I first read A Grain of Rice two years ago, after a recommendation from my well-read poetry pal Katie when I was writing a paper about food and literature and British Columbia.
The poems proved extremely useful on that theme, but I also ended up falling head over heels in love with this collection. It’s so hugely about place, about home, and yet so quietly.
In my paper, which I presented at the first (and, sadly, I think only) Literatures of the Fraser Valley conference, I quoted a poem from this collection at length. When I finished reading the section aloud, the whole room sighed together – which is precisely the power of poetry, and precisely the power of Evelyn Lau.