Tuesday, May 22, 2018, 7:00 p.m., City Lights Booksellers, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco
reading from her award winning poetry collection
published by Graywolf Press
Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera
Jenny Xie's award-winning debut, Eye Level, takes us far and near, to Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and elsewhere, as we travel closer and closer to the acutely felt solitude that centers this searching, moving collection. Animated by a restless inner questioning, these poems meditate on the forces that moor the self and set it in motion, from immigration to travel to estranging losses and departures. The sensual worlds here—colors, smells, tastes, and changing landscapes—bring to life questions about the self as seer and the self as seen. As Xie writes, "Me? I'm just here in my traveler’s clothes, trying on each passing town for size." Her taut, elusive poems exult in a life simultaneously crowded and quiet, caught in between things and places, and never quite entirely at home. Xie is a poet of extraordinary perception—both to the tangible world and to "All that is untouchable as far as the eye can reach."
Jenny Xie was born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey. She holds degrees from Princeton University and New York University, and has received fellowships and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers. She is the recipient of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets for Eye Level and the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize for Nowhere to Arrive. Her poems have appeared in the American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, the New Republic, Tin House, and elsewhere. She teaches at New York University.
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