Writers share their work in literature & writing department event


Photo credit to CSUSM’s literature & writing studies department

CSUSM’s Literature and Writing department hosted the 1913 Press Reading with Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi and Megin Jimenez.

Angelica Cervantes, Staff Writer

The CSUSM literature & writing studies department hosted the 1913 Press Reading as part of the Community and World Literary series on Mar. 11. 

The event introduced students and faculty to two successful writers: Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi and Megin Jimenez.

Araki-Kawaguchi’s writings can be described as “dreampop speculative fictions” and “darkwave minimalist poetry,” according to his bio. His pieces are relatable and often include modern-day slang, cuss words and even allusions to Marvel characters like Wolverine. 

One of Araki-Kawaguchi’s latest books, The Book of Kane and Margaret, is a story about two young adults who have rattled the confines of a Japanese internment camp during WWII. This book is filled with realistic tributes to historical tragedy and even mixes in elements of fantasy to elevate the story. 

Araki-Kawaguchi has also written a collection of poems compiled in Disintegration Made Plain and Easy. During the virtual event, he read poems such as “I Like My Hunger” and “If You Were Mine, I would not share you with Anyone.” Both of these poems generated a sensual self-expression of the speaker’s thoughts and emotions. 

In these poems, Araki-Kawaguchi uses language that triggers a craving for buttery foods and produces a visual of human desires. Araki-Kawaguchi also includes artistic sketches in his poetry book that help highlight the raw emotions expressed in his poems. 

CSUSM’s Literature and Writing department hosted the 1913 Press Reading with Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi and Megin Jimenez. (Photo credit to CSUSM’s literature & writing studies department )

The second writer, Megin Jimenez, also shared a few of her works during the reading. Though she now resides in the Netherlands, Jimenez is a Venezuelan American writer and translator. Her cultured sense of the world is boldly translated in her collection of poems in her book called Mongrel Tongue

The words in her poems are a blend of borrowed languages that form into their own narrative. A few poems that Jimenez read aloud at the event were “Novel,” “A Reader’s Guide to Exile,” “The Flood” and “The Society for Decision Making Under Deep Uncertainty.”

Jimenez’s poems “Novel” and “The Flood” bring on nomadic imagery that centers around nature and the individual self. Her poem “A Reader’s Guide to Exile” focuses on the overconsumption that society partakes in, as well as the quest to find how innovation benefits society and people’s individualistic and communal aspirations.

Though distinct in style, both Araki-Kawaguchi and Jimenez provided palatable and unique representations of creative writing that inhibits fictional dialogue with realistic themes. They definitely made an impression during their readings and sparked evocative discussion through their works. 

To learn more about Araki-Kawaguchi, visit his website. To learn more about Jimenez, visit her website

For future events hosted by the literature & writing studies department, visit csusm.edu/ltwr/news/cwls.html.

The Cougar Chronicle The independent student news site of California