University of Iowa Press Spring 2020 Catalog

•December 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The University of Iowa Press has released its Spring 2020 catalog. The press, through its Contemporary North American Poetry Series, will be publishing two new books: my Contested Records: The Turn to Documents in Contemporary North American Poetry (see p. 15) and Benjamin Lee’s Poetics of Emergence: Affect and History in Postwar Experimental Poetry (see p. 16), which looks fascinating.

Bettering American Poetry Volume 3 (2019)

•November 23, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I just received my contributor’s copy of Bettering American Poetry Volume 3 in the mail. What a beautiful printed artifact. I’m grateful to editors Amy King, George Abraham, Chen Chen, Sarah Clark, Kenning J.P. García, Héctor Ramírez, Candace Williams, Erika Wurth, and John Yau for including me. In a stichomantic exercise, I opened the anthology at random and found “Lactorium” by the great Laura Mullen. Here are the first fifteen lines:

And your heartlessness and your longing for lies are like milk to me
And your self-harm and your scapegoating are like milk to me like your rage and
Your unwillingness to pay taxes your desire to buy cheap things these are like milk
And your dirty wars and your drones are like milk to me
Because the words “collateral damage” and “byproduct” are so white
And your anxiety and your depression and your plastic and your failure to recognize
The guilty above a certain level of influence are all so thick and creamy
And your tolerance for violent injustice I drink this I drink this thickness
And your active shooter is like white milk to me and your racism is a kind of milk
And the killing of children is like milk to me the body left on the street is like milk
And your sexism is like milk to me your rape culture
And your protection of the abuser who is white and male is exactly like milk to me
And the years when you fail to work on a cure for the disease because you despise
The afflicted those long decades are like milk to me
And your guns are like milk to me your precious guns more precious than anything

I’m really looking forward to delving in. Once the semester ends, I hope to read this cover to cover–

Thinking about Don’t Let Me Be Lonely

•November 18, 2019 • Leave a Comment


I’ve been thinking about Claudia Rankine’s Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric (2004) a bit for several reasons. I’ll likely teach it next semester in a course on Documentary Poetics (I haven’t taught it since 2009). I’m also giving a talk on Rankine next week.

I was looking through Nerys Williams’s Contemporary Poetry (Edinburgh UP, 2011) and was somewhat confused by the fact that Williams calls Rankine’s book Please Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. Anyone know why this is the case? Is there an alternate edition out there that I don’t know about?

Verge: Studies in Global Asias Vol. 5, No. 2, Fall 2019

•November 3, 2019 • Leave a Comment

My short essay “Curating Japanese/American Memories of World War II in Twentieth-Century Poetry” is in the new issue of Verge: Studies in Global Asias, edited by Tina Chen, Josephine Park, and We Jung Yi. It’s part of a larger feature called “Against Witness: Anti-commemorative Asian/American Poetics,” which also includes pieces by Timothy Yu, Jane Wong, Michelle N. Huang, and Steven Yao.

Color Inside the Lines: Race & Subjectivity in Contemporary American Poetry, Rutgers University

•November 1, 2019 • Leave a Comment

From So & So Magazine #9

•August 30, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Reality Beach #6

•April 22, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The latest issue of the very cool electronic journal Reality Beach is now up and running. A small excerpt of my long poem in progress “Disorientations” is included among great company.