What welcome news! I’ll be completing an artist residency at the Arteles Creative Center in Finland this summer. My bags are already packed for a month of intensive writing. I’ll be revising a new manuscript of poems and that verse play I keep threatening everyone with …
No Doubt I Will Return a Different Man found itself on Breaking Form’s “What Got Us Through” episode. It’s very moving to hear that these poems did that for someone else. What a delightfully queer poetry podcast from James Allen Hall and Aaron Smith.
What a gift to discover that the book found readers even before its October launch.
Very grateful to David Woo for this gorgeous review for Harriet.
“Although many of these poems are about his upbringing in the South and Midwest, Wray invokes a wider culture, queered and personalized, to undo the coercive silencing of otherness and childhood abuse, finding his exemplars in the great moral stylists of poetry, from Dante and Donne to Luis Cernuda, a precursor of queer sensibility. The result is eloquent work in which silence is not an evasion of suffering but instead foregrounds the experience of it, creating a space for beauty to sing “in the center of great incomprehension.”
The kind folks at WORD Bookstores in Brooklyn invited me to read a love poem.
C.E. Janecek gets a lot right in this generous consideration of No Doubt I Will Return a Different Man over at Colorado Review. I’m particularly fond of the phrase: “…seducing the reader with small details…”
Even more incisively: “No Doubt I Will Return a Different Man hinges on ‘being seen and seeing,’ on interpellation and the power of naming queerness—recognizing it in both history and oneself. Being perceived as a gay man becomes pivotal in the collection, to be perceived meant Alan Turing’s eventual death, but one cannot have intimacy or community or history without being perceived. To be seen is an act of resistance and the relief of being recognized.”
Much appreciation to Sam Campbell and The Arkansas International for this thoughtful interview, in which I quote my mother, offer advice about banking (kind of) and a sneak peek at my next project about painter Keith Vaughan and hyraxes.
Sprinting back to rejoin LiTFUSE’s 2021 faculty. Grateful for this redo and possible in-person celebration of poetry in Tieton, WA! Thanks to Lauren Westerfield and everyone else who pulls together this fantastic celebration of verse.
The good folks at The Adroit Journal offered up space for this interview with Randall Mann about his latest collection, A Better Life. Check out “The Duende of Poetry: A Conversation Between Randall Mann and Tobias Wray.”
A collaboration is afoot with composer Ruby Fulton on a poem to be set to music for the clarinet, thanks to a commission from clarinetist Shawn Copeland and an interdisciplinary grant from the University of Idaho. This piece honors the 1969 Stonewall riots and will debut in a spring 2021 performance.
Gratitude to the Arts + Literature Laboratory and their How to Live series for featuring the poem, “The Bloom’s Beauty Is Insistence.” Special thanks to Rita Mae Reese for her curation of this powerful series.
Over the past year, poems have been named finalists in Hunger Mountain’s Ruth Stone Poetry Prize, The Mississippi Review Poetry Prize, The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom’s National Poetry Competition, the Autumn House Press Chapbook Contest, and the New Guard Knightville Poetry Contest. Thanks to these editors for their generous consideration.