What does genre mean to you and how does it build/unbuild your work?
If genre is anything like law, circumscribed and reinforced by social belief in their sanctity, then I believe we have an obligation to make it useful to us while also knowing how to strategically transgress it. People like to talk of genre as if it is a static set of norms that is ahistorical and predetermined, but I know it through constant shaping and reshaping. The law isn’t made because of some miraculous consensus but through people reforming, resisting, and living lives that transgress it all the time. Only those with certain privileges can say for sure that the law serves them exactly as they are; those who believe in the purity of genre express a similar sentiment. I hope my work constantly uproots the terms of what constitutes a genre, to reflect the messiness of lived marginalized experiences. I want my work to infiltrate, to corrupt the purity of genre terms, and reconstitute it into something far more difficult to define–just as I am, just as we all are.
MURIEL LEUNG is the author of Bone Confetti, winner of the 2015 Noemi Press Book Award. A Pushcart Prize nominated writer, her writing can be found or is forthcoming in Gulf Coast, Drunken Boat, The Collagist, Fairy Tale Review, and others. She is a recipient of fellowships to Kundiman, VONA/Voices Workshop and the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. She is a contributing editor to the Bettering American Poetry anthology and is also Poetry Co-Editor of Apogee Journal. Currently, she is pursuing her PhD in Creative Writing and Literature at University of Southern California. She is from Queens, NY. She tweets (@murmurshewrote).