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“It’s too late for safety”: Jos Charles’s ‘a Year & other poems’

A black and white photo of Jos Charles sits on the left; her new book of poetry, 'a Year & other poems,' sits on the right: a pale yellow cover with a watercolored image in the center (a rainbow and black shape).
Jos Charles

This week during The Write Question, Lauren chats with Jos Charles, author of a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions), her third full-length collection. These poems endure, as the poet has endured, loss and devastation—California wildfires, housing insecurity, the death of loved ones. The strength of this collection lies its in silence, its whispers, its defiant hope, a search for something more, something better.

About Jos:

Jos Charles is author of a Year & other poems (Milkweed Editions; March 15, 2022), feeld, a Pulitzer-finalist and winner of the 2017 National Poetry Series selected by Fady Joudah (Milkweed Editions, 2018), and Safe Space (Ahsahta Press, 2016). Charles has poetry published with POETRY, Poem-a-Day, PEN, Washington Square Review, Denver Quarterly, Action Yes, The Feminist Wire, and elsewhere. From 2013-2018 she served as the founding-editor for THEM lit, a trans literary journal. Jos Charles has an MFA from the University of Arizona. She is currently a PhD student at UC Irvine and resides in Long Beach, CA.

Jos Charles recommends:

All That Beauty by Fred Moten (Letter Machine Editions)

In Her Feminine Sign by Dunya Mikhail (New Directions Publishing)

Lauren Korn recommends:

Safe Space (Ahsahta Press) and feeld (Milkweed Editions) by Jos Charles

Pilgrim Bell by Kaveh Akbar (Graywolf Press)

We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics edited by Andrea Abi-Karam and Kay Gabriel (Nightboat Books)

My New Job by Catherine Wagner (Fence Books)

Vantage by Taneum Bambrick (Copper Canyon Press, American Poetry Review)

The Write Question team is Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; Peter Hoag, co-producer and editor; and Tom Berich, sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at iamthemollruss.com and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question is a production of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now the host of Montana Public Radio’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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