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Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016 (2)

A Month of Turkey and Writing
Jin Chang
November 23, 2016 (0)

Thanksgiving in Berlin
A.V. Crofts
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When in Need of a Celebration
Jin Chang
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Halloween in Asia
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A New Tale of Noodles
Jin Chang
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A Determined Swing
Grant Liebel
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Yet Another Thing about Pokemon GO
Grant Liebel
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The Typewriter Renaissance
Olenka Burgess
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The Impossible Reading Lists of Summer
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June 20, 2016 (1)

Happy Sushi Day! How About Some Sacrilegious Asparagus?
Olenka Burgess
June 18, 2016 (1)

A Compendium of Beloved Blogs from the Literary Food Community
Olenka Burgess
June 14, 2016 (1)

Dean Wong "Seeing the Light" Book Launch at Wing Luke Museum
Olenka Burgess
May 31, 2016 (0)

Spoonbill & Sugartown in NYC
Cali Kopczick
May 18, 2016 (0)

Open Call: Submit to Ghosts of Seattle Past until April 30th
Cali Kopczick
28 March, 2016 (0)

Ghosts of Seattle Past: Irish Wake for Lost Spaces
Allison Dunn
29 Monday, 2016 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Jay Gatsby
Allison Dunn
12 February, 2016 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Grendel's Mother
Allison Dunn
11 February, 2016 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Victor Frankenstein
Allison Dunn
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Week of Literary Love: Lady Macbeth
Allison Dunn
9 February, 2016 (0)

Our discomfort with language
Todd Shimoda
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Go see The Martian!
Matt Damon
22 September, 2015 (0)

A Katrina Scavenger Hunt
Rex Noone
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Hurricane Story revisited
Bruce Rutledge
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Five Essential Post Katrina Albums
David Rutledge
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Q&A with Zack Davisson
Ryan Chu
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A Visit to Minidoka
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Open Letter to the place called "Mushaboom"
TexMex Richards
30 June , 2015 (1)

TexMextern Reviews: Masculinity in the Time of Cholera
TexMex Richards
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SIFF Special: Most Likely to Manipulate
David Rutledge
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TexMextern Reviews: Reviews with a Zest!
TexMex Richards
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A Tale of Two Noodles
Dandi Meng
11 May, 2015 (3)

It's Time We Started Talking About Endpapers
Dandi Meng
4 May, 2015 (2)

Spine Poetry
Dandi Meng
1 April, 2015 (3)

CMP Presents...12 by M. Lynch
Dandi Meng
10 March, 2015 (2)

Week of Literary Love: Bartleby the Scrivener
Dandi Meng
14 February, 2015 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Jean Valjean
Cali Kopczick
13 February, 2015 (0)

Week of Literary Love: Winnie-the-Pooh
Dandi Meng
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Week of Literary Love: Katniss Everdeen
Dandi Meng
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Week of Literary Love: Holden Caulfield
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Literary Showdown: Seattle vs. Boston
Dandi Meng
3 February , 2015 (2)

It's Time We Started Talking About Section Break Markers
Cali Kopczick
19 December, 2014 (2)

Short Run Festival Recap
Cali Kopczick
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Selling Culture: Japan and America's Trickiest Trade
Cali Kopczick
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History's Bestsellers in Translation Part II: Nonfiction
Cali Kopczick
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China/Seattle/Reykjavík: Ryan Boudinot on Seattle as a Global City of Literature
Cali Kopczick
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BuzzFeed Article - 8 Reasons Japanese Ghosts Make Terrible Roommates
Cali Kopczick
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History's Bestsellers in Translation Part I: Fiction
Cali Kopczick
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Ramen Revisited: Tips from Ken Taya aka Enfu
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Kodawari Can Render the Prosaic Profound
Cali Kopczick
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Before the Summer Runs Out: A Road Trip Proposal
Cali Kopczick
August 19, 2014 (12)

The High Art of Smelling Books
Cali Kopczick
August 4, 2014 (1)

Pike Place Location Opening and Lizard Telepathy Fox Telepathy Open House
Staff
July 28, 2014 (1)

Indie Book Publisher Opens Office/Retail Space in Seattle's Pike Place Market
Press Release
July 16, 2014 (0)

Q&A with "A Commonplace Book of Pie" Author Kate Lebo and Illustrator Jessica Lynn Bonin
David Jacobson
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A Broadside for Mardi Gras
Bruce Rutledge
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Oprah Outs Armstrong; Irvin Mayfield Next?
Rex Noone
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Friends of CMP
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Nippon-NOLA challenge: week 3
Bruce Rutledge
October 24, 2012 (2)

The NOLA-Nippon challenge: week 2
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October 6, 2012, 2012 (0)

The NOLA-Nippon challenge
Bruce Rutledge
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Infusing Nonfiction with Truth: American True Stories
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Questions rain down on NOLA
Bruce Rutledge
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En-Joying Kanji: A Review of Eve Kushner\'s Joy o' Kanji
David Jacobson
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Michael Rozek Redefines Nonfiction
Bruce Rutledge
April 19, 2012 (3)

Viewed Sideways: a collection of essays by Donald Richie
D. Michael Ramirez II
December 30, 2011 (0)

New Orleans Book Fest
Bruce
November 4, 2011 (0)

Review: The Beautiful One Has Come (Suzanne Kamata)
D. Michael Ramirez II
August 12, 2011 (0)

The JET Program's Finest Hour
David Jacobson
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And the winner is ...
Bruce Rutledge
July 5, 2011 (0)

An even dozen: slow books in a fast world
Bruce Rutledge
June 29, 2011 (1)

Last Chapter for an Island Bookstore?
David Jacobson
June 24, 2011 (0)

More than just another 'Kawaii' face
Bruce Rutledge
June 16, 2011 (0)

Hurricane Story - Free Offer!
Dave Jacobson
June 9, 2011 (0)

Books for Katrina-hit New Orleans Schools
David Jacobson
May 25, 2011 (0)

Todd Shimoda wins Hawaii's top literary award
Chin Music Press
April 12, 2011 (1)

"The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P": A Review
Will Eells
March 28, 2011 (0)

A great sorrow
Bruce Rutledge
March 25, 2011 (1)

Blog Entry
Dean Wong "Seeing the Light" Book Launch at Wing Luke Museum
Olenka Burgess
May 31, 2016

Dean Wong's Seeing the Light

Walking into Wing Luke Museum's reception hall this past Saturday for the launch of Dean Wong's Seeing the Light: Four Decades in Chinatown, the warmth of Wong's community and its affection toward him were palpable. Wong grew up just blocks from the museum, so he is as much a part of Seattle's Chinatown as it is a part of him. What came across the most during his reading was the sincerity and openness with which he embraces that community and strives to discern and draw out the individual stories that compose its character and strength. He endeavors to reveal the "silent struggles and daily triumphs" of Chinatown's unsung heroes, and in doing so, he has become a cultural hero himself.

 

We brought a hundred books to the event and sold through nearly all of them by the time Wong began signing copies. The response to Seeing the Light has been excellent outside Seattle's Chinatown as well—on the New York Times Lens blog, Maurice Berger writes that Wong's photos and essays "speak to the cultural nuances, complexity and necessity of Chinatown, well beyond the touristic fascination with swirling paper dragons, countless restaurants and trinket shops."

 

At the event, Wong described some of his techniques, which he is continually refining. Because he doesn't like to overtly invade people's privacy and prefers to capture genuine, uninhibited moments, he uses a wide-angle lens so that he can capture people's natural behavior at the edges of a frame they aren't aware of occupying. He also frequently takes "pick-up shots," a technique requiring quick reaction time and a bit of luck. Wong sometimes sets up a shot on a windowsill, waits for somebody to walk by, and snaps the shutter at just the right moment.

 

Dean Wong reading from Seeing the Light at Wing Luke Museum

 

The theme of windows comes up frequently in Wong's work—windows allow one to see into and out of an intimate space from a semiprivate, reserved distance. This works in both directions; a photograph from inside a room of something outside its window creates a link from the photographer's private world to the private worlds of the people passing by. At its best, a camera functions as a window linking the interior realm of the photographer to the interior essence of the photographer's subjects.

 

The linking effect of the camera comes through clearly in Dean Wong's photography and essays. At the event, he mentioned that after his wife's passing, he felt the need to take a photography trip to San Francisco to reconnect with himself and with the world. Photography, through its ability to connect Wong with the people and places he finds most inspiring, served as a means of recovery. Wong mentioned that compared to San Francisco, Seattle’s Chinatown is less busy, making it easier for a photographer to "strike out," to work for an entire day without capturing anything of value; but his patient determination consistently leads to stunning moments of rare and intimate beauty.

 

If you missed the reading and are in the Seattle area, Dean Wong's "New Street Photography" exhibit will be at Jack Straw New Media Gallery starting on June 17th. It's definitely worth seeing his photographs in person if you can, but if you can't, be sure to pick up a copy of his beautiful book here.



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