Jay Deshpande

Poet & Writer. San Francisco.

Summer Updates

Friends, it's summertime and there's much to tell. Here's some of my news and some things to look out for...

• If you're in New York this Thursday, I'll be reading with some of my faves-- Tommy Pico, Montana Ray, Sasha Fletcher, and Monica McClure-- at the Onassis Foundation's "World of Emotions" exhibit. Hellenic art, depictions of eros, and a reading called "I Get So Emotional"? Count me in. All the deets are here.

• Brooklyn Poets has asked me to teach a workshop this summer on the ode. It feels like an especially good time for us to think about how we praise, since every day this year uncovers new justifications for crawling inward. We’ll study the work of Pindar, Allen Ginsberg, Bernadette Mayer, Ross Gay and many others as we seek new ways to celebrate ethically and with humanity. "In Praise Of:" will run Sundays from July 23 to August 20. You can sign up here, or email me if you have any questions.

• And if you want just a taste of what we'll do in the workshop, come join us for the Brooklyn Poets Yawp next Monday 6/12, from 7:00 to 9:30! The event is held at 61 Local and includes a short workshop followed by an open mic. I'll be leading the workshop, prompting everyone to find what's praiseworthy in the otherwise repugnant. Yay, repugnant! Sign up here!

• Speaking of Brooklyn Poets, you can also find two of my poems in the company of so many, many great writers in the new Brooklyn Poets Anthology, out this spring. It's a truly beautiful book, and worth a look. Or, if you're looking for individual feedback on your poems, you can find me through BP's Poets Bridge. Signing up is easy, and it'll be just like being in workshop with me except you can remain in your pajamas. 

• Professors: Are you interested in teaching Love the Stranger next semester? Would you like an exam copy for your perusal? The poems in my first full-length collection explore topics like loss, siblinghood, eros, violence, music, empathy, and masculinity. (And Poets & Writers named it one of the top debuts of the year.) If you or someone you know might want to consider teaching my book, send me a message and let me get a copy in your hands. 

• Also, if you're hankering to see me do something outside of poetry, you're in luck! Last summer I traveled to Switzerland to cover the Montreux Jazz Festival for Rhapsody Magazine. I had a great time, heard great music-- and also got to interview the likes of Al Jarreau, Monty Alexander, and Herbie Hancock. You can read it all right here.

• My poem "That's The American Dream, Is To Have a Green Lawn" is out now in Denver Quarterly! Check out the beautiful issue.

• Last thing to look out for: my chapbook, The Rest of the Body, will be released by YesYes Books next month. If you've ever wished you had a pocketful of love poems that might make you feel amorous, or uncomfortable, or hopefully both at the same time-- this one's for you! The Rest of the Body includes new poems from the last year, some deep cuts, and a few highlights from Love the Stranger. Watch this space for more information, soon!

Fall Readings & Release Party

It's been an exciting few months as Love the Stranger has entered the world! Here's a brief recap of where the fall took me and the book.

November kicked off with a trip to Portland, Oregon, home of YesYes Books, where I got my first peek at the book in the flesh.

I had a great time reading in Portland, including at the Bad Blood Reading Series, the Wordstock Literary Festival and the Portland Poetry Slam. And I had a blast spending time with my YesYes compatriots, Fatimah Asghar and jamie mortara.

Then it was back to Brooklyn to launch the book. Our release party at Art Cafe was a huge success, with wonderful readings by five fantastic poets and a tremendous crowd pouring out of the venue. And it was a thrill to see the cover in bright lights.

Next it was off to Boston, where I gave a week of readings all around my hometown. I felt really welcomed at the Concord Free Public Library, the Harvard Advocate, and the Long Weekend series, among others.

with Chris Schlegel, Adrienne Raphel, Lindsay Turner and Adam Scheffler at Long Weekend

with Chris Schlegel, Adrienne Raphel, Lindsay Turner and Adam Scheffler at Long Weekend

I closed out the year reading around New York City and heading up to Hudson, NY, to join Danniel Schoonebeek, Rebecca Wolff and Anna Moschovakis. I had tons of fun reading with so many inspiring writers this year, and I'm looking forward to lots more in 2016.