The Experiment of The Tropics
Finalist for the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards “1 of 6 must-read books,” The Millions
Cowinner of the Gaudy Boy Poetry Book Prize selected by Wong May
Through the lens of history and photography, The Experiment of the Tropics returns to early-twentieth century Philippines during American occupation and asks, “How does one look at the past?”
By braiding the music of anthropology with the intimacy of the lyric, Lawrence Ypil explores history's archives and excavates a city, both real and imagined, that is constituted by the shimmer of petal and porch, coral and brass—a river refrigerator where women catch their reflections on the sheen of magazines and men lean against the walls of old houses and beckon, come here. So, we approach.
Spare, musical, and erotic, The Experiment of the Tropics uses the intersection of text and image to meditate on the nature of a city and its longing, the revelatory power of photography, and the startling capacity of poetry to cut into the violent but redemptive parts of history.