Goddess of Democracy

an Occupy lyric

Henry Wei Leung

Goddess of Democracy

Henry Wei Leung

Distributed for Omnidawn Publishing, Inc.

128 pages | 6 x 9
Paper $17.95 ISBN: 9781632430403 Published October 2017
Selected by Cathy Park Hong as winner of the Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize Written in and of the protest encampments of one of the most sophisticated Occupy movements in recent history, Goddess of Democracy attempts to understand the disobedience and desperation implicated in a love for freedom. Part lyric, part autoethnography, part historical document, these poems orbit around the manifold erasures of the Umbrella protests in Hong Kong in 2014. Leung, who was in those protests while on a Fulbright grant, navigates the ethics of diasporic dis-identity, of outsiderness and passing, of privilege and the pretension of understanding, in these poems that ask: “what is / freedom when divorced from / from?”
Review Quotes
Ryo Yamaguchi | Jacket2
"Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy explores Hong Kong’s political uncertainties as primarily exposed by the Umbrella Revolution, deploying sophisticated poems fraught with political (and personal) ambivalences that he grounds through copious journalistic explanations of various events via epigraphs and one dedicated prose section. Through this simple combination of lyric and documentation, Leung’s book simultaneously seeks and challenges the viability of the historical moment as one supposedly situated within a coherent political narrative. It sings the anger of revolution, but with a distinct dissonance, a song that both wavers on the edges of noise and is attenuated by memory’s density."
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