Written in 2007, Cathy Park Hong’s Dance Dance Revolution is set in a hyperreal, dystopic 2016.
While the text does not self-identify as an epic, the genre tropes are present throughout. There is a quest, a journey, and an invented vernacular that meters many of the lines. We are introduced to the protagonist-heroine guide Chun Sujin, the “talky Virgil,” who prefers to be called the Guide and who will lead a visiting Historian through the Desert city, telling stories about her South Korean upbringing and her current life alongside other Desert city residents.
Has American poetry become more engaged with public events, more politically relevant, in the opening years of the twenty-first century? That is the claim made by The New American Poetry of Engagement, an anthology edited by Ann Keniston and Jeffrey Gray and published in 2012.