Hi friends, it’s been a BUSY pub month. Thank you to everyone who has bought my book, attended one of my events, read with me, shared one of my posts, or otherwise supported me through this crazy time. Here are some updates from the last month, upcoming events, and recordings of past events ICYMI.
For Full Stop, my longtime friend Kelly Swope wrote an expansive and thoughtful review that made me feel so seen: “Focal Point, like the Greek epics it frequently references, is… an inner odyssey through illness and loss that imparts the difficult lesson that to live is to grieve.”
From Vitni Review: “If contemporary grief writing can be characterized as an ongoing conversation concerning tradition, memory, and death, then Focal Point is among the strongest examples of poets writing on those topics today, and one of the most intriguing poetic debuts in recent years.”
Focal Point was featured in this roundup in the Washington Independent Review of Books
I started a Mailchimp newsletter last month and will use that to send (very occasional) event updates directly to your inbox. Here’s the first one with an option to subscribe if you’re interested. I’ll probably send out another email in January to announce my spring 2022 events. If you follow this blog, you can also get these monthly-ish updates in your inbox.
Dear friends, I’m excited (but also, because I’m me, utterly panicked) to announce that we are four days from the official Focal Point release date, and I’ve got lots of updates coming your way, including how to enter the preorder giveaway, signing up for my newly launched newsletter, the Focal Pointfall tour schedule, and a peek at early reviews & features.
I started a Mailchimp newsletter and will use that to send (very occasional) event updates directly to your inbox. Here’s the first one as well as an option to subscribe if you’re interested!
Here are my 2021 fall events! All are virtual unless otherwise noted; there are two in-person events in San Francisco. They are subject to change, so please check my events page and follow me on Instagram for the latest updates and links to sign up for the events.
Below, I am including links to register for my first few October events, including two in-person events in San Francisco at Yerba Buena Gardens (10/17) and Green Apple Books on the Park (10/22):
ICYMI, here’s a link to watch my very fun reading and conversation with Susan Nguyen and Roy Guzmán in celebration of Susan’s book Dear Diaspora, which was released September 1st. Huge shoutout to Susan for your support and for being such an inspiration as you’ve navigated your book launch.
Features & early reviews
Frontier Poetry featured Postcards from the Living” in their August roundup of Exceptional Poetry
Focal Point was featured by the bookstagram account @asianauthorsbookclub, who described it as “a debut poetry collection that will dazzle your mind and twist your heart.”
Novelist A.H. Kim featuredFocal Point in her delightful Little Free Libraries Instagram project
In Mochi Mag, written by Tria Chang, a side by side interview with Kat Chow, author of Seeing Ghosts, a memoir that is also about losing her mother as a young person
A thoughtful review by Rooted & Written alumna Rebecca Samuelson, who took a poetry workshop I led: “Jenny Qi tackles [grief] with a ferocious grace in her new collection…. Focal Point provides a starting point to a journey that will never end but will inevitably change the trajectory of your life.”
That’s all for now! Hope to see you at one of my upcoming events this month!
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.