First printing: 3000 copies.
Documents was selected by D.A. Powell as the winner of the 17th annual A. Poulin, Jr. Prize. The poem “Maid Poem #7: HR” won a Lannan Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets in 2015.
This title is part of BOA’s New Poets of America Series, which have seen strong sales in recent seasons. Previous Poulin winners in this series have seen outstanding attention from The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The Rumpus, Forward Reviews, etc.
The foreword by D.A. Powell gives a powerful narrative of the author’s biography, which gives context and draws readers into the collection. According to Powell, “these biographical facts are the supporting architectural elements upon which the house is built. The collection is both a documentary and a documentation organized around facts and necessities, forgeries and truths.”
Jan-Henry says of the experiences in this collection, “I was born in the Philippines, grew up in California, and lived undocumented for more than 32 years in the United States. I am queer and for many queer undocumented people, this creates a double invisibility. Many people talk about this experience as coming out twice. And this is true. Depending on the context, it might be easier to come out as gay, other times it’s easier to come out as undocumented. Either way, my day-to-day life happens in multiple ways—I am not just the facts of my life. I have lied on forms. And won awards. I have been cheated by lawyers. I wander in museums. I am obsessed with tennis. I don’t believe in monogamy. I love film. I pickle vegetables. I bake. I drink. I think. I dream. I fantasize. I cook. I write. I wrote a book that I hope has all of this in it.”
Gray is the inaugural winner of the Undocupoets Fellowship from Sibling Rivalry Press and has received fellowships from the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. He has also received awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and Columbia College Chicago.
HOT TOPICS: Immigration, LGBT identity, human rights.
Gray’s writing on identity as a queer undocumented immigrant of color adds a Filipino perspective to the ongoing conversation between poets like Chen Chen, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, Danez Smith, Ocean Vuong, and others.