No matter who I tell or how many times I say it, the news never ceases to be surreal. Friends, I am a finalist for the Washington State Book Award for my debut full-length poetry book, “Blood Song.”
The awards will be held on October 14th at the Central Library in Seattle. To be held in the same esteem as poets like Paisley Rekdal and Tara Hardy, Don Mee Choi and Megan Snyder-Camp, seems like a strange slip up. These are poets I’ve heard about for years, and who am I but a reader with a golden ticket?
Other nominees in the various other categories include Sherman Alexie, Lindy West, and Ted Chiang. If you live in the Seattle area and attend the ceremony, I’ll be the one looking dazzled but happy, a reader surrounded by writers.
This weekend I had the pleasure of reading alongside some of my favorite Seattle poets at the Poetry World Series: Seattle Edition! It was a fun night filled with some amazing poetry. Shoutout to my fellow Blue Team members Jane Wong and Matthew Nienow, both whom have newly published books of poetry out and I can tell you right now….these two are brilliant. And the Red Team was not to be trifled with as anyone who knows John Beer, Jeannine Hall Gailey (who also has a new book out!), and Michelle Peñaloza knows they can thrown down some powerful, funny, and intelligent verse. It was one of my favorite readings I’ve ever taken part in, and I couldn’t be more honored and humbled to be amongst such great writers.
Oh, and that’s a photo of me with one of the judges for the night. You may know him from such literary things as EVERYTHING IN THE LIT WORLD. Thank you Mr. Sherman Alexie for your insight, wit, and generosity.