Finalist, National Book Awards 2023 for Poetry

ISBN 9780820363509
Georgia Review Books / University of Georgia Press
Author photo of Brandon Som. (Photo credit: Janelle Iglesias)
Brandon Som

Brandon Som is a Chicano and Chinese American poet. He is the author of the poetry collections Tripas and The Tribute Horse, which won the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. More about this author >

Get This BOOK

Award Years

Award Status

Award Categories

From the publisher:

With Tripas, Brandon Som follows up his award-winning debut with a book of poems built out of a multicultural, multigenerational childhood home, in which he celebrates his Chicana grandmother, who worked nights on the assembly line at Motorola, and his Chinese American father and grandparents, who ran the family corner store. Enacting a cómo se dice poetics, a dialogic poem-making that inventively listens to heritage languages and transcribes family memory, Som participates in a practice of mem(oir), placing each poem’s ear toward a confluence of history, labor, and languages, while also enacting a kind of “telephone” between cultures. Invested in the circuitry and circuitous routes of migration and labor, Som’s lyricism weaves together the narratives of his transnational communities, bringing to light what is overshadowed in the reckless transit of global capitalism and imagining a world otherwise—one attuned to the echo in the hecho, the oracle in the órale.

Judges Citation

Full of ease and intimacy, Brandon Som’s Tripas speaks of deep human connection in spite of society’s disconnectedness. This extraordinarily inventive collection uses the language of microcircuitry to map a bicultural upbringing among factory workers and shopkeepers. Tripas traverses a landscape of profound environmental and human injustices using distinct English that’s powered by Spanish, Chinese, and tech-talk. These telephonic poems are as brilliant as the screens of our cell phones and as capable of illuminating the world.


Brandon Som at the 2023 National Book Awards Finalist Reading