A Book Riot Top Queer Poetry Collections to Read During National Poetry Month
Paris Review Staff Pick
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One of Lit Hub’s Most Anticipated Books of 2019
". . . Choi creates an exhilarating matrix of poetry, science, and technology."
FRANNY CHOI is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine(Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She has been a finalist for multiple national poetry slams, and her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Senior News Editor for Hyphen, co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books.
"Choi’s collection feels like exactly what’s needed in our present moment: not a retreat into nostalgia, but an attempt to engage deeply with how we relate with one another and what authenticity means in a rapidly technologizing world."
—Jeff Chiu for iExaminer
"Franny Choi is a unique and vital voice in American poetry. . . "
—The Poetry Question
"Playful, angry, metallic, it captures the spirit of our robotic, permanently present modern existence in the panopticon of capitalism and the Internet"
"There is a kindness to be learned from these poems. It’s a lesson in empathy, where we must learn to love the other a little more and judge the self with a little more honesty."
—Books and Bao
"A dazzling sequence of poems"
—The New York Times Book Review
“The structures of these forms act not as the bones of the book, but a chrysalis that signals an ongoing state of becoming. . . .”
—The Arkansas International
“[Soft Science] is accessible for anyone wondering about identity, construction, destruction, and human connection in a digital world. . .”
“Your only regret getting this book will be that Choi herself isn’t there to read it to you…”
–Fran Tirado, Out Magazine
"...Franny Choi combines technology and poetry to stunning effect."
“…these beautiful, fractal-like poems are meditations on identity and autonomy and offer consciousness-expanding forays into topics like violence and gender, love and isolation.”
“[Soft Science] explores the blurs between organic and inorganic, reality and fiction, human and machine."
“Franny Choi’s Soft Science offers an exceptional exploration both of all that comprises the intimate and of all that consumes the communal in our lives. Whether tracking the adventures of the ‘cyborg’ or eavesdropping on conversations between sisters, it’s all the same world. These striking poems ring through with a singular voice, creating a society that helps us understand our own. When you open a book of poems, ‘isn’t that what you came to see?’ Choi builds a world not only of striking beauty and lucid politics, but also, most importantly, with love.”
—A. Van Jordan
“In Soft Science, the reigning consciousness is split, human teetering into machine, machine forced to demonstrate its humanness via acts of ritual testing, a passion play in which alienation seeks authenticity and dissociation pursues kin. Franny Choi’s generous inventiveness transmutes the book’s violent lore into a ferocious tenderness. In its conceptual heft, formal virtuosity, queer imagination, multi-dexterous approach to language, and tonal intricacy, Soft Science is a crucial book for our time—perhaps the book for our time.”
“Wearing a crown of sonnets like a dime store tiara, Franny Choi’s cyborg cephalopod is a creature of unending amazements, unfurling tendril after tendril – some surgical, some sensual, some weaponized, some rubberized—brandishing hypodermics, vibrators, cigarettes, smartphones, or simply snapping in time to the beat. With uncanny tonal and technical dexterity, she can play upon your emotions, tickle your sweet spot, then press all of your buttons at once. At once raw and radiant, these brilliant poems are at their most human when they assert their alienness, at their most ferocious when they dare to be vulnerable.”
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