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letters to the gut house: collaboration & decolonial love in Hawaiʻi | A Cover Image Story

Milkweed Staff — 03/03/2022

Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng is my collaboration soulmate. As queer ʻŌiwi femme creatives, we both use art to uplift and ask better questions of shapeshifters. We return to our own bodies to make — and to make possible — decolonial love. A Hawaiian multi-dimensional artist, Jocelyn uses special effects make-up and digital photography to transform people into their own mythic figures. Importantly, her practice is based on dialogue and trust. She asks for your reasons. Why do you come to be transformed? Why this myth? Why this body? As I wrote and re-wrote Ask the Brindled, Jocelyn and I worked together to dig deeper into moʻo mythology, moʻo poetics, and queer ʻŌiwi femme approaches to art.

Awards & Prizes

Christopher Brean Murray Wins the Sixth Annual Jake Adam York Prize

Milkweed Staff — 02/23/2022


Copper Nickel and Milkweed Editions are thrilled to announce that judge Dana Levin has chosen Christopher Brean Murray’s book Black Observatory as the winner of the 2021–22 Jake Adam York Prize. Black Observatory will be published by Milkweed Editions in February, 2023, and Murray will receive $2,000.

Christopher Brean Murray’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Bennington Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, New Ohio Review, Quarterly West, Washington Square Review, and other journals. He lives in Houston.

In choosing Murray’s book, Levin

Authors / Interviews

Architecture, Texture, and Grace: A Cover Image Story

Milkweed Staff — 02/18/2022

Hello Milkweed readers! I’m Mary Austin Speaker, Milkweed’s Creative Director, and I was honored to talk with Ama Codjoe this week about her extraordinary first book, Bluest Nude, which is due out in September 2022.

Mary Austin Speaker: Bluest Nude is a powerful, vulnerable collection of poems that explores the practice of seeing and being seen as well as the ways we move through intimacy, memory, and art. Can you describe some of the central experiences that inspired Bluest Nude?

Ama Codjoe: In 2019, I attended the art exhibit, Posing Modernity: the Black Model from Manet


Scattered Pieces: A Cover Image Story

Milkweed Staff — 02/02/2022

Sinkhole: A Natural History of a Suicide, my first memoir and venture into prose, was a difficult book to write. Guided by the grief and curiosity surrounding my father’s death by suicide in 2009, the book is an attempt to trace a larger legacy of suicide in my familial line. My father’s death marked the third suicide in my immediate family: both my parents had lost their fathers to suicide, a truth that we rarely acknowledged or discussed. When my father died, I began to wonder what had led to these deaths and what my family’s self-destructive history implied.

Awards & Prizes

Ryann Stevenson Wins 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize

Milkweed Staff — 11/03/2021

We are thrilled to announce that Ryann Stevenson is the winner of the 2021 Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. Her manuscript Human Resources was selected by judge Henri Cole and will be published in June 2022. In addition to publication, Stevenson will receive $10,000.

Ryann Stevensons poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, American Letters & Commentary, Bennington Review, Columbia Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, Denver Quarterly, and Linebreak, among others. She lives in Oakland, California.

Cole describes Human Resources as follows:

“The controlled anxiety of the present is captured brilliantly by this…


Milkweed’s Holiday Gift Guide 2021

Milkweed Staff — 10/25/2021

We are in the heart of gift-giving season. Summer is turning over to fall and the holidays are approaching. This is one of our favorite times of the year, and many of us on staff are mapping out the gifts we’ll give to our friends, family members, partners, and creative collaborators in the coming months. Books are our favorite gifts to give; they inspire, motivate, instill wonder, challenge, and change the way we see the world.

This year, you may have heard that the book industry is tangled up in global supply chain challenges. We are joining the chorus…


Excerpts: Dear Memory, For Joshua, Peyakow, & Saga Boy

Milkweed Staff — 10/20/2021

Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence, and Grief by Victoria Chang

Dear Mother,

I have so many questions. What city were you born in? What was your American birthday? Your Chinese birthday? What did your mother do? What did your grandmother do? Who was your father, grandfather? It’s too late now. But I would like to know.

I would like to know why your mother followed Chiang Kai-shek, taking you and your six (or seven?) siblings across China to Taiwan. I would like to know what was said in the planning meeting. I would like to know who was…

Awards & Prizes

Noʻu Revilla Wins 2021 National Poetry Series

Milkweed Staff — 09/27/2021

We are thrilled to announce that Noʻu Revilla has been named one of five winners of the National Poetry Series for 2021. Her manuscript Ask the Brindled was selected by Milkweed poet Rick Barot and will be published in August 2022. In addition to publication, Revilla will receive $10,000.

Noʻu Revilla is an ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) queer poet and educator. Born and raised in Waiʻehu on the island of Maui, she currently lives and loves in the valley of Pālolo on the island of Oʻahu. Her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Poetry, Literary Hub, Anomaly, Beloit


Many Maxes: Performance as Legacy and an Invitation for You

Milkweed Staff — 08/19/2021

Essay by Elizabeth Metzger

The night we met in Dorothea Lasky’s workshop at Columbia, Max Ritvo and I shared a taxi across the park where we were both living. I had recognized Max’s genius in the classroom, but it wasn’t until the cab ride after that I learned two defining things about Max: He was a performer by nature, and he was dying. I remember having trouble reconciling my impressions of him as an ebullient, whimsical life force breaking into song, holding my eyes on his for dramatically long spells with my understanding of the cold, lucid facts of his…