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.

Focal Point cover reveal & pre-order info

Friends! I’m so excited to finally share my book cover, designed by my brilliant friend Hilary Steinberg. I also have a book page here, and pre-order is available through Steel Toe Books and elsewhere (all links are available on the book page).

Some backstory on this cover: I took the photo in Mammoth Lakes, CA last summer, before I found out that my book would be published. What makes this cover extra meaningful for me is that Hilary is one of my oldest friends and one of so few people remaining in my life who remembers my mother. It’s so special to me that I was able to work with her on this.

Day 275: book announcement

I’m excited to finally share that after being a finalist in a number of contests, my debut poetry collection, Focal Point, was selected by Dustin Pearson for the Steel Toe Books Poetry Award and will be published next fall. Link to the announcement & words from Dustin Pearson on the book here. So grateful for this at the end of such a long year.