I win a Pew Fellowship and the sun will now speak my name with Futurepoem

Though the sun was relatively quiet this month, June began full of immense, storming, flood-of-light surprises for me. I was contacted by Jennifer Tamayo of Futurepoem and told that my manuscript, SOLAR MAXIMUM, was selected for publication! My book will be printed along with David Buuck’s new work, Site Cite City, as part of their next lineup in 2014. I cannot believe I get to join Rachel Levitsky, Marcella Durand, Shanxing Wang, Jill Magi, Camille Roy, Ronaldo Wilson, my former classmate Noah Eli Gordon, and SO MANY OTHER AMAZING AUTHORS, as part of the Futurepoem universe.

I’m especially thrilled that this manuscript, which tries to imagine the end of time, a speculative future, is with FUTUREpoem. It’s incredible.

A few days later, I also received the news that I had won a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Up to twelve artists are selected each year for this award, and I have the especial honor of winning along with three other amazing Philadelphia authors–Frank Sherlock, Jenn McCreary, and Emily Abendroth. HOLY COW. Previous winners include CA Conrad, Kevin Varrone, Pattie McCarthy, Linh Dinh, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Jena Osman, Ron Silliman… The immense outpouring of cheers, friendship, and general Philadelphia poetry pride, has been amazing. I’d always felt that the poetry community was like a different type of family. I’m part of this huge tribe. I’m so happy to be a member.

I was thinking about dragons and snakes, dragons and snakes. I wrote about them a bit earlier. These things are coming true, I think.

This spring, I was mournful. Many things felt like they were closing inside of me. I was learning to give up on older dreams, feeling them dissipate into the air like a breath. I used to want to bear children and start a family. The reality is, I don’t think this will be the case. Certainly not as I had once envisioned it for myself. However, such desires and others still inhabit my body. I move to exorcise them. I want to be new.

I blew my life up a year ago. Everything went into the sky. I learned to inhabit its limit, without threat, by taking shelter inside my bones. I was small but not alone. Now I feel everything is plummeting into the ground, like meteoric projections. Where will these things land? How far will they take me? What is the magnitude by which I dare expand?

Debrah Morkun offered me my horoscope according to an alternative calendar. She told me I was a Blue Magnetic Storm.

This was the sun on my birthday.



oh to see, seethe or set aright —

(I had a name. It once blossomed on a pond

and the old darkness — what of it

does it know how I tilt inside

in that spawning quiet storm



Video Poem for CA Conrad’s Jupiter 88


It’s a wonderful and sad thing. Since I’m moving to Pittsburgh in a month, I’ve been making sure to really enjoy my time in Philadelphia and reach out to friends, attend events, and generally be much more social than I have been in the past few years. It’s a double-edged thing, though. I can already forecast how I’ll miss my friends, these spaces. I have to remind myself that I’ll have my memories nestled up inside as keepsakes.

Last night was one of those nights I’ll hold onto for a long while. CA Conrad came up for dinner, and my friend Dorothea Lasky has been visiting. I cooked up a bunch of food, and we had such a great time. Conrad let me film him for this little video project I’m working on, and then filmed me for his video poem series, Jupiter 88. It was incredible. I’ve always wanted to travel to travel through space, and Conrad helped me do it! Not to mention how I got to enjoy Dottie’s impromptu karaoke. Haha!!

I’m also posting a picture of me with Frank Sherlock and Rod Smith from the Chapter and Verse reading series. I was the “chapter” aspect of the night, as I decided to read some of my speculative work that acts more like fiction.

Mark Your Calendars in Austin and Philadelphia

APRIL. We tilt a bit closer to the sun, and what blossoms from the earth…I’m excited about several opportunities to read over the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get to see you at some of them?

Firstly, the NEW issue of Critiphoria is out! Definitely one of the smartest collections I’ve ever had the privilege of appearing in. Please go “click” and take a peek.

I’ll be in Austin, Texas for the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) conference from April 8-11th. The conference is being held at the Omni Austin Hotel downtown. If you want to hear me nerd out, I’ll be presenting a paper on Mei Mei Berssenbrugge’s poetry on Thursday at 4:30pm. Timothy Yu, who wrote the excellent Race and the Avant Garde, will be presenting on John Yau’s Berlin poems, and Catherine Fung (who was just hired to teach up in Massachusetts) will discuss Gran Turino. Stephen Hong Sohn from Stanford will be chairing.

