Never mind the distances traveled, the companion
she made of herself. The threadbare twenties not
to be underestimated. A wild depression that ripped
from January into April. And still she sprouts an appetite.
Insisting on edges and cores, when there were none.
Jenny Xie was born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey. She holds degrees from Princeton University and New York University’s creative writing program, and has received fellowships and support from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers.
Her debut poetry collection, Eye Level, was selected by Juan Felipe Herrera as the winner of the 2017 Walt Whitman Award, given by the Academy of American Poets, and will be published by Graywolf Press in 2018.
About Eye Level Herrera writes:
‘Between Hanoi and Sapa’ this collection begins and continues with its ‘frugal mouth’ that ‘spends the only foreign words it owns.’ This knowing ‘travels’ in a spiral-shaped wisdom. We go places; we enter multiple terrains of seeing; we cross cultural borders of time, voices, locations—of consciousness. Then—we notice we are in a trembling stillness with all beings and all things. Jenny Xie’s Eye Level is a timely collection of beauty, clarity, and expansive humanity.
Xie is the recipient of the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize for Nowhere to Arrive, and her poems appear or are forthcoming in The New Republic, Tin House, Harvard Review, The Literary Review, Narrative, and elsewhere.
She lives in Brooklyn and teaches at New York University.