Marianne Chan is the author of All Heathens. She grew up in Stuttgart, Germany, and Lansing, Michigan. Her poems have appeared in West Branch, The Journal, Poetry Northwest, Denver Quarterly, Indiana Review, Carve Magazine, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She serves as poetry editor at Split Lip Magazine.
In this special Episode #132 of The Blood-Jet Writing Hour, we interview not one but two poets who happen to be in loving partnership with each other. Take a listen to this episode where poets Kazumi Chin and Michelle Lin discuss what it is like to begin and move through literary careers together, navigating romantic and professional jealousy, and what it means to build stronger communities together.
Kazumi Chin’s first poetry collection, Having a Coke with Godzilla, was published in 2017 by Sibling Rivalry Press. Their most recent work can be found in Underblong, AAWW’s the Margins, and in AALR’s Book of Curses. They are the co-organizer and host of Kearny Street Workshop’s key reading series and currently a PhD candidate in Cultural Studies at UC Davis.
Michelle Lin is a poet, community arts organizer, and author of A House Made of Water from Sibling Rivalry Press. She is a Kundiman fellow, co-organizer for Kearny Street Workshop’s reading series, and fundraising manager for RYSE Center in Richmond, California, a social justice youth center. You can follow her @sadwitheyebrows.
New York Times–bestselling author Erin Entrada Kelly was awarded the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe. Her debut novel, Blackbird Fly, was a Kirkus Best Book, a School Library Journal Best Book, an ALSC Notable Book, and an Asian/Pacific American Literature Honor Book. She is also the author of The Land of Forgotten Girls, winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and You Go First, a New York Times bestseller, Spring 2018 Indie Next Pick, Kirkus Reviews Best Book, and School Library Journal Best Book. Her book, Lalani and the Distant Sea, was released in September 2019. She grew up in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and now lives in Delaware. http://www.erinentradakelly.com
Sara Borjas is a Chicanx pocha and a Fresno poet. Her debut collection of poetry, Heart Like a Window, Mouth Like a Cliff, was published by Noemi Press in March 2019 as part of the Akrilica series.
Sara earned a B.A. in English Literature from Fresno State and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Writing for Performative Arts from University of California, Riverside. She is currently a lecturer in the Department of Creative Writing at UC Riverside. Her poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Academy of American Poets Poem a Day Series, TinderBox, The Offing, Entropy, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Cultural Weekly, The Acentos Review, and Luna Luna, amongst others. She co-hosts and produces The Lovesick Poetry Podcast — a west coast poetry podcast launching in 2019, alongside IRL cousin and award-winning poet, Joseph Rios.
She is a 2017 CantoMundo Fellow, a 2016 Postgraduate Writers Conference Fellow at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and a 2013 Community of Writers Workshop at Squaw Valley Fellow. She is the recipient of the 2014 Blue Mesa Poetry Prize. She lives in Los Angeles but stays rooted in Fresno.
She digs oldiez, astrophysics, aromatics, and tiny prints is about decentering whiteness.
MT Vallarta is a poet and Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, where they study feminist theory, queer theory, and Filipinx poetics. Their work is published in Nat. Brut, Rabbit Catastrophe Press, Broadly, Apogee Journal, Weird Sister, TAYO Literary Magazine, and others. They were raised and live in Los Angeles, CA.
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle’s DESTROYER.
He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers’ Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.
He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.
He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.
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We’re kicking off National Poetry Month a few days early with an episode with Erika Ayón! Rachelle and Erika talk about Los Angeles, the color and fruit orange, and migration. Tune in!
Erika Ayón emigrated from Mexico when she was five years old and grew up in South Central, Los Angeles. She attended UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in English. In 2009 she was selected as a PEN Emerging Voices Fellow. In 2014 her poem “Hibiscus Skies,” was selected as a top ten poem from the Poetry in the Windows VI project sponsored by the Arroyo Arts Collective. Erika has taught poetry to middle and high school students across Los Angeles. She was a 2016-2017 Community Literature Initiative Scholar. Her debut collection of poetry Orange Lady was published by World Stage Press in March 2018. Available at http://www.worldstagepress.org/product/orange-lady. Erika currently resides in the San Fernando Valley where she lives with her husband and two cats.