Winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Juan Felipe Herrera (Graywolf Press, April 3, 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
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