Bodily departures: Jennifer Huang’s ‘Return Flight’
This week, Lauren speaks with Taiwanese poet Jennifer Huang about their debut collection, Return Flight (Milkweed Editions). These poems, with titles like “Customs” and “Departures,” are the poems of someone examining their learned behaviors beside their desires, their haunted familial histories beside joy, and intimacy, and laughter. For all of the harrowing moments in Return Flight, there is an equal amount of pleasure—pleasure of the self and of the world in which the self resides and flourishes.
Jennifer Huang is the author of Return Flight, which was awarded the 2021 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry from Milkweed Editions. Their poems have appeared in POETRY, The Rumpus, and Narrative Magazine, among other places; and they have been received recognition from the Academy of American Poets, Brooklyn Poets, North American Taiwan Studies Association, and more. In 2020, Jennifer earned their M.F.A. in Poetry at the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program. Born in Maryland to Taiwanese immigrants, they have since called many places home.
Jennifer Huang recommends:
Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler (Grand Central Publishing)
The Unpassing by Chia-Chia Lin (Picador USA)
Green Island by Shawna Yang Ryan (Vintage Books)
Lauren Korn recommends:
Soft Science by Franny Choi (Alice James Books)
Past Lives, Future Bodies by K-Ming Chang (Black Lawrence Press)
The Year of Blue Water by Yanyi (Yale University Press)
Not Here by Hieu Minh Nguyen (Coffee House Press)
The Red Zone: A Love Story by Chloe Caldwell (forthcoming from Soft Skull Press)
The Write Question team is Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; Peter Hoag, co-producer and editor; and Tom Berich, sound engineer.
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