the Bias
“This is a bruised beautiful collection of poems that traces the progress of a Filipino-American woman through the American landscape. These poems [show] the reader how fractured the American Dream truly is . . . These are poems bursting with rich succulent imagery . . . a mesmerizing collection of poems.”
Jacqueline Bishop, award-winning photographer/painter/writer, founding editor of Calabash: A Journal of Caribbean Art & Letters
“Poems are containers for chaos. And [Patsy] Asuncion, in Cut on the Bias, fills her poems with chaos by relating the complexities of social and racial dynamics. She unabashedly reassembles joys and losses in deftly arranged word-scenes. Readers will be left wondering where strength ends and love begins.”
John Most, Ph.D., author of What Thoughts, Persephone, Atelier, and Field
“In an age when many poets favor playing around with language over speaking directly and stringing together layers of content, Patricia Asuncion’s work stands apart. . . . [Reader[s]] of these poems will meet a real person, as opposed to an abstract voice, and won’t soon forget her once the book is closed. They will also encounter an authentic poet well-equipped with the skills it takes to break down the barrier between writer and audience.”
Douglas Nordfors, author of Auras and The Fate Motif
“Memories, observations, and echoes of the one woman’s life are woven like threads throughout Patricia Asuncion’s spell-binding poetry collection, Cut on the Bias. The series of primarily confessional works poems, demonstrate the seams of a woman’s world, yet the narrative sense of the poems are collective of stories that grasp much of humankind as a whole. Cut on the Bias introduces the reader to the world the author saw surround her, but didn’t always have the ability to change . . . One can’t help but feel empathy while reading many poems in this collection . . . Cut on the Bias is a collection of confession, but within a handful of poems you will begin to see the story of many, maybe even your own.”
Angela M. Carter, author of Memory Chose a Woman’s Body
“In this collection, Patricia Asuncion blends culture survival with political awareness and poignant emotions. Her work addresses the innermost functions of modern day human existence in a manner that is accessible to readers of all ages and all backgrounds. Cut on the Bias is a true poetic manifesto that emanates echoes of Ginsberg’s Howl and catapults Asuncion into the public eye as one of Virginia’s foremost movers and shakers in poetry.”
Nicole Yurcaba, author of Backwards and Back Words
“Her history, part of a remarkable fabric weave, is also American history. She keenly watches her own memories, taking her past into her present writing. A mistress of trope with her characteristic inner-city syntax and language, you must take in carefully every line of every poem and remember yourself as Patsy gives you every part of herself. And note her choices of form: from traditional to experimental to hip-hop, she does it all.”
Sara Robinson, Southern Writers’ Magazine columnist, author of Two Little Girls in a Wading Pool, Stones for Words, and Sometimes the Little Town
“In Cut on the Bias, Patsy Asuncion exquisitely evokes a wealth of experiences and emotions that leave the reader deeply touched and primed to creatively step out into a kinder world. Gripping, heart-wrenching, inspiring, Patsy’s poems convey a rare depth of feeling and meaning, masterfully crafted.”
Jo Christiane Ledakis, Author of Wild Sea-Salt of Life
“Ms. Asuncion’s Cut on the Bias collection addresses today’s socio-political topics head-on and without apology from a very personal perspective. This work speaks for many blended American cultures somehow caught in the middle of progress and not knowing how to reconcile the variety we love about this country and its people. The heart is encouraged by an uplifting positive fight to survive and succeed in a world of conflicting shades, ages, and technologies.”
Michelle O’Hearn, poet, singer-songwriter, author of three poetry chapbooks and producer of three global music CDs
“Poet Patricia Asuncion uses raw expression with unique style that places the reader inside her mind while reading her works.”
Ras Takura, Reggae Dub Poet, Organizer of Jamaica’s annual Dis Poem Words & Agro Festival
“Part celebration, part protest, part declaration, part elegy, Asuncion’s Cut on the Bias revels in sharing ‘bites of mortality, souvenirs/ of life’s sloppy imperfection’ . . . Cut on the Bias teases and reveals threads of many hues and textures, but all make up contemporary life.”
Stan Galloway, author of Just Married, James River Writers Award, Founder and Host of Bridgewater International Poetry Festival
“In this powerful debut collection, Patricia Asuncion’s poems bravely walk us through a tough Chicago neighborhood, where a half-Filipino girl, abandoned as an infant by her teenage mother, fights to thrive as she creates her life from the scattered threads of her impoverished immigrant family who seldom showed her love . . . In poem after poem, Asuncion’s poetry and fresh imagery take us on an odyssey to find love and acceptance in this world whose dreams seemingly excluded hers . . . Using passionate imagery and deft rhythms, Asuncion leads us through her struggle to overcome poverty, exclusion, racism, a dearth of love. That she triumphs despite all is astonishing. Hers is an American story, the story of immigrants all over the world.”
