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Presentation and Q&A: "The Difference Between Looking At and Looking Into"

Paul Tran, Poetry Editor of The Offing Magazine
Friday, September 17, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
Off Campus Location
This event is open to MFA students and Zell Fellows only. Please email for login instructions.

A poem should be the discovery and formal enactment of an emotional or psychological investigation, and this short presentation will consider how discovery and enactment are achieved in a lyric experiment, and it will propose that a poetics of deep interiority is, in fact, a poetics of liberation. The presentation will be followed by an open-ended, student-moderated Q&A.

Paul Tran is the author of the debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, forthcoming from Penguin Poets in 2022. Their work appears in The New Yorker, The Nation, Good Morning America, and elsewhere, including the Lionsgate movie Love Beats Rhymes with Azealia Banks, Common, and Jill Scott. A recipient of the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Paul is the first Asian American since 1993—and first transgender poet ever—to win the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam, placing top 10 at the Individual World Poetry Slam and top 2 at the National Poetry Slam. They earned a B.A. in History from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they were the Chancellor’s Graduate Fellow and Senior Poetry Fellow in The Writing Program. Paul is currently a Visiting Faculty in Poetry at Pacific University MFA in Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.

Since 2016, Paul has served as Poetry Editor at The Offing Magazine with Nabila Lovelace. They edit and publish emerging voices from communities that have been underrepresented by or redacted from American letters. They collaborate with a diverse team of readers, and they helped build a production internship for queer & trans poets pursuing a publishing career. From Justin Phillip Reed to Imani Davis, Tommy Pico to Gabrielle Bates, The Offing aims to be a home for poets in every sense of the word. It’s because of this ambition that the Whiting Foundation awarded The Offing a Literary Magazine Prize in 2019. In their citation, the judges said: “ The Offing is a cross-genre concourse of art and ideas that engage the world and our present moment head-on. The magazine’s vibrancy is due in no small part to its unswerving commitment to amplifying marginalized voices, and its sharp but compassionate understanding of what writers need to thrive. The Offing sets the mark and pushes us past it.”
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Literature
Source: Happening @ Michigan from University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers' Program, English Language & Literature - MFA Program in Creative Writing