December updates, 2021 review, & 2022 preview

Hello friends, what a whirlwind last few months this has been! Thank you to everyone who has helped me welcome my first book Focal Point into the world. I am so very grateful for the opportunity to meet, read, talk poetry with, and be read by so many amazing writers.

November/December features & interviews


  • Kiyoko Reidy in Nashville Review called Focal Point “A haunting constellation of loss, dreams, violence, landscape, and spoken language springs from the mind of a scientist willing to question the things that resist answers: death, the capriciousness of power, the uncertainty of knowledge.
  • Angelo Mao, the only other biomedical scientist/poet I know of, reviewed Focal Point for Los Angeles Review, and I really appreciated the unique lens through which he read the book. I don’t know if anyone else could have written this: “For…many first-generation immigrants from Asia, scientific aptitude paved the way for entry into United States and provided the most tractable blueprint for success. However, in parallel with the inability of the speaker’s scientific training to alter the outcome of her mother’s illness, science could (and can) provide these immigrants with scant protection from hostile prejudice and alienation.” Mao’s award-winning debut collection Abattoir was released Nov 2, and I’m excited to read it.
  • Other wonderfully kind reviews appear in periodicities, Tab Journal, and Compulsive Reader.

2021 in publications

This feels sort of incongruous here, but if I don’t do this now, I just won’t do it, so here’s my list of publications in 2021:

2021-2022 events

ICYMI, here are some recently uploaded videos of past events, including my launch event at The Booksmith with Francesca Bell and Mariya Zilberman and “How Words Can Heal,” a reading and panel hosted by Bellevue Literary Review.

Here’s a preview of events coming up next year, including virtual readings with Antonio Lopez at Brookline Booksmith on January 19 and with Susan Nguyen and Annelyse Gelman at BookWoman on February 3. More to come on that front, and in-person events subject to change based on the evolving pandemic.

Other exciting news for 2022: I was awarded a SWWIM residency, so I’ll be in Miami at some point, TBA!

Okay, that’s all. I’ll be taking a much-needed break from the internet until January 10th. Until then, happy holidays and stay safe, everyone.

September news

Dear friends, we’re about 40 days away from the Focal Point publication day, and lots of updates are coming your way. (August updates are here.)

Upcoming events (all virtual):
  • Tomorrow, September 4th at 5pm PT, I’m reading at Beast Crawl with Lyrics & Dirges, a really awesome reading series hosted by MK Chavez and Sharon Coleman.
  • September 16th at 5pm PT, I’ll be reading with Susan Nguyen & Roy Guzmán in celebration of Susan’s book Dear Diaspora.
  • Please save the date for my launch event for Focal Point, hosted by The Booksmith, one of my favorite bookstores! I’ll be reading with my dear dear friends Francesca Bell and Mariya Zilberman. October 13th at 6pm PT, more info to come.
  • Please check out my events page for all upcoming events. I’ll share another update when I finalize my fall tour schedule.
Publications & features:
  • “This is an instagram poem,” a brand new poem not in Focal Point, was published in issue 52 of The Racket. Read it here.
  • @taylorswift_as_books featured Focal Point!
Early reviews of Focal Point:
  • “Jenny Qi’s Focal Point examines the intersections brought together by a dying loved one….  Her poems are stories of deep and incisive searching. Qi’s style and emotion fill her poetry with relatability as the reader understands, expands as the reader wonders. Yet grief makes the heart a kaleidoscope and there is an opportunity to look within for the beyond. As with a frozen pond, or smoke escaping, Qi describes how the heart both expands and contracts with emotional and scientific proof.”—Sara Paye at the Sierra Nevada Review
  • “Focal Point is an attentive study of the human condition—it has immortalized, sculpted something out of a plethora of loss.”—Handwritten & Co.
Other bookish news:
  • I got a bit behind on the Sealey Challenge, but here’s my roundup of the 25 books I did manage to read last month.
  • Onto #SeptWomenPoets, at a time when women’s voices are needed more than ever. Follow along with my Instagram stories or on Twitter, & I’ll also post a roundup of those at the end of the month/beginning of next.
  • I very casually run the bookstagram account @poetry_plus_plants, and September’s feature is Some Are Always Hungry by Jihyun Yun, which also happened to be book 1 for #SeptWomenPoets.