Nowhere to Arrive takes as its subjects the whiplash of travel, the shuttling between disparate places and climes, and an unremitting sense of dislocation. These poems court the tension between the familiar and the foreign, between the self as distinct and the self as illusory. They look plainly at the startling strangeness of varied landscapes and mindscapes, and interrogate a state of unrootedness – one thrown into relief by the speaker’s years abroad in Southeast Asia. At the chapbook’s center are two long poems, titled “Phnom Penh Diptych: Wet Season” and “Phnom Penh Diptych: Dry Season,” that examine the escapist narratives that draw tourists and expatriates to Cambodia, and the speaker’s own privileged positioning.
Jenny Xie is the author of EYE LEVEL (Graywolf Press, 2018), a finalist for the National Book Award and the PEN Open Book Award, and the recipient of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets and the Holmes National Poetry Prize from Princeton University. Her chapbook, NOWHERE TO ARRIVE (Northwestern University Press, 2017) received the Drinking Gourd Prize. She has been supported by fellowships and grants from Kundiman, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and Poets & Writers. She was awarded a 2020 Vilcek Prize in Creative Promise.
1 – Nowhere to Arrive – Jenny Xie (Northwestern University Press, 2016)
2 – Purity of Aim: The Book Jacket Designs of Alvin Lustig – Ned Drew and Paul Sternberger (RIT Press, 2010)
3 – On Imagination – Mary Ruefle (Sarabande Books, July 2017)
4 – The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named: Poems – Nicole Sealey (Northwestern University Press, 2016)
5 – The Tender Atrocities – Alec Ivan Fugate (Independently published, 2020)
6 – The Summoning of the Old Ones – Jeffrey Thomas (Independently published, 2019)
7 – Learning to Have Lost – Oz Hardwick (Recent Work Press, 2019)
8 – Not What They Seem – William Meikle (Independently published, 2020)
9 – Puro Amor – Sandra Cisneros (Sarabande Books, 2018)
10 – Looking Outside the Window: Verses for Surviving Quarantine – Jason A. Muckley (Independently published, 2020)