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JULIE CHEN (she|her)

Issue #5—Family friend; Seeking; Stroke Order

What's something you want to create in 2019?

Something loving

Name a writer you discovered in the past 12 months that you think others should know about

I'm reading Bonnie Chau's short story collection All Roads Lead to Blood. I'm so taken with her portrayal of sex as the existential horror that it is, and how she pulls just the perfect images to represent the Asian, boring, beautiful California suburbia in which I also grew up. Like boba shops that also sell froyo, dead grass, and schools with outdoor instead of indoor cafeterias.

Name a book you read in the past 12 months that surprised you

Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

If your approach to writing were a car company slogan, what would it be?

"Vroom vroom" -Charli XCX

What are your sun, moon, and rising signs?

Sun: Aquarius; Moon: Virgo; Ascendant: Libra

What is a piece or project you're working on now, that will be released soon, or that was recently released that you'd like to share with our readers?

I've been working on a poem about how becoming close with other people involves sharing uncomfortable secrets, an activity that is beautiful and necessary but can at times feel like an exercise. Thinking about dating, icebreakers and party games, my family's reticence, my own reticence.

I've also been working on an essay about my hometown and China inspired by this line from Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto — that nostalgia is "the pain of knowing that this powerful yearning will eventually fade."