Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera (Graywolf Press, 2018)
“‘Between Hanoi and Sapa’ this collection begins and continues with its ‘frugal mouth’ that ‘spends the only foreign words it owns.’ This knowing ‘travels’ in a spiral-shaped wisdom. We go places; we enter multiple terrains of seeing; we cross cultural borders of time, voices, locations—of consciousness. Then—we notice we are in a trembling stillness with all beings and all things. Jenny Xie’s Eye Level is a timely collection of beauty, clarity, and expansive humanity.”
Juan Felipe Herrera, judge’s statement for the Walt Whitman Award
"What a sheer and complex joy it is to read this book. I've never seen this precise combination of clarity, depth, heart, and loveliness—Jenny Xie's Eye Level makes me linger over every breathtaking line and has me in a trance. Poem after poem is more than beautiful; they're works of art made of fluid self and sharp life and the author's singular intelligence, her feral imagination. To the question 'who am I?' this poet answers 'where I am' and finds new, dazzling questions in every discovery."
"How many lives have been lived inside Jenny Xie's brief life? I'm guessing the number is staggering, as is the wisdom I find in her remarkable debut. Eye Level renders the world with such lyric precision, such a quiet hugeness of spirit, such fresh astonishment. Already I am certain Xie's is one of the voices that will help me, quite simply, to live."
Tracy K. Smith
LINKS TO BOOKSELLERS:
Graywolf Press, IndieBound , Powell's , Barnes & Noble , Amazon
“The poems in [Xie’s] crystalline debut. . .are ever alert to the complex relationship between geography and the self.” - New York Times Book Review, "New and Noteworthy"
“. . .we remain burrowed in the mind of this magnificent poet, who braids in the lonesomeness and sorrow of being unmoored and on your own.” - The Paris Review, Staff Picks
“For a poet so capable of taking readers on far-flung journeys to places like Corfu, Cambodia, and New York, Xie is perhaps most remarkable for her ability to take readers deeper inside themselves than they have ever been. . .Xie’s work is just a thing of pure, piercing beauty.” - NYLON
“Reading Eye Level feels like taking a trip with someone who truly sees you, and the world, as it is.” - BuzzFeed
“In this visceral debut collection, Jenny Xie is both delicate and gut-punching — and the result is something wondrous. "Eye Level" is a gorgeous exploration of our relationship with solitude; the thoughts that keep us up at night; what it means to feel at home. It's quietly intimate and full of clarity, with nearly every page urging you to use all of your senses to truly absorb its weight.” - Shondaland
“Jenny Xie’s breathtaking debut is a sharp blade that opens the world like the ripe persimmon pictured on its cover and offers us the halves to savor. Beauty and loneliness comprise those halves, and the delicious tension between the two propels the collection forward.”- The East Bay Review
“Eye Level shows the myriad ways that thought and attention can impel, prevent, and distract vision, directing us both toward and away from the fragmented sights that form our conception of the world.” - Debutantes
“. . .an exquisite interrogation of perspective and selfhood but also reaches out to something more elusive — the troubled way language can isolate and put up borders. . . even after so many words, Xie reminds us there’s always another sentence our minds can write, always another moment of bewilderment heading our way.” - Michigan Quarterly Review