Russell C. Leong
Russell C. Leong believes in the power of words to free the future. During his 33-year tenure as an academic editor at UCLA, he edited the first books and journals on Asian Pacific media and film, Asian American sexualities, Asian Americans post-9/11, and Asian American transcultural studies. Between 1977-2010, Leong was the editor of the foremost journal in Asian American Studies, Amerasia Journal, published by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center. There, he served as an adjunct professor of English and Asian American Studies. His stories (Phoenix Eyes ) and poetry (Country of Dreams and Dust ) received an American Book Award and PEN Josephine Miles Award. Leong, educated in the U.S. and Taiwan in film and comparative literature, is a consulting editor at UCLA; and the founding editor of CUNY FORUM, for The City University of New York’s Asian American and Asian Research Institute.
CONTACT for readings, performances, talks and workshops:
Schools, art centers, and other venues contact the writer for availability and locale. Special rates for non-profits,and schools.
Russell Leong 梁志英
Produced by Corona Studios, Unlimited, 2020.
A decade before, the world in 2009
Was divided into diseases of pigs and birds—
Split into desires with stunted names
Like SARS, AIDS, FLU that flew
From tongue to lavender tongue, that entered through moist boba pearls
Of saliva, blood & unprotected sex, that hinted at strangers and animal
Mutations of the human dance gone askance.
In 2020, the world is no longer divided by animals or borders
But circled entirely by Corona, by droplets that move and mutter
A virus that flaps and flutters, jumps species, travels countries
Within crowded airport escalators or movie theatre lobbies
In Wuhan, Milan, New York.
Actors: (Stars and Extras)
Corona wings its way across continents of heat and cold
Sticks to fingers and throats, where premiers and popes
Pontificate from golden balconies.
(While ordinary people—the working poor, single mothers,
Queers, delivery men, are always fingered by sooty rain
Falling through corrugated tin roofs.)
The world hisses its warning of foreign wings and displaced genes
Do not kiss me then.
I will not touch you now.
I will throw off my clothes & shoes
Altogether at the door.
Whenever we eat
We will not share our meat or rice with anyone.
Hotpots and dim sum are banned from the table.
Good and Evil:
Oh, I will not make blind love to you.
With bruised bluish eyes we see that
We are only the latest pawns in the playbook
Of pandemics and politicians—
As heroes of the people struggle
To obtain masks, ventilators, gloves
And beds from government warehouses full of loot and gold–
(As everyone knows, in wuxia flicks, the fight is always
about revenge, righteousness, and heroes)
The hero always gets their speech right in the end:
She, or He, has the last word, the last breath, the last
Look, through an N95 mask, at their beloved.
Then the pudgy director cries out:
“Cut. Redo. Almost, perfect.
But can you smile a bit through your tears?
Today, we need hope!”
– Russell C. Leong 梁志英
Russell C. Leong, Editor of CUNY FORUM, at the Asian American / Asian Research Institute - CUNY, receives 2019 Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Society of Southern California, for "Giving Voice to the Community."
MothSutra (feat. Gary Vu) from BigTown Gallery
Russell Leong performs MOTHSUTRA: a visual poetry reading, at Black Box Theatre, The University of Hong Kong, 23 November 2015
Reading and talk by Russell Leong on May 1, 2015, International Workers Day, in New York City at the Asian American / Asian Research Institute - City University of New York. Introduction by Peter Kwong, Distinguished Professor of Urban Policy & Planning, Hunter College/CUNY. Background music by Lorin Roser. This excerpt video is produced, taped and edited by Antony Wong and Zhu-Hui Wu.
For readings or exhibition of artworks contact the author. (A recent benefit of Leong's artworks raised over $400 for the Nepal Relief effort.)
Here's what the dean of the NYC poetry scene, Bob Holman (Bowery Club and Columbia University) has to say:
"Like a river of energy, like an electric current of compassion, Russell Leong's one-of-a-kind MothSutra evokes the bicycle deliverymen of New York carrying their precious cargo to the starving masses....But also, the inner lives, the meditations,the hopes and dreams of humans who are generally invisible in the swirl of the street appear as humans scaling to heaven through work. This is a unique book. MothSutra delivers."
February 2015 book release!
