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Aimee Herman is the author of two full length books of poetry, “meant to wake up feeling” and “to go without blinking” and currently teaches writing in the Bronx. Read more words at aimeeherman.wordpress.com.

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Photo courtesy of Sofia Verzbolovskis

Photo courtesy of Sofia Verzbolovskis

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Andrew Seguin is a poet and photographer. He is the author of the chapbook Black Anecdote (Poetry Society of America, 2010), and has a new chapbook forthcoming from Tammy. His photographic work explores the intersection of imagery and language. Andrew has received fellowships from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, Poets House and the United States Fulbright Program. You can find him on the web at www.andrewseguin.com

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There are little words
that can fit in little places
if you say them small enough.

To fit a song into a pore
you have to be prepared
for the day it will sweat.

If words could stick on people,
if spoken, they would become
a different creature.

Blinded and you’re turned
five times around. Nothing
in you knows what it knew.

It’s the best part of the game:
Prick the girls you like best
while pinning on the donkey’s tail.

Arisa White is a Cave Canem fellow, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the author of the chapbooks Disposition for Shininess and Post Pardon. With funding from the City of Oakland, Post Pardon was adapted into an opera. Her full-length collections Hurrah’s Nest and A Penny Saved were published in 2012. Her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, won the 2012 San Francisco Book Festival Award and was nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Award, the 82nd California Book Awards, and the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards. Member of the PlayGround writers’ pool, her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. One of the founding editors of HER KIND, an online literary community powered by VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Arisa has received residencies, fellowships, or scholarships from Headlands Center for the Arts, Port Townsend Writers’ Conference, Rose O’Neill Literary House, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, Hedgebrook, Atlantic Center for the Arts, Prague Summer Program, Fine Arts Work Center, and Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. She is a 2013-14 recipient of an Investing in Artist Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, which funded the dear Gerald project, a regional representative for Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color, and a faculty member in the BFA Creative Writing program at Goddard College. Her poetry has been widely published and is featured on the recording WORD with the Jessica Jones Quartet. Arisa is a native New Yorker, living in Oakland, CA, with her wife, Samantha.

More on Arisa White.

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In the Giant’s Lair (1892) by Gerhard Munthe, Wikimedia Commons

Following a plentiful reading period full of outstanding work, Augury Books is very happy to announce Arisa White‘s you’re the most beautiful thing that happened as our poetry selection for 2016. We received so many great submissions, and paring down one manuscript from our finalist pool was a difficult feat. We are glad to highlight the work of our poetry finalists here:

Architect, Garden by Andrew Seguin

brightness this by Franciszka Voeltz

I Wanted Everything by Elizabeth Whittlesey

Majnun by Mark Faunlagui

Pinocchio: The Whale Years by Patrick Moran

Schematics for Manhood & Flight by Joe Jimenez

Snow Farmer by Benjamin Gantcher

there are some things that are easier to mention by Aimee Herman

When I Was an Octopus by Gregg Murray

On behalf of the editors, we thank you all for your extended patience. Stay tuned for more on Arisa, an excerpt from her manuscript, excerpts from several of our finalists, and a prose selection in November!

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LitMore, located in Baltimore, aims to provide a space for writers, readers and audiences to come together for workshops, readings and support. The space provides daily and monthly writing studios and houses a free access community poetry library. But as of January 1, 2016, LitMore will become a nomadic literary organization, continuing programming, but in various locations. A number of local educational and cultural institutions have been examining the practicality of taking in the organization’s book collection, but until then the library will remain in limbo and it may be necessary to move the library’s collection to a storage facility until a partner has been found. Let’s give these books a home! Find out more on how to help here!

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Come join Augury Books next Wednesday to help us celebrate the launch of our two latest poetry titles: American Gramophone by Carey McHugh, and Hiccups by Joe Pan. Guest readers Karen Russell (Swamplandia!) and Debbie Kuan (Xing) will help us ring in these two new books alongside McHugh and Pan. The launch will take place October 7th at Berl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop from 7 to 9 PM. Berl’s is located at 126A Front Street in DUMBO, Brooklyn. Please join us to have a drink, pick up a book, and be generally merry!

For updates and information check out the event’s listing!

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Vetch, a biannual journal of trans poetry and poetics has recently published its first issue! The journal aims to publish work highlighting the ways in which power shapes language, poetry and relations among trans people. Editors Stephen Ira and Kay Gabriel recently took some time to sit down with intern Emily Kaufman to discuss the online periodical, among other things.

Emily: Why did you start Vetch?

Vetch: We started Vetch because there was no journal for trans poetry, and we wanted one. It’s as simple as that. THEM Lit also publishes fiction by trans authors, and the NYC Trans Poets Workshop puts out a zine that its members contribute to, and we love those publications. (If you’re reading this, you should google them right now!) But we wanted a publication that, like most poetry journals, had an open reading period and published only poetry. It feels like a way to stake out space in the poetry world for trans writers.

Emily: What do you hope Vetch will provide to the public?

Vetch: Our call for submissions for this issue asked for work “by trans poets in trans language,” which “does not bother to translate itself for a cis reader.” To elaborate on this point, we see Vetch as supporting work by trans poets that allows itself to speak primarily between trans people, and that is not faced with the necessity of authenticating itself to a cisgender audience through appeals to a narrow and reductive set of tropes. Our hope is that Vetch will help broaden the horizon of trans poetics, and through the work we publish, foster trans poetry written in new and currently unimagined registers.

Emily: The media has put a spotlight on trans culture in several ways, including shows such as Transparent. Why do you think it took the media so long to highlight trans issues and how do you think the face of trans people in the media will change in the future?

Vetch: It’s very popular right now to talk about the importance of trans visibility and representation in mainstream media. The thing is, trans people–particularly trans women–are already hypervisible in our culture. We’re thinking here of the stares and street harassment trans women receive walking down the street, or the way the bodies of trans people are scrutinized by the medical industrial complex in order to be eligible for lifesaving care–or of the constant jokes in media that posit trans women as repulsive punchlines. In 2015, a year that’s ostensibly the best it’s ever been to be trans in America, twenty-three trans women had been murdered so far. So this increase in visibility does not necessarily bring better living conditions with it, particularly not for those trans people who are most marginalized intersectionally–the majority of those murdered women were black. In the future, we hope that trans people will have increased agency and ability to tell our own stories in media, rather than having scripts written and scenes directed for us by cis people. Maybe that can bring this conversation beyond visibility, and then we can ask different questions: When we see trans people in media, what are they doing? How do representations of trans people in media train us to treat trans people in daily life? As lurid and disposable spectacles, or as fully-fledged three-dimensional human beings?

Check out more on Vetch and download the issue for free!

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