Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of English


All Rivers Run East to the Sea


All Rivers Run East to the Sea is a mixed-genre, poetry and prose collection that stems from my own journey as a female, bilingual, second-language writer, exploring the multidimensional experience of displacement. English came to me as a convenient place to start anew, to be honest and free. Only much later did I realize the cost of exiling oneself into another language. I was so far gone into the pursuit of liberation that when I finally stopped, all I could see was the smoke coming out of the house of who I used to be. However, poetry serves as a space where one does not have to conform to a pre-existing vernacular. This collection attempts to create a poetic place of unity and coherence despite the transience and mutability of life. Language, because of its inevitable errors, often leads to a failure to communicate, but writing is the creation of something beautiful out of the ruins, capturing the infinite proximity to fully knowing someone else or ourselves. The mixed-genre format of my collection mirrors the fragmentation I experience, but also fuses a coherent narrative through this linguistic, formal, and cultural diversity. The inbetweenness, upheaval, and fluidity that this collection explores in form and flesh calls for a reimagination of home and self-identification. In telling our stories through language, we are creating "a room of one's own," to quote Virginia Woolf, and in this room of our own, where no one can take our story away, we can always belong.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View