Thank You, AAWW / by Jen Hyde

I'm honored to share, a bit belatedly, that I was selected as a 2016 Margins Fellow by the Asian American Writer's Workshop! This opportunity has enabled me to not only feel that my work is supported by a community who values my voice, but has also surrounded me with writers who are making work I admire and care for. I keep pinching myself because I feel I'm in a dream. 

In the past six months my work has expanded in genre and form. I am currently gathering poems for a second collection and writing a hybrid poetry/essay work that renders the healthcare system from the patient perspective in the narrative medicine context. I also accidentally started a novel.

All of these projects have also given me space to reflect on what my first book means to me now, as a work written three years ago when both the world and I were a little different. My first book will make its way into the world early next year, and I have started to see it as a collection of poems that necessitates new inquiry into my Chinese-Indonesian American story. I am asking myself to write new poems that both embrace and resist what I know, what I fear, and what I think my new poetics are in 2016. My writing practice would look quite different without my AAWW family. I'm not sure I would have the energy to write everyday or the clarity to see that my old writing self, imperfect perfectionist as she was, informs where I am going and my position in conversations about race, social justice, contemporary poetry, and healthcare advocacy. Between old and new work is a strange, delightful place to be.