The University of Utah Press hosted a virtual book launch for Western Journeys on November 3, 2022. I read excerpts of essays, as well as poems from Islanders and Faraway Places, as I discussed my inspirations, writing process, and evolution of my ideas on travel and immigration.
Janalyn Guo, author of the story collection Our Colony Beyond the Ruins and the original acquiring editor of Western Journeys, joined me in conversation on nature and environmental writing, the absence of BIPOC voices in the dominant narratives of the West, framing larger subjects with personal experience, and more.
Earlier this month, I read at the release of Marc Vincenz’s A Brief Conversation with Consciousness and Tobey Hiller’s Flight Advice: A Fabulary from Unlikely Books. I read from my chapbook Faraway Places–editor Jonathan Penton had published a few of the poems in the sister journal Unlikely Stories.
My clip starts at about 1:00. The poems are short and ethereal. I talk about the, well, unlikely process by which I wrote these poems as I go along. I don’t know if I can write in this way anymore, but I am happy to have eked this book out of the impervious chatter of my mind.
My friends Jonathan Penton and Vincent Cellucci invited me to read with the Louisiana crew at AWP Portland. I read from my manuscript-in-submissions-hell China Mary as well as a selection from Islanders.
Last fall, Laura Pritchett and I talked about the making of the characters in our books at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival @ Boulder. Highlights include writing about sex, telling the same story from multiple points of view, and the ultimate example of an unsympathetic character.