I’ll be reading poems for the Asian American Writers Workshop (AAWW) Reading on Friday, April 9th at 7pm.

On Saturday, April 10th, I’ll be reading with Ken Chen, the executive director of the AAWW at Hoa Nguyen’s home in Austin. I’ll have further details on that soon.

If you’re in Philadelphia, there’s a HUGE Heretical Texts event on Saturday, April 10th in Center City Philadelphia. All five poets will be (re)present(ed), and it is probably the only time this will happen for this particular volume of the Heretical Texts Series. Though I can’t physically be present because I’ll be in Austin, Carolina Maugeri will read a few of my poems on my behalf, and I will be there in spirit. Below is the announcement for the Philadelphia Heretical Texts reading.

On MONDAY April 12th, I’ll be giving a presentation discussing the use of film and theory in my poetry at the University of the Arts. The talk is from 1-2:30 in the CBS Auditorium, located in Hamilton Hall (corner of Broad and Pine Street). This talk is intended for an undergradate audience. You’ll need a picture ID if you plan on attending. I hope you do!

On FRIDAY April 16th, I’ll be reading in Philadelphia for the Moles Not Molar reading series. The event starts at 7:30 at the Wooden Shoe Bookstore (704 South Street (at South and 7th St). I’ll be reading with Matvei Yankelevich of Ugly Duckling Presse (they produce the most stunning books), with music by Tristan Dahn & Tim Leonido.


HERETICAL TEXT Philly event, DON’T MISS IT!  (If you miss it don’t come crying to me!)
April 10th
at 8pm
Corner of Walnut and Broad
in the Connelly Auditorium, 7th floor

(ENTER on Broad Street through the door between Rite Aide and the Italian restaurant, you will need to show I.D. at the desk to enter, EVENT IS FREE)

Kate Schapira (author of TOWN), Allison Cobb (author of Green-Wood), Sueyeun Juliette Lee (author of Underground National), Simone White (author of House Envy of All the World), and CAConrad & Frank Sherlock (co-authors of The City Real & Imagined)

HERETICAL TEXT Books are published by Factory School, and this Philly event is the only event in the continental US and the entire world where all the authors will be reading together!  DON’T MISS IT!
see:  http://www.factoryschool.org/ht/index.html for details on books.

Kate Schapira’s book:  http://www.factoryschool.com/pubs/heretical/vol5/schapira/index.html

Allison Cobb’s book:  http://www.factoryschool.com/pubs/heretical/vol5/cobb/index.html

Sueyeun Juliette Lee’s book:  http://www.factoryschool.com/pubs/heretical/vol5/lee/index.html

Simone White’s book:  http://www.factoryschool.com/pubs/heretical/vol5/white/index.html

CAConrad & Frank Sherlock’s book:  http://cityrealandimagined.blogspot.com

Underground National is available!

Factory School is pleased to announce the publication of Heretical Texts, Volume 5:

1. TOWN, by Kate Schapira (70 pages): How we live differently in the same world, who we mean when we say we, what we mean when we say here.

2. Green-Wood, by Allison Cobb (166 pages): Wanders Brooklyn’s famous nineteenth century Green-Wood Cemetery and discovers that its 500 acres–hills and ponds, trees and graves–mirror the American landscape: a place marked by greed, war, and death, but still pulsing with life.

3. Underground National, by Sueyeun Juliette Lee (108 pages): Go underground and enter into a subterranean consideration of how History collides with human memory to generate new, unseen currents for being.

4. House Envy of All the World, by Simone White (78 pages): Family, death, power, Poetry and blackness—each is implicated in a general failure of perfection and subjected to furious lyric re-thinking.

5. The City Real & Imagined, by CAConrad & Frank Sherlock (100 pages): Visit landmarks that remain standing, revisit citizens that live on in memory, and participate in the future mappings of your city yet to be realized–the city real & imagined.

For complete details, visit: www.factoryschool.org/ht

All books $15 paperback, $30 hardcover — available now through Small Press Distribution (www.spdbooks.org).

VOLUME DISCOUNT: Get a complete paperback set of HT Vol. 5 for $50 (33.3% discount). Order direct from Factory School using PayPal: www.factoryschool.com/pubs/order.html

To order by check, please write to bmarsh at factoryschool.org.