Congratulations to Su Cho for her debut poetry collection The Symmetry of Fish, published by Penguin Books. Winner of the National Poetry Series, Cho’s collection explores immigration, family, and language. At the heart of the collection is a coming-of-age narrative, and Cho offers insights about how language changes and condenses over generations, not diluted but distilled.
Each year, the National Poetry Series chooses five poetry manuscripts to publish, with the goal of increasing the number of poetry collections published and available. Paige Lewis, author of Space Struck, chose Su Cho’s manuscript for publication.
In her debut collection, The Symmetry of Fish, Su Cho presents us with a speaker who attempts to separate seemingly unlike things: the religious and flippant, the fishbone from the flesh, herself from her memories. In one poem Cho writes of a desire ‘to isolate these moments / pipette them into test tubes / whirl them in a centrifuge.’ Lucky for us, this turns out to be an impossible endeavor. Instead, we are graced with a glorious combination of the incompatible…Paige lewis, author of Space Struck
Su Cho’s essay “Cleaving Translation” won the 2019 Wabash Prize in Nonfiction. She was a finalist for the 2019 Black Warrior Review Nonfiction Contest and nominated for the Pushcart Prize. To learn more about her, visit her website.
This poetry is quite marvelous. All hits no skips. I was incredibly moved by these poems about family and immigration and the relationship we have to languages. I particularly loved the poem about translating for parents. I look forward to more from Su Cho.Roxane gay, author of Hunger
The Symmetry of Fish will be available October 11, 2022. To preorder the collection, go here.
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One thought on “Su Cho’s The Symmetry of Fish”
Congrats, Su, on releasing your debut collection! Life is often comprised of unlike things wound together, contradictions and improbable coincidences, so to explore those, and often not resolve them, feels honest and sounds emotionally impactful. I can’t wait to read this!
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