oriental cyborg

Oriental Cyborg, winner of the 2021 Chapbook Prize, was published February 2024. You can purchase it from Essay Press.

About the book:

Who is the Oriental Cyborg? asks Aditi Kini in this collection of notes, jokes, and queries into the provenance of a creature designed for labor, 3-D printed in the technoscientific post-colonies, modeled on old automata. Race is a technology, that we know, and technology can be raced — so why inquire into this at all? Perhaps this, the Oriental Cyborgis a fantasy more than a memory, or an echo more than a form — or just an essayist’s extraction of personal anguish and humor from globalist decay. 

Taking on the form of historical analysis / lyrical essay / documentary poem / experimental buzzword /  positionality statement, this chapbook and its titular character might still be an elusive mystery even after reading.


“…the book’s form defies genre, inculcated with influences beyond the literary essay, poetics, and theory. It is a single poem, or a fragmented constellation essay. Yet, it is also a dialogue between words and images; art and science; the real and the imaginary…” Heavy Feather Review, a review and reading by Olga Mikolaivna (June 2024)

“…the book puts in sharp relief the distinction between those who can choose identities and those who find identities imposed on them. The author’s ambivalence about their own place along a continuum of alienation and belonging adds a welcome complexity…” Poetry Foundation, Harriet Books Blog review by Sylee Gore (January 2024)

Advance praise:

“’What is a ghost but a person removed from corporeality?’ This is one among layers of questions Aditi Kini poses in Oriental Cyborg, a lyrical excavation into survival in the era of techno racial capitalism, and its “deleting touch” that so easily voids—reduces to faceless services—the exploited individuals performing various acts of techno-labor. A grieved searching drives this hybrid essay, which feels urgent and necessary as threats from AI grab headlines. This work compels us to see our culture’s love affair with technological progress as a means for continued colonization and domination. It also reminds us, and celebrates, that those erased don’t stay silent forever. We privileged may not be able to hear them yet, but those who are listening know. They roar.”

— Allison Cobb

“In the mirror of Aditi Kini’s Oriental Cyborg, I become the monster—a hopeless automaton, an intelligence stripped of roar. With titanium-threaded theory, Kini radiantly stitches together the ideal Asian working machine. Get your own Oriental cyborg today: super dazzling and sexy, historically embroidered, an oracular truth who never tires, never complains, forever mute, what perfection!”

— Lily Hoàng

Oriental Cyborg on Tour:

March 1, 2024:  NYC Launch Party, with performances and videos by Lucien Spect, Neon Mashurov, Charu Sinha, Teo Rivera-Dundas, Zorica Colic, and Benji Santos. The Footlight, New York.

March 14, 2024: San Diego Launch Party, with performances by Olga Mikolaivna and Dana Fidler

March 18, 2024: The Almond Launch, with Theadora Walsh and Roberto Rodriguez, Climate Control, San Francisco, CA

March 28, 2024: Little Book Night, with Emily Bark Brown, Robert Ostrom, Theadora Walsh, Topos Too, New York, NY

May 5, 2024: Denver Launch Party, with Andrea Abi-Karam, Maura Modeya, Bo Hwang, Rachel Franklin Wood, Counterpath Press, Denver, CO

Book an event by contacting Aditi on social media or through the contact form!