Join us in celebrating the launch of Diaries of a Terrorist, Christopher Soto’s debut poetry collection being published on May 3, 2022 by Copper Canyon Press.
This debut poetry collection demands the abolition of policing and human caging. In Diaries of a Terrorist, Christopher Soto uses the “we” pronoun to emphasize that police violence happens not only to individuals, but to whole communities. His poetics open the imagination towards possibilities of existence beyond the status quo. Soto asks, “Who do we call terrorist—and why”? These political surrealist poems shift between gut-wrenching vulnerability, laugh-aloud humor, and unapologetic queer punk raunchiness. Diaries of a Terrorist is groundbreaking in its ability to speak—from a local to a global scale—about one of the most important issues of our time.
Christopher Soto will be joined for a reading by Lynn Melnick, Denne Michele, Sally Wen Mao, Che Gossett, and Andrea Abi-Karam.
Lynn Melnick: Lynn Melnick is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik (2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books, and the co-editor of Please Excuse This Poem: 100 Poets for the Next Generation (Viking, 2015). Her memoir, I’ve Had to Think Up a Way to Survive: On Trauma, Persistence, and Dolly Parton, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press’s American Music Series in 2022. She has received grants from the Cafe Royal Cultural Society and the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute. A former fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and previously on the executive board of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, she currently teaches poetry at Columbia University and the 92Y.
Denne Michele: Denne Michele Norris (she/her) is a Black Trans writer living in New York City. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Electric Literature. Her chapbook, Awst Collection, was named one of the best books of 2018 by Powell’s. She is a 2019 Peter Taylor Fellow at The Kenyon Review Fiction Workshop, and her writing has been supported by MacDowell, Tin House, VCCA, and the Kimbilio Center for African American Fiction. She is the former Fiction Editor for both Apogee Journal and The Rumpus, and is co-host of the critically-acclaimed podcast Food 4 Thot. She resides in Harlem, where she is hard at work on her debut novel.
Sally Wen Mao: Sally Wen Mao is the author of Oculus (Graywolf Press), a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry. Her first book, Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014), was the winner of the 2012 Kinereth Gensler Award. She has received fellowships from the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library and from George Washington University, among others. She was born in Wuhan, China and raised in the Bay Area, California.
Che Gossett: Che Gossett is a Black non-binary femme writer. They are currently a postdoc at the Center for Contemporary Critical Thought at Columbia University and will be spending time as a visiting scholar at the Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College, Oxford University in 2022-23. Che was a 2019-2020 Helena Rubinstein Fellow in Critical Studies, in the Whitney Independent Study Program as well as a 2020-2021 graduate fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University. Their work has been published in anthologies including Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (MIT Press, 2017), Death and Other Penalties: Continental Philosophers on Prisons and Capital Punishment (Fordham UP, 2014), Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2014). They are co-editing a special issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke UP) with Professor Eva Hayward, on trans in a time of HIV/AIDS. They also co-edited with Professor David Getsy a syllabus on trans and non binary methods for Art Journal which just recently received the 2022 CAA Art Journal Award.
Andrea Abi-Karam: Andrea Abi-Karam is a trans, arab-american punk poet-performer cyborg. They are the author of EXTRATRANSMISSION (Kelsey Street Press, 2019) and with Kay Gabriel, they co-edited We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books, 2020). Their second book, Villainy (Nightboat Books, Sept 2021) reimagines militant collectivity in the wake of the Ghost Ship Fire and the Muslim Ban. They are a leo obsessed with queer terror and convertibles.