Yay

Wonderful Nothings - the Zine!

It’s here! Mag Gabbert and I recently finished making this zine during my visit to Dallas. The title of our zine, Wonderful Nothings, comes from comedian and crafts enthusiast Amy Sedaris, who writes in her book Simple Times, “Crafting is considered to be a pastime where one turns simple somethings into wonderful nothings.” This little collection features erasure poems, poems typed up handsomely (or at least semi-competently) on an old Olympia typewriter, and original poetry that’s never appeared elsewhere!

A preview from our author pic photoshoot:

A preview of the cover + one of my erasure poems:

Go here to download (for free!) a digital and/or printable booklet.

National Endowment for the Arts - Fellow page

So honored to be a 2019 NEA Fellow in Literature! All the 2019 Fellows’ pages are up on the arts.gov site now. Here’s my author photo (thanks again to Jess X. Snow) and (click through to read!) my statement, in which I discuss my second full-length poetry manuscript (tentatively titled Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency) and what this funding means to me. On the site there’s also a sample poem from my second mss, “Winter [The grackles flap...]”

Read everything here.

Gesundheit!

Sam Herschel Wein and I made a chapbook together called Gesundheit! And now it’s going to be published by one of our favorite chapbook presses, Glass Poetry!! Congratulations to all the poets whose collections were picked up—can’t wait to read them. And congratulations to the stunning finalists. 🐳 🎊

Glass Poetry Chap Winners!.JPG

Our collection consists of poems by Sam, poems by me, and some completely collaborative work, too. These pieces examine lemons, bike marathons, heteronormative society, failure, soap operas, Ikea bags, and that most universal of experiences—sneezing.

Ultimately, the chapbook is a celebration of queer friendship—between two young poets (and cuties mhm). Thanks to editor Anthony Frame for believing in this collaboration and for all the labor that goes into this beautiful chapbook series.

Read the full official announcement here.

Olympia

So much gratitude to Beth Reynolds for this Olympia typewriter (and thank you also for the oatmeal chocolate cookies!). What a stunning gift. I’ve been wanting a typewriter for a while—when I was younger, my family had one that I loved using, and then at some point, years ago, we just moved on entirely to computers. I’ve been missing the sound of typewriters. The keys and little hammers, the bell. The unabashed clack, this bold machinery.

The second image here is my second attempt at typing something on the Olympia. First attempt had many more mistakes, haha. On this page are all my collections—chapbook and full-length, published and forthcoming and still in the works. Thanks to Jeff for looking up how to type the number 1 (not with an uppercase “I” but with a lowercase “L”), how to make an exclamation point (a three-step process), and how to backspace (just a key I keep forgetting is the key). Learning and learning. From the fumbling and the slow attending, trying again. Also excited to use some whiteout!

Next—will (must) type up poems/poem excerpts I love. Maybe something by Brigit Pegeen Kelly, whose book Song I just taught in my poetry workshop at Brandeis. And then maybe something by Nikky Finney, whose book Head Off & Split I am about to teach. These will likely be excerpts, as they both tend (gorgeously) toward the long poem. But then, I anticipate, I know that there will also be delight as well as instruction in spending that time—taking that care to type up and out a long unfolding.

Smith College

Thanks to the Smith College Poetry Center for making these beautifully designed cards with my poems on them!

I had an amazing time reading at Smith last Tuesday. Many thanks to Matt Donovan, Director of the Poetry Center, for organizing and shepherding and conversing. Thanks to Nathan McClain for the gorgeous introduction at the reading.

And my love to former teachers who came to the event—Floyd Cheung (I took an Asian American literature class with him and now he’s teaching my book in one such class!) and Martín Espada (I took a workshop, a Pablo Neruda class, and a poetry of the political imagination class with him at UMass Amherst).

It was also wonderful to meet up with some friends, old & new (love how easy it is to visit Western Mass/the Valley now that I’m back in the Boston area). And to explore the Smith College Museum of Art, which has such a fantastic collection… AND an incredible gift shop.

For example: this snail figurine!!

snail.JPG

Glass Poetry Chapbook Series

(Bff!) Sam Herschel Wein and I wrote a sneeze-&-tissue-filled collab/joint chapbook called Gesundheit! and now it’s a finalist for the Glass Poetry Chapbook Series (which has published/keeps publishing such beautiful, urgent work). Alongside so many poem people we admire! Sunlight & gratitude to editor Anthony Frame.

(And yes, we already have a tour name—The Achoo Tour!)

In any case, celebrating this milestone and celebrating all these finalists.

Image from this Twitter post/official announcement.

Love Poems

I love love poems—reading them, writing them (or trying to). I love the falling in love with language that happens with every poem (or so I hope for). I love the bold effort, the tender effort to say, to sing, and to listen more precisely and strangely. I love love poems for partners, friends, plants, waters, family, your own breath.

Grateful to the following places for sharing some of my love poems on Thursday, for Valentine’s Day (a silly, commercial holiday, but maybe at its best a reminder of something sweet; including the literal discount chocolate the next day!):

Kundiman (which itself refers to a genre of Filipino love song)—”First Light,” which was published in Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts and then in my first book and also in Poem-a-Day.

Poetry Magazine on Twitter— “Winter,” which appeared in the Asian American poets issue.

Poets.org on Instagram—”The School of Night & Hyphens,” which was published in Poem-a-Day.

The Best American Poetry 2019

‪So I think I can share this news now? I’m ecstatic that my poem, “I Invite My Parents to a Dinner Party” has been selected by Major Jackson for The Best American Poetry 2019. Thanks to Major Jackson and series editor David Lehman. Thanks to Tracy K. Smith, who first chose this one for Poem-a-Day. And thanks to Muriel Leung, whose care and conversation sparked the writing. ❤️🎉

I’m not supposed to post any screenshots or links to the poem, but I think you have enough info to google it (or find it on this site!), if you so desire. I think this one’s also been one of my most shared poems online, which has been really moving to see, as this is a deeply personal piece about coming out and coming out again and again and again and. I’m glad the poem is reaching people who need it, and living a full life.