Catching Up With Eric Tran

Where can we read some of your recent work and what’s next for you?

The poem published in Tinderbox actually shows up in two books: Revisions, a chapbook through Sibling Rivalry Press, and my first full length, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer through Autumn House Press! 

I’m at work right now on a second book that contends and chronicles addiction, mental health, queer desire, and family. I’ve been fortunate to have poems from this project  appear in a number of places that I really love. Some poems that come to mind: “Angier, NC” in Missouri Review, “Scenes” in Glass Poetry, “Double Depression” in BODY, “Detox” in Up the Staircase.

As always, I’m revising a group of essays I started in my MFA (1o years ago!) about following the bear subculture in North and South Carolina. (Interestingly, one set against the 2018 midterm elections: “At Home with Mr. Unlimited Bear” in Midnight Breakfast.)

What are you reading right now?

My boyfriend makes fun of me for how many books I have bookmarked and set around my apartment (and his home too). Most recently I was making my way through Club Q by James Davis. There’s last section of the book is made of poems titled after two-letter Scrabble words which feels incredibly clever and yet incredibly moving, which captures that beautiful combination that heady and bodily feeling of a new romance. I also really adored Leila Chatti’s Deluge which felt so pitch-perfectly measured, every single word stitched right into place. I’m also admittedly biased as an editor for Orison Press, but “The World I Leave You” is an anthology of Asian Americans on spirituality that is just full of entire worlds. It’s so rich I’ve been reading it steadily since March but still am only about half way through.

Other books I’m excited to get into: “Letters to a Young Brown Girl” by Barbara Jane Reyes and “Magic City Gospel” by Ashley M Jones


Eric Tran is queer Vietnamese writer and a resident physician in psychiatry in Asheville, NC, where he is also an associate editor at Orison Books. His debut book of poems, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer, won the Autumn House Press Emerging Writer’s contest. He is also the author of the chapbooks Revisions and Affairs with Men in Suits. His work has been featured in Poetry Daily and Best of the Net and appears or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Iowa Review, 32 Poems, and elsewhere.