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Allison Huang


Everything in its context: Waltzing in a big room

At least for this PPE concert, considering context has inevitably opened up the question of purpose: Why was I so resistant to adapting my piece? I hesitated because I had not anticipated these changes, and because they went against much of what I had learned as a soloist. But this is the Pianists Ensemble, and I do not walk onto the stage as a soloist. 

Speculating on pain in the poem

Last year, I wrote a poem about a hit-and-run in which an Asian grandmother was left lying on the side of the road like roadkill (“I am the driver / the woman’s body / is violation”). Once, I wrote a poem about an accident that left my mother in a semi-vegetative state (“Your head bloomed / & you crumpled like a sheet down the stairs”). Once, I wrote a poem about experiencing death through a solitary phone call (“The day the phone rang / we were shooed outside, the day / we stripped our dolls into finer stems / naked and buried them in the lawn”). 

The crowd leaves no room for the unseen

I probably would not have visited this restaurant if I had first scoped it out on Google Reviews, where its rating teetered at a 3.8 out of 5 due to complaints about ‘lack of service’ and where there were no pictures of the food. This is worrisome, because the food was excellent, and my whole family agreed that the nuances of flavor were just the way they should have been in a precariously preserved hub of authentic Chinese cuisine like this one.

Why I no longer write (poetry)

Poetry has been good to me in this: It is language, and perhaps one day I will speak. I do not know if time will reincarnate my voice into its own entity, or if one day my old age will legitimize my words and open up an unbridled spot for my voice.

We voted too fast on the Honor Code referenda

The Honor System needed reform. I’m just not convinced a rushed referendum was the right way of doing it. When I first saw the referenda posed in the Undergraduate Student Government all-school email, I felt intuitively inclined to vote “yes” on each one. However, I did not have empirical evidence or logical reasoning for why I should vote “yes” or “no” on each of the four referenda.

A conversation with Princeton Chinese Theater about its production of ”And Then There Were None"

I felt like I’d been displaced, closed off from the real world. All that existed was the dark intimate space of this small theater. The night began with a trailer for the show, shown from a small screen in the corner. Scenes of death flashed by in fragments. A countdown announced both the elapsed time and the number of survivors left in the guest house. After 225 seconds, I was aware of a few things: The characters had gotten off a boat, they’d found their way into an empty mansion, they were being murdered one by one, and the murderer was someone among them. As someone who had never read “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie, I was paralyzed in my seat.