Eye Level

Finalist, National Book Awards 2018 for Poetry

Finalist, Eye Level by Jenny Xie book cover
ISBN 9781555978020
Graywolf Press
Jenny Xie

Jenny Xie was born in Anhui, China, and resides in New York City. She is the author of The Rupture Tense and Eye Level, which was a Finalist for the National Book Award and recipient of the Academy of American Poets' Walt Whitman Award and the Holmes National Poetry Prize. More about this author >

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Jenny Xie’s award-winning debut, Eye Level, takes us far and near, to Phnom Penh, Corfu, Hanoi, New York, and elsewhere, as we travel closer and closer to the acutely felt solitude that centers this searching, moving collection. Animated by a restless inner questioning, these poems meditate on the forces that moor the self and set it in motion, from immigration to travel to estranging losses and departures. The sensual worlds here―colors, smells, tastes, and changing landscapes―bring to life questions about the self as seer and the self as seen. As Xie writes, “Me? I’m just here in my traveler’s clothes, trying on each passing town for size.” Her taut, elusive poems exult in a life simultaneously crowded and quiet, caught in between things and places, and never quite entirely at home. Xie is a poet of extraordinary perception―both to the tangible world and to “all that is untouchable as far as the eye can reach.”


Jenny Xie, Poetry Finalist, reads from Eye Level at the 2018 National Book Awards Finalists Reading