The Year of Blue Water (Yale Series of Younger Poets #113) (Paperback)
I read this book TWICE in two days! I bookmarked, highlighted, and dog-eared nearly every page. Written in prose blocks, this book is concise, intimate, gorgeous and unsparing. Yanyi writes about transness, kin, trauma, and learning to be with/in yourself. Keep this book close. You will refer to it again and again. — From Misian's Picks
How can a search for self‑knowledge reveal art as a site of community? Yanyi’s arresting and straightforward poems weave experiences of immigration as a Chinese American, of racism, of mental wellness, and of gender from a queer and trans perspective. Between the contrast of high lyric and direct prose poems, Yanyi invites the reader to consider how to speak with multiple identities through trauma, transition, and ordinary life.
These poems constitute an artifact of a groundbreaking and original author whose work reflects a long journey self‑guided through tarot, therapy, and the arts. Foregrounding the power of friendship, Yanyi’s poems converse with friends as much as with artists both living and dead, from Agnes Martin to Maggie Nelson to Robin Coste Lewis. This instructive collection gives voice to the multifaceted humanity within all of us and inspires attention, clarity, and hope through art-making and community.