The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love

 • The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love was the winner for the 2nd Annual USA Regional Excellence Book Awards, 2016 (Poetry category) for West region

If Desmond Kon’s earlier collection The Arbitrary Sign invoked continental philosophers like Jacques Derrida and Gilles Deleuze, The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love dialogues with some of Desmond’s favourite writers. These dialogic imports range from Franz Kafka to Jean-Paul Sartre, Dan Chiasson to John Wilkinson, all perambulating against the pivotal epigraph by Paul Celan. The same playful architecture of an alphabet book is present, eschewing a simple read to elevate each letter into moments of aphoristic epiphany, underscored by poems which are at once intimate, urgent, funny, dreamy, and robust. The book has been described by Lily Hoang as “a confabulation of desire and a prognosis of tender passion”.


The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love

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“In conversation with Walter Abish’s Alphabet Africa and Blackalicious’s 'Alphabet Aerobics,' Desmond Kon’s The Wrong/Wrung Side of Love is a confabulation of desire and a prognosis of tender passion. It is a curling of poetic weight: each line pushes lactic acid through our muscles into euphoria—the euphoria of the lyric—and Kon is a champion power lifter.” —Lily Hoang, Recipient of PEN Beyond Margins Award

“Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé has chosen to use the alphabet as ground zero for his remarkable book of poetry. In this clever, witty and sharply literate collection, A is for Acceptance, D is for Denial, E is for Examination, etc. These are not just setups for wordplay, though clever wordplay is rampant, but they are signposts for a poet’s journey toward meaning. 'E is for the examined life, just because,' the author says, and, 'you can examine silence.' Many of the poems are conversational, even built on conversations, and, as reader, I found myself nodding, wanting to join the discussion. Read this book for its liveliness and you will be rewarded with hidden depths, sharp insight and an examination not just of silence, but of speech, of what it means to be human.” —Corey Mesler, Author of Memphis Movie and The Catastrophe of my Personality


Desmond Kon Zhicheng‐Mingdé