Reviewed by Vanesa Pacheco
Teow Lim Goh’s collection of poems imagines the lost stories of the women detained on Angel Island’s Immigration Station, as well as of their families, staff, and of those involved in the 1877 San Francisco Chinatown Riots. Decades after the Immigration station closed, poems were found written on the walls of the men’s barracks sharing their thoughts, documenting their experiences, and giving voice to their journeys. Unfortunately, those of the women’s were destroyed in a fire that burned down their barracks and, ultimately, erased their words. As Goh shares with The Fem, she blends “fact and fiction, politics and intimacy” to give voice to their tales so that others may finally hear their stories.