Pamela Uschuk, author of Crazy Love (American Book Award) and Blood Flower
INTERVIEW WITH PATSY ASUNCION
AUTHOR OF: CUT ON THE BIAS
Please give us a short biography of yourself
I am a grown-up sixties chick with biracial, inner-city roots who used school as a ticket out of poverty. I have had a successful career in public education, from teacher to principal. Upon retirement, my grant and program development skills morphed into the writing of poetry and short stories.
I have been featured in numerous national and international anthologies (including Reckless Writing, Healing Muse, Truth About the Fact, Encore) and online journals (e.g., UK’s Female First). My first poetry collection, Cut on the Bias, is scheduled for publication this year by Laughing Fire Press. I have also presented my work at Miami Soiree, Coral Gables’ Actors Playhouse, Rapunzel’s, Richmond’s Tea for Two, and at Bridgewater’s International Poetry Festival.
I also have the opportunity to promote community diversity through open mic and other arts collaborative initiatives.
When did you start writing?
School was my safe place. I excelled in academic writing (e.g., research) in high school and then in professional writing (e.g., grant and program development). A three-year stint “in my youth” as a singer/dancer and songwriter led me to the writing of poetry decades later.
What writers have influenced your work?
Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Allen Ginsberg, Billy Collins, Natasha Trethewey
What are your writing habits?
I spend at least a few hours most mornings creating, revising (ad nauseum), logging, corresponding. I also notebook minutia in the moment as fodder.
What led you to write Cut on the Bias?
I consider my viewpoint and interaction with the world to be biased by my biracial, inner-city, 1960s vantage point, so this collection reflects this slanted eye.
How did you select the themes of the poems in the book?
I started from a personal perspective, then moved to a familial back story, then to world drama.
How long did it take you to write this book?
Poems from the late 90s during my days with the “Dead or Alive Poets,” from the early millennium years with “Group Ten,” and now from my retirement years have been woven together in this collection, a collection that has been the result of a focused effort over the last three years. I was able to stop myself from revising about six months ago!
What challenges did you face in writing this book? What challenges does writing, in general, present for you?
My familial backstory was the most difficult to write because I wanted to be sensitive to my children and other clan members. Some of my more painful musings were not included.
A persistent writing challenge for me is to be able to balance my sociopolitical research with the art of words. Sometimes I get hung up on facts that distance me from the emotional, impactful words that I need to find.
What impact would you like this book to have on readers?
I wish to provide hope, by personal example, to imperfect people in an imperfect world, that individual actions can make a difference.
How do you think you have evolved as a writer during the process of writing this book?
I am now more skilled at nuanced word selection and more alert to possible writing prompts (e.g., conversation, television, varied media).
What are your ambitions with your writing career?
I’m content to follow my interests as a musician, performer, and writer of poetry and short stories. I’m already working on another collection of poems, but I continue to be involved in community projects (e.g., women’s shelter, homelessness, caregivers, an open mic for all artists) that promote diversity.
What books are you currently reading?
I just finished Nan Little’s If I Can Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, Why Can’t I Brush My Teeth and started The Poetry & Short Stories of Dorothy Parker and Richard Eberhart: Selected Poems 1930-1965. My ongoing online reading includes Poem-A-Day, Rattle: Poetry for the 21st Century, New Verse News, and Split This Rock.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
- Join a critique group for external balance.
- Subscribe to relevant journals like Poets & Writers and online resources like Duotrope.
- Submit, submit, submit despite rejection, rejection, rejection.
- Make daily writing (anything related to writing) a priority.
What are some of your hobbies and passions?
My hobbies include playing piano, accordion (since age of nine on Chicago corners), drums, singing (LOVE da blues and Broadway), and dancing. A new passion is Nia exercise – a mix of Karate, Tai Chi, Yoga and music (from hip-hop to New Age). My ongoing loves include community advocacy for the disadvantaged and my open mic that welcomes all artists of all ages and all skin tones. I’ve had ten-year-olds reading short stories, hip-hop artists to seniors singing Broadway tunes. I love it.
Is there anything else you would like readers to know about yourself or your work?
Make time for your own expression every day.