The Bindery hosts Franny Choi (Floating, Brilliant, Gone), in town to read from her second collection of poems, Soft Science. Joining her is sam sax (Madness and Bury It). Don't miss this evening of readings with these phenomenal young poets!
In Franny Choi's highly-anticipated collection, Soft Science, she uses the myth of the cyborg to explore queer, Asian American femininity. A series of Turing Test-inspired poems guides readers as Choi asks questions not just of identity, but of consciousness -- of how to speak and love, in a world filled with strange (and sometimes violent) distances. We are dropped straight into the tangled intersections of technology, gender, violence, erasure, agency, and loneliness. And we're asked to examine the biggest question: “What does it mean to be human?”
“Wearing a crown of sonnets like a dime store tiara, Franny Choi’s cyborg cephalopod is a creature of unending amazements, unfurling tendril after tendril—some surgical, some sensual, some weaponized, some rubberized—brandishing hypodermics, vibrators, cigarettes, smartphones, or simply snapping in time to the beat. With uncanny tonal and technical dexterity, she can play upon your emotions, tickle your sweet spot, then press all of your buttons at once. At once raw and radiant, these brilliant poems are at their most human when they assert their alienness, at their most ferocious when they dare to be vulnerable.” – Monica Youn, author of Blackacre
“In Soft Science, the reigning consciousness is split, human teetering into machine, machine forced to demonstrate its humanness via acts of ritual testing, a passion play in which alienation seeks authenticity and dissociation pursues kin. Franny Choi’s generous inventiveness transmutes the book’s violent lore into a ferocious tenderness. In its conceptual heft, formal virtuosity, queer imagination, multi-dexterous approach to language, and tonal intricacy, Soft Science is a crucial book for our time – perhaps the book for our time.” – Diane Seuss, author of Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl
“Franny Choi’s Soft Science offers an exceptional exploration both of all that comprises the intimate and of all that consumes the communal in our lives. Whether tracking the adventures of the ‘cyborg’ or eavesdropping on conversations between sisters, it’s all the same world. These striking poems ring through with a singular voice, creating a society that helps us understand our own. When you open a book of poems, ‘isn’t that what you came to see?’ Choi builds a world not only of striking beauty and lucid politics, but also, more importantly, with love.” – A. Van Jordan, author of The Cineste
Franny Choi is a poet, performer, editor, and playwright. She is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine. Her poems have appeared in Poetry Magazine, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman Fellow, Senior News Editor for Hyphen, cohost of the Poetry Foundation's podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective. Her second collection, Soft Science, is forthcoming from Alice James Books in April 2018. A current Zell Postgraduate Fellow at the University of Michigan, she is currently based near Detroit, MI. Author photo by Qurissy Lopez.
sam sax is a queer, jewish, poet, & educator. He's the author of Madness (Penguin, 2017) winner of The National Poetry Series and Bury It (Wesleyan University Press, 2018) winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. He’s received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Lambda Literary, & the MacDowell Colony. He’s the two-time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion, author of four chapbooks & winner of the Gulf Coast Prize, The Iowa Review Award, & American Literary Award. His poems have appeared in BuzzFeed, The New York Times, The Nation, Poetry Magazine + other journals. He’s the poetry editor at BOAAT Press & will be a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University this Fall. Author photo by Hollis Rafkin-Sax. To order a signed copy of one of sam's books, order here and put your request in the notes field.
Please note: This event will be at The Bindery, 1727 Haight.
This is an all ages event, with mature themes. The bar opens at 7, event begins at 7:30pm.
If you cannot attend the event but would like to requeset a signed copy of Soft Science, order below and put your request in the comments field.