MOTHSUTRA is a graphic poem portfolio by RUSSELL C. LEONG! First performed live at the Bowery Poetry Club, The Lower East Side. A childrens book for adults. This is Leong's second graphic book in 50 years, after his "My Chinatown A to Z" a coloring book for children done in 1966. MOTHSUTRA is published in a limited art edition by The Bowery Bandit Project, New York City.
Full color 32-page oversize artist portfolio on 100 lb. paper depicting the life journey of an Asian bicycle delivery man in New York City. Original artwork on Chinese calligraphy paper and graphic poem features the text and images of American Book award writer Russell C. Leong.
See the sample page.
Leong worked as a writer, book editor, and adjunct professor at UCLA for 33 years and is now located at Hunter College and the Asian American/Asian Research Institute (CUNY).
A limited edition, available now for $15.00 and $2.00 handling and mailing.
Press, Review Copies, Readings:
Contact the author at [email protected]
Poetry of Moth, Man, & Migrant
"Entering this city of luster and ash
A moth unfolds his wings,
Crossing from East to West
He throws his body to the light"
Russell C. Leong "Moth"
MothSutra is a spoken word performance collection conceived, written and enacted by the veteran awardwinning-writer, editor and professor Russell C. Leong (梁志英）
MothSutra is modeled after the persona of a New York City fast-food delivery man and brings together the worlds of moth, man, myth, and migrant captured in a lyric, humorous, and often soulful performance reading.
Together with the opus poem "Moth" Leong includes other original poetic "cycles" which span Southeast Asia and the Chinese diaspora in his readings.
"Moth" debuted at Bowery Poetry Club in New York City in June 2014.
Cycles of MothSutra range from getting a haircut in a bullet-riddled barbershop to love, sexuality and AIDS; from Asian migration to urban insurrections; and race, class, martial arts. For his readings, Leong often works with local musicians and artists including Lorin Roser of NYC, Lei Mo in Nanjing, and others in Los Angeles and Beijing.
《飛蛾》於2014年的6月在紐約的 Bowery 詩歌俱樂部首演。
梁誌英是位詩人、作家、編輯和大學教授。他曾受邀在洛杉磯、北京、南京、臺北、高雄、神戶和紐約做過詩歌朗誦和文學演講。鮑勃-赫爾曼（Bob Holman）為美國公共電視網（PBS）制作的五集系列電視節目"詩歌共和國"（The United States of Poetry）裏把梁誌英列為50位美國詩人之壹。梁還受邀在愛倫堡媒體系列之美國作家（Annenburg Media Series on American writers）朗讀和演講。
梁誌英的短篇小說集《鳳眼和其他短篇小說》（"Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories"）曾獲得美國圖書獎（American Book Award）；其詩歌集《夢塵》（The Country of Dreams and Dust）獲得美國筆會約瑟芬-邁爾斯獎。梁出生在舊金山的唐人街，在舊金山州立學院（San Francisco State College）、臺灣大學和加州大學洛杉磯分校（UCLA）接受正規教育，並獲得加州大學洛杉磯分校電影學院的戲劇和電影碩士。梁擔任加州大學洛杉磯分校亞裔美國研究中心的著名期刊 Amerasia 的編輯超過三十年，也曾在加州大學洛杉磯分校、香港大學、堪薩斯大學、紐約市立大學亨特學院（Hunter College, CUNY）任教。梁目前是紐約市立大學亨特學院的訪問教授，並致力於為該校在美國東海岸創建亞裔美國研究的學術期刊CUNY Forum。梁誌英的詩歌和短篇小說的英文原著先後在南京、臺北和上海等地被翻譯成中文並出版。
育人不倦：愛倫堡讀者快線（N. 斯科特-莫瑪德和梁誌英）http://www.learner.org/workshops/hslit/session6/aw/author2.html (視頻)
Reviews & Video Presentations of Russell C. Leong's Literary Work (selected):
*Los Angeles (LA Times)
"Leong always shows us how memory and identity persist even in the melting pot of America..his acute powers of observation and his poet's gift for capturing the experience of transcendence are given full expression in the pages of Phoenix Eyes."
*"Eclipse" by Russell C. Leong on YouTube
*Educational: Annenburg Learner Express(N. Scott Momaday and Russell Leong)
*Beijing (China Writer) In Chinese language