This morning the National Book Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2018 National Book Awards in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Books in Translation and Young Peoples’ Literature. Click here to browse all of the 2018 National Book Award Finalists. Selected from these lists of five finalists in each category, the winners will be […]
Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera
For years now, I’ve been using the wrong palette.
Each year with its itchy blue, as the bruise of solitude reaches its expiration date.
Planes and buses, guesthouse to guesthouse.
I’ve gotten to where I am by dint of my poor eyesight,
my overreactive motion sickness.
9 p.m., Hanoi’s Old Quarter: duck porridge and plum wine.
Voices outside the door come to a soft boil.
—from “Phnom Penh Diptych: Dry Season”
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.”
|Product dimensions:||8.80(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Table of Contents
Unspoiled Fictions 5
Phnom Penh Diptych: Wet Season 6
Phnom Penh Diptych: Dry Season 13
Old Wives' Tales on Which I Was Fed 25
Solitude Study 26
Alike, Yet Not Quite 30
Lunar New Year, 1988 31
Chinatown Diptych 37
Origin Story 41
Private Property 43
Invisible Relations 44
Visual Orders 46
No Animal 51
Square Cells 54
Exit, Eve 60
The Hunt 64
To Be a Good Buddhist Is Ensnarement 66
Déjà Vu 69
Letters to Du Fu 70
A Slow Way 72
Long Nights 74