Jenna Le

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Jenna Le

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Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011) and A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora (Indolent Books, 2018), the latter of which won 2nd Place in the Elgin Awards, voted on by the international membership of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. She was selected by Marilyn Nelson as winner of Poetry By The Sea's inaugural sonnet competition. Her poems appear or are forthcoming from AGNI, Denver Quarterly, Los Angeles Review, Massachusetts Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Pleiades, Poet Lore, Rattle, and West Branch. She has a B.A. in math and an M.D. and she lives in NYC.

Link to purchase Six Rivers: http://www.spdbooks.org/Producte/9781...
Link to purchase A History of the Cetacean American Diaspora: http://
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Jenna Le Hi Arthur, thanks for your question. I first read Auden as a rather young girl: in childhood, I owned one of those "Everyman Pocket Poets" editions of…moreHi Arthur, thanks for your question. I first read Auden as a rather young girl: in childhood, I owned one of those "Everyman Pocket Poets" editions of his work. I must confess that it took me many years to come around to appreciating Auden's civic preoccupations, the strong political undercurrents in his work: as a kid, I was most interested in simple romantic poems written from an "I" perspective, and Auden's frequent evocation of an unromantic, unindividuated "we" perspective left me cold at first. But I remember being immediately enraptured by the master's technical brilliance, particularly his facility with nonce forms and unconventional rhyme schemes. Take a poem like "Musee des Beaux Arts": many people don't realize that this poem, which masquerades as a simple free-verse poem, actually has an intricate interlacing rhyme scheme, wherein every end-word except one rhymes with exactly one other end-word (wrong/along, understood/wood, waiting/skating, be/tree, forgot/spot, course/horse, away/may, cry/sky, shone/on, green/seen). These subtle and intricate embroideries of sound excited me, making me realize that there's much more to poetic form than the flashy singsong stuff that many folks envision when they think of poetic form. It made me realize that there exist millions of shades of gray I had previously never known of. It was a revelation to me, like what the ancient Greeks must have felt when they discovered that there exist numbers outside of the rational numbers, all these infinitesimal distances on the number line that they never knew existed.(less)
Jenna Le Sagar, I apologize for not seeing this question earlier! I did not mean to ignore you. I share my writing for many reasons, one of which is that I (pe…moreSagar, I apologize for not seeing this question earlier! I did not mean to ignore you. I share my writing for many reasons, one of which is that I (perhaps foolishly, naively, and self-importantly) believe there is something in my writing that others will find unsettling, entertaining, edifying, titillating, loneliness-reducing, or otherwise valuable. The authors I read and loved as a child -- prose writers like Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Henry David Thoreau, Bertrand Russell, Brenda Ueland, Janet Frame, Amy Tan, and Jamaica Kincaid and poets like Amy Lowell, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Sylvia Plath, Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, e.e. cummings, W.H. Auden, Guillaume Apollinaire, and countless others -- all touched my life ineffably, and I wouldn't put my writing out there if I didn't hope (perhaps foolishly, naively, and self-importantly) that it might touch others similarly.(less)
Average rating: 4.52 · 100 ratings · 35 reviews · 7 distinct worksSimilar authors
Six Rivers

4.58 avg rating — 45 ratings — published 2011
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A History of the Cetacean A...

4.29 avg rating — 34 ratings — published 2016 — 2 editions
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Two-Countries: Us Daughters...

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4.78 avg rating — 9 ratings
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PANK 9

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4.63 avg rating — 8 ratings — published 2013
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Red Sky: Poetry on the Glob...

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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The Best of the Raintown Re...

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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The Rotary Dial May 2015

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National Poetry Month

First, I hope that, if you are reading this, you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.

Somehow, in the midst of everything, it seems to be National Poetry Month once again. I was honored to take part in Poetry Is Bread, the online National Poetry Month reading series organized by Tina Cane, the poet laureate of Rhode Island: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=224...

The poems I read in th Read more of this blog post »
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Published on April 08, 2020 14:01

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The Woman Warrior
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Jenna has read
A Good Time for the Truth by Sun Yung Shin
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I appreciated Taiyon J. Coleman's insight about how one's perspective changes when one ceases to be the only person of one's demographic in a space: "Like a flat balloon inflated by air, together [we] helped each other take shape and form." I was str ...more
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The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
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For most of the time I was reading this, I wasn't sure I liked it. The conjuring of a sense of place and atmosphere was quite fine. The sleek prose was nice, although the author seemed at times far too proud of himself for having gone to medical scho ...more
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Calling a Wolf a Wolf by Kaveh Akbar
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There are acres of gorgeous golden id in this book of poems about addiction and diasporic Persian identity. In the poem "Tassiopeia," the speaker gives himself an origin story, likening himself to the fabled queen Cassiopeia, whose braggadocio led to ...more
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Digest by Gregory Pardlo
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This Pulitzer-winning collection is made up of densely allusion-filled, highly intellectual poems concerning such topics as race, African American arts and culture, Western philosophy, the tortured jargon of academic texts, patriotism, cars and other ...more
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I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
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"It cannot end like this, I thought--
a mass extermination of inner life."


"I don't sing with people who know more than 100 religious hymns."


I'm not entirely sure what to make of this book. Certainly, I am astonished by its originality, the eno
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Choice Words by Annie Finch
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I can't "review" this prose and verse anthology, since it includes one of my poems (alongside work by eye-popping echelons including Margaret Atwood, Gwendolyn Brooks, Langston Hughes, Ursula K. Le Guin, Joyce Carol Oates, Frank O'Hara, Dorothy Parke ...more
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A Nail the Evening Hangs on by Monica Sok
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I'd first come across Monica Sok's work years ago, in poetry salons and magazines and conferences, so I was excited to see her debut book published this year. The first lines of the opening poem, "Ask the Locals," are: "Nobody knows: How those so-cal ...more
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Before We Remember We Dream by Bryan Thao Worra
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In his latest collection, Lao American poet Bryan Thao Worra projects resistance and resilience, combining savvy swagger and a stalwart elder-brotherly ethnic-community pride with irreverent ebullient humor and an infectious enthusiasm for the empowe ...more
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Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong
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"[M]inor feelings: the racialized range of emotions that are negative, dysphoric, and therefore untelegenic, built from the sediments of everyday racial experience and the irritant of having one's perception of reality constantly questioned or dismis
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Catafalque by Adam Tavel
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The New York Quarterly was established in 1969 by the late William Packard out of a growing concern for the pure craft and technique of poetry writing ...more
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