Where can we read some of your recent work?
My first book (!!!) came out in 2019, so that’s the first place I’d point people! It’s called Disappearing, Inc. and it’s out from Gold Wake Press.
A couple individual poems from the book (and some that were written after it!) are hanging out online, too – “Customer Loyalty Program” on Poets.org, “A New Gun Folds Up to Look Just Like a Smartphone” on The Best American Poetry blog
What are you reading right now?
I’m always trying to read a few books at once, and in multiple genres. When possible, I like to have one book of poetry, one book of fiction, and one of nonfiction going at once. For poetry, I just finished reading Paige Lewis’s lush and wry Space Struck—it made me feel like I was standing there with the speaker as they navigated a world bright with noise and sharp edges and desire. Incredibly moving. And one of my new favorite books of poetry I read just recently as well, Natalie Scenters-Zapico’s Lima :: Limón. I know I’m going to return to it often in the future. The book is full of poems about violence, gender, hope, anger, borders, cruelty and tenderness—here is the violence we do to each other laid out for us to reckon with. Scenters-Zapico has such a talent for imagery and language that at once gently unsettles you at the same time it blasts you out of your seat.
On the prose side, I’ve been poking around in Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia, which is a researched take on the origin, development, and cultural impact on one of the greatest comedy series of all time. I’m a huge comedy buff so I find this kind of thing fascinating. I’m also revisiting old mythology (particularly Greek mythology and Euripides’s Medea, which I think has some interesting gender parallels for 2019, the way misogyny and the patriarchy uphold themselves through our treatment of one another and the expectations we allow for.
What’s next for you?
These days, I’m enjoying being on the other side of the first book—the ability to take my time with what’s next, and come upon it naturally. I don’t feel the ever-burning need to finally get *A* book published like I did before—that box has been checked, thankfully. So I’m experimenting in my poetry with voice, syntax, tone, and content, and letting the poems direct me to where they want to go in the way of a collection. I’ve also been able to dive into some hobbies more than before, and even started a podcast with a couple of local friends about Magic: the Gathering, called Mountain, Pass. It’s always refreshing to return to poetry and literature after letting yourself focus elsewhere for a little bit—poetry always being potent and exciting no matter how long you’ve been away, whether you went through some life stuff and couldn’t devote time to it for a couple years, or you just did something else for a week, it’s always a treat to return to.
Brandon Amico is the author of Disappearing, Inc. (Gold Wake Press, 2019). He is a 2019 NEA Creative Writing Fellow, the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Grant, and his poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, the Best American Poetry blog, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review, and New Ohio Review, and elsewhere.