Poetry, chapbook, 20 pages, from Bottlecap Features.
In January 2023, the world is about to confront a major collective identity crisis, or an Identity euphoria. Will machines become better than us? Will this, our very own invention, our very own calculation, and our very own maneuver, become more powerful than our very own species?
In Strong at Heart, the Taiwanese poet Jamie-May Minjie is poised on a quest of building a mind-heart bridge. Opening the chapbook with pieces that question a Big Brother system and the vehement conversation and heat around machine learning technology around the globe currently, Minjie, as an inhabitant in ‘the Valley’ (as how Silicon Valley residents call it themselves), brings the readers into an examination into the most distinct difference between homo sapiens and the intelligence made by us. That is our strength at heart to care, empathize, support a friend, Forgive a thousand people, and remember to be Down to Earth.
While responding to what’s currently happening in the world, the collection is well curated with relevant pieces that echo the core theme, Strong at Heart. In this small book, the readers will see her conversation with an officer after California’s new year's gun shooting, reflections on the corporate day-to-day activities, contemplation on close relationships, and memories in childhood. On setting the right boundary in a gentle fashion, Minjie’s Forgive a thousand people is in fact, a contrast with the title, delivering a message for self-love: “But don’t forgive the ones who abused me./ For those ones, I forget./ […] Don’t forgive the ones who forced me to/ believe what I did not./ Don’t forgive the ones who turned violent/ once the attraction is not mutual.” In the end, the poet leaves the readers lingering upon a short glance of Mama’s Mama’s entire life journey. When the times we are born set us against different struggles and obligations, memories are a fading mechanism that completes our journeys with an undervalued experience in life: forgetfulness.
Jamie-May Minjie is a Taiwanese millennial writer, poet, visual artist, and cultural entrepreneur living and working in San Francisco. She writes about immigration experiences, modern love, and LGTBQ+ topics. Her expressionistic watercolor explores the potential of flow, fluidity, and the embodiment of trapped emotion release. She holds an MA from UCL and has appeared in several publications across the U.S, including Barzakh Magazine, and CLIP. She’s the author of Heart, Diamond, Club, Spade and co-author of Antonym.