THERE IS STILL SINGING IN THE AFTERLIFE 

 Winner of the Inaugural Own Voices Chapbook Prize selected by Aria Aber 

   

ADVANCED PRAISE

“Reader, you are lucky to have the award-winning chapbook of JinJin Xu before you. These superb poems resonate with personal and cultural intimacy. JinJin Xu writes with the insight and skill of a veteran poet, a doyen, a griot. Her lines open and breathe on the page as they do in the mind and heart. There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife is inventive, linguistic, ambitious, tender, wise, brave. This fabulous chapbook may be a collector’s item someday.”        
                                                       — MacArthur Grantee Terrance Hayes

There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife is a demanding, deeply felt and formally inventive constellation of poems. Resisting the expectations of what poetry should look like, the text rearranges what we know of family, country, and language.”
                                                                         —Whiting Winner Aria Aber 

“The way family pervades every aspect of our lives, the way we remain children forever, the way we can never transcend our bodies, the way some people really do write their poems in their own blood, the way we can move to a new country and become masters of its language and poetry and still never be set free from the grasp of our homes, the way the dead refuse to leave us, the way there is still singing in the afterlife, these are only some of the ways JinJin Xu writes sharp, beautiful and genre-threatening poems in this ridiculous time and place. Listen to her quiet, insistent voice; you’ll learn something.”
                                     — National Poetry Series Winner Matthew Rohrer

“JinJin Xu is writing poems that aren’t like other poems, poems that enact a sacred-feeling disorientation and then arrive at specific ends, poems that wind their way intoxicatingly to weighty and sobering truths. Hello, surprise. Hello, newness. ‘When I say words out loud they become real,’ Xu writes. And to that statement I raise my hands in praise. Xu is part of the very bright future of poetry. Thankfully for us, the future is happening now.”
                                        — Marlboro Poetry Prize winner Carrie Fountain

 

“At the center of There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife is JinJin Xu’s lyric voice: it has a depth and deftness that is exhilarating. It is truly marvelous how Xu weaves the intimacy of a contemporary speaker and her family into a poem-tapestry of history, literature, and ghosts. From Mao’s red book to the red dust that lies in the wake of a lost generation, the scope and emotional register of this chapbook is devastating.”
                                                      — Pushcart Prize winner Sally Wen Mao

   

REVIEWS:

Steph Chang for Sintheta:

'There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife' is a collection that sears with both memory and mouthed prayers, where death is not a singular act and language teems with life.

INTERVIEWS:

重音社: 重音五问  with Jiaoyang Li

Singapore Unbound: Art Is + with Janelle Tan