[Originally posted the following text on Facebook on Wednesday, February 13th.]
What a giddy, beautiful day. So this morning I visited my high school, Newton North, to read poems for its annual Asian Culture Day. Wonderful to see some of my amazing English teachers! And to talk with students there now! And then to see this news announced. I'm the writer that I am because of all the brilliant teachers (!) and classmates (!) I've had. Just overjoyed to share that I've received a Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. This grant will go toward many poetry-related things as well as life things, including the finishing (*fingers crossed*) of my second book.
And what incredible company here: Reginald Dwayne Betts, Malachi Black, Jennifer S. Cheng, Tiana Clark, Geffrey Davis, Kendra DeColo, Sarah Gambito, Roy Guzmán, Jenny Johnson, Ilya Kaminsky, Adrian Matejka, Kiki Petrosino, Sasha Pimentel, Erika L. Sánchez, Charif Shanahan, Emily Skaja, and others. Love and congratulations to all the fellows. Thank you to the NEA, Amy Stolls, Katy Day, and the judges.
Thank you to Sam Herschel Wein, Ashley Mag Gabbert, Jess Smith, Keegan Lester (happy bday!), Muriel Leung, and Monica Sok--your friendship & feedback & fashion choices have been/are essential. And thank you again to my dissertation committee, Curtis Bauer, Leslie Jill Patterson, and Michael Borshuk, for your insights into so many of the new poems and for your big-hearted support. Jeff: you're not on Facebook, but you know. You know! *heart emoji* I would also like to thank my dog. Thanks, Mr. Giles!
[Full list of 2019 NEA fellows here.]