Join us on Tuesday, February 8 at 7pm PT when Paul Tran celebrates the launch of their collection All the Flowers Kneeling with sam sax at 9th Ave!
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Pre-order All the Flowers Kneeling here and receive a signed/personalized copy!
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Praise for All the Flowers Kneeling
“Paul Tran’s debut collection of poems is indelible, this remarkable voice transforming itself as you read, eventually transforming you. I felt at times a passenger, a ghost, implicated, consumed, and ultimately delivered back to myself, renewed.”
—Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“All The Flowers Kneeling is a gorgeous debut that names and resists the difficult chiasmus of trauma. Out of violences intimate and imperial, out of survival and self-fashioning, Paul Tran sculpts new forms to contain all. This book is a richness. What a stellar poet for our day.”
—Solmaz Sharif, author of Look
“‘Who / can deter- / mine what’s inside / another? What is risked / when we enter?’ asks Paul Tran in their masterful debut All the Flowers Kneeling, an elegant meditation on many things—history, inheritance, language, trauma, how the self tricks the self, defiance—but maybe especially about penetration in its doubleness, both as violation and as relentless inquiry, an insistence on knowing. In poems as virtuosic in their thinking as in their prosodic inventiveness, Tran interrogates meaning itself. Do suffering and knowing go together—must they? Can a story about surviving be the same as a story about love? ‘Wasn’t the word for injury the same in Vietnamese as the word for love?’ Do we survive the past, or merely leave it behind? The gift of these poems lies in their heroic refusal to accept—or indeed to offer up—the usual, too-easy answers. ‘A poem is a mirror / I use to look / not at but into myself. / My story. / Mystery.’ All the Flowers Kneeling maps the journey past bewilderment, to knowing, to, finally, the mystery of unknowing, where history falls away, where—bravely, stripped equally of regret and apology—the life we get to choose for ourselves begins.”
—Carl Phillips, author of Pale Colors in a Tall Field
About All the Flowers Kneeling
A profound meditation on physical, emotional, and psychological transformation in the aftermath of imperial violence and interpersonal abuse, from a poet both “tender and unflinching” (Khadijah Queen)
Visceral and astonishing, Paul Tran’s debut poetry collection All the Flowers Kneeling investigates intergenerational trauma, sexual violence, and U.S. imperialism in order to radically alter our understanding of freedom, power, and control. In poems of desire, gender, bodies, legacies, and imagined futures, Tran’s poems elucidate the complex and harrowing processes of reckoning and recovery, enhanced by innovative poetic forms that mirror the nonlinear emotional and psychological experiences of trauma survivors. At once grand and intimate, commanding and deeply vulnerable, All the Flowers Kneeling revels in rediscovering and reconfiguring the self, and ultimately becomes an essential testament to the human capacity for resilience, endurance, and love.
About Paul Tran
Paul Tran received their BA in history from Brown University and MFA in poetry from Washington University in St. Louis, where they were the chancellor’s graduate fellow and senior poetry fellow. They have been awarded a 2021 Fellowship in Literature from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation and the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize. Currently a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University, Paul’s work appears in The New Yorker, Poetry, and elsewhere.
About sam sax
sam sax is a queer, jewish, poet & educator. They're the author of Bury It (winner of the James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American poets) and Madness (winner of the National Poetry Series). They're the two time Bay Area Grand Slam Champion with poems published in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Granta, Buzzfeed and elsewhere. They've received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, a Wallace Stegner Fellowship, and Lambda Literary. Currently living in Oakland California, and working at a used bookstore, they'll be a lecturer at Stanford University this Fall.
“Paul Tran’s debut collection of poems is indelible, this remarkable voice transforming itself as you read, eventually transforming you.” —Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“A stunning debut.” —Natasha Trethewey, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and author of Memorial Drive
Winner of the 2017 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets