Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Critical PulseThirty-Six Credos by Contemporary Critics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jeffrey Williams and Heather Steffen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231161152

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 19 June 2021

On Race and Literature

On Race and Literature

Chapter:
(p.157) 22 On Race and Literature
Source:
The Critical Pulse
Author(s):

Kenneth Warren

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231161152.003.0023

This chapter presents the author's account of a key moment teaching a poem and how it opens onto histories of immigration and racism. The poem—Janice Mirikitani's “Why Is Preparing Fish a Political Act?”—consists of five stanzas of varying length, and opens with the speaker describing herself as unsuccessfully trying to “capture the flavors” of the Japanese New Year's meal that her grandmother used to make. The author suggests that the poem makes us see the problem of inequality in terms of racial discrimination rather than in terms of economic inequality. The signal achievement the poem is that it manages to convey the urgency of a politics of antidiscrimination while remaining a work of serious literature.

Keywords:   immigration, racism, teaching, poetry, poem, Janice Mirikitani, Why Is Preparing Fish a Political Act?, inequality, racial discrimination

Columbia Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .