A roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in
by Brenda Iijima and Janice Lee
Publication date: 4/4/2023
$20 (order online)
Cover art: Christine Shan Shan Hou, “two egrets touching each other, tenderly,” collage on paper, 2020
A roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in is an ecological picaresque that reworlds possible senses of interrelation and personhood. In a spacious unending-unfolding, various narrators impact one another in a process of metamorphosis. In ecologically-sensitive language, perpetually in motion, sequences of occurrence crest and flow and pool in awareness. The protagonists persist in a looking glass biome of reality. Written collaboratively in a veritable hypnotic state by Janice Lee and Brenda Iijima, consciousness merges symbiotically and telepathically. Intent on stripping away the veneer of the “human,” the work presses on toward mutuality with all floral, faunal, mineral, and viral presences to gain new insights into terrestrial cohabitation. Lee and Iijima probe the supposed limits and boundaries of bodies and in doing so, discover mutual affinity, cohabitation, and resonance. Intensely responsive, the work sclings and converses with everyone and everything it encounters.
Read an excerpt on Annulet
About the Authors
Janice Lee (she/they) is a Korean American writer, teacher, spiritual scholar, and shamanic healer. She is the author of 7 books of fiction, creative nonfiction & poetry, most recently Imagine a Death (Texas Review Press, 2021) and Separation Anxiety (CLASH Books, 2022). An essay (co-authored with Jared Woodland) is featured in the recently released 4K restoration of Sátántangó (dir. Béla Tarr) from Arbelos Films. She currently lives in Portland, OR where she is the Operational Creative Director at Corporeal Writing and an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Portland State University. (http://janicel.com) Instagram/Twitter: @diddioz
Brenda Iijima is a poet, novelist, playwright, choreographer and visual artist. She is the author of nine books of poetry. Her involvements occur at the intersections and mutations of genre, mode, receptivity, and field of study. Her current work engages submerged and occluded histories, other-than-human modes of expression and telluric awareness in all forms. Her play, Daily Life in China is forthcoming from elis press in 2022, and her novel Presence is forthcoming from Georgia Review Press in 2023. Iijima is the founding editor-publisher of Portable Press @ Yo-Yo Labs. She lives in Brooklyn.
A roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in is a collection of vignettes of disintegration, mergers, and potentialities, a sensuous loosening of the human corporeal and psychic unit. Read Brenda Iijima’s and Janice Lee’s collaboration for the surge of energy that runs through this book’s open pores. Enter a dizzying journey of an injured bike rider in an injured world finding new potentialities as a squirrel mistakes her for a tree, as she becomes squirrel, becomes tree, becomes parched by fire and cooled by river. “Trees are an interface,” “the soil is a membrane,” and the “I” fractures like a seed that needs the fire’s heat to sprout. Walking humans, friends, strangers, a ritual for a dead small dog who might become a companion spirit: the stories reach toward connection in human-shaped and more-than-human shaped ways, allowing the feeling human ‘I’ to oscillate rather than vanish. Even the chance procedures of time and space conspire toward relation – “A list of the dog hairs that I didn’t see but saved in my pocket.” In this viral interspecies penetration, there’s always searching: “Refugee status of microbes, pathogens — everyone looking for a home.” – Petra Kuppers, author of Eco Soma
This book reminds me that it is still possible to be astonished, like a book actually happened to me, language unearthed, heart brought back to life, storytelling as incantation, unbound cosmic song. – Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Thrust
Matter is promiscuous in Iijima and Lee’s “a roundtable, unanimous dreamers chime in”, leaking from one body to the next, creating an embodied syntax that communicates a meaning much wider, much greener and weirder than the one humans generally practice. One wants to lick this text. To digest and excrete it. This book is good soil. – Sophie Strand, author of The Flowering Wand and The Madonna Secret