|Dimensions||6.625 × 9 in|
Nancy Chen Long
Light into Bodies
Taken as a whole, Light into Bodies grapples with issues of identity, the fluid and evolving nature of identity, and how identity can be contextual. It explores individual identity and how that identity changes through time and influence. The book is divided into three parts. The first section inhabits the landscape of childhood, that of a biracial, multiethnic child as she grapples with understanding the world and her place in it based on what she sees and what she’s been taught. The second section moves from childhood and family-of-origin into the world of the adult: relationships, marriage, divorce, and expectations of identity and behavior based on relationship roles. The third section opens up to the larger world and identity in that world, societal expectations and assumptions with respect to identity, the concept of home, memory and time, origins and creation. Recurring juxtapositions of sometimes seemingly disparate things, such as science and religion, myth and math, East and West, coupled with a mix of various poetic forms and styles, strive to work against the declaration of a monolithic identity. The book ends with a nod to the idea that we are multi-dimensional with multiple identities, to the idea that identity is a personal journey and that we have a right and an obligation to identify our own selves.
Nancy Chen Long was born in Taipei, Taiwan, to a Taiwanese mother and an American father who was stationed in Taiwan as a linguist for the U. S. Air Force. Moving to the United States when she was young and ultimately settling in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Chen Long completed a degree in Electrical Engineer Technology, then pursued an MBA and developed a career in technology, working as an electrical engineer, software consultant, and project manager before taking a position at Indiana University in 2005. Chen Long received an MFA from Spalding University in 2013. Her poems have appeared widely in journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, Crab Orchard Review, Pleiades, Prairie Schooner, RHINO, Ninth Letter, Sycamore Review, and others. She is a 2017 NEA fellowship recipient and author of the chapbook Clouds as Inkblots for the War Prone (Red Bird Chapbooks, 2013). She lives in south-central Indiana with her husband and works at Indiana University in the Research Technologies division.