Echolalia in Script (Orison Books, FALL 2017)
Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater (Lithic Press, FALL 2017)



Here is writing that is entirely open to the world, a poetry that generously refuses to delimit the human experience or accept only what is known. While it may be defined as ‘asemic writing,’ such definition sterilizes what we have before us: a poetry that precedes language, a personally rhythmic grammar that plays among the tools of expression, and explores the outer boundaries of the rational as it searches for connection. In today’s literary climate, Echolalia in Script is refreshingly, breathtakingly transcendent. Michael Wiegers, Executive Editor, Copper Canyon Press

The first time I met Sam Roxas-Chua 姚 he invited me to view the nests he’d made of chewed poems. Perhaps a year later he told me that he swam in a vat of pulp to understand the life of paper. And one night he photographed wet Oregon pavement and through his lens transformed soaked sidewalks into Chinese silk panels. Everything Sam does is unscripted. Everything he does is exquisite. His collection of asemic writing, Echolalia in Script, is sublime. Sandra Alcosser, author of Except by Nature and Sleeping Inside the Glacier

Sam Roxas-Chua 姚’s gorgeous collection of asemic writings, Echolalia in Script, presents his gestural inscriptions as they move elegantly over the page as delicately as lyrical strands of light snaking and doubling across the surfaces of a wind-lit mountain lake. Indeed, here lies one whose imagination is writ on water . . . in all of its meditative beauty, deep soul-solace, and artistic resolve! David St. John, recipient of the Rome Fellowship and the Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters

In this elegant dance between language and image Sam Roxas-Chua姚 at once intensifies and transcends the capacity of marks on the page to make meaning. With every line and brush stroke in this stunning volume Roxas-Chua reminds us of the sheer childlike joy of putting ink to paper, and underscores the power and universality of this primal human act. This is a book to behold and marvel at, not just to read. Valerie Laken, author of Separate Kingdom and Dream House 

Each time that I have read it, I have been reminded of a passage in François Jacob’s elegant autobiography, The Statue Within; Jacob tells us of the “writing lesson” his beloved grandfather offered him (at a stubborn seven years of age)—playing about with pens, and colored inks, and different papers, so that François might stop seeing writing simply as the labored tracing of absolute forms, but instead as the commitment to its visual and sensual pleasures—to claw at the paper with sharp attack, to stroke and smooth it, to caress and to batter, to splash at it, or to inscribe elegant lines of wiry thinness. At the same time, Roxas-Chua 姚’s powerful work in Echolalia in Script also carries me back to moments spent in the Xubaizhai Collection of calligraphy and painting of the Hong Kong Art Museum, transfixed by centuries-old work that enthralls with its range of textures, its sharp boldness or its subtle lyricism. Lawrence Wheeler, Professor of Humanities and Applied Linguistics, University Honors College, Portland State University


Sam Roxas-Chua 姚 is a natural. He is an exciting and original poet of profound imagination that can lift off from any situation…an artist through and through.—Marvin Bell

Sam Roxas-Chua 姚’s poetry is swirling and galactic, vividly sensual, and delightfully stubborn in its refusal to entertain simple answers to queries of blood, faith, and desire. Surreal yet rooted in palpable color and history, this poet’s vision transcends oceans, blends geographies and bleeds a multi-tongued heritage for us to better find ourselves. We need more maps like this in the world, and cartographers of language like Sam Roxas Chua 姚.
Tyehimba Jess

Every now and then a unique, distinctive voice will appear on the literary scene, as if from out of nowhere. Such is the case with Sam Roxas-Chua 姚. His mysterious poems teem with apparitions of the marvelous, as if we have entered some other dimension. His imagination is haunted by family and the primal scene, with ancestral spirits from China and the Philippines. Here are poems that push the boundaries of language, that shimmer with almost a mythic or visionary quality, poems that encounter what he calls “luminous questions.” There is such a richness and amplitude in his work. The poems in Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater will take you on a journey to where you have never been before. —Joseph Stroud