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KSW Presents “Cut to Bloom”

November 13, 2020 @ 8:00 pm PST


This November, KSW Presents “Cut to Bloom,” a celebration of Arhm Choi Wild’s collection of poetry. Joined by Isabella “Isa” Borgeson and Hieu Minh Nguyen, this event features three powerful poets reading works transforming the cut, the chasm, the hyphen—of identity, of the body, of queerness, home and healing.


NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF FUNDS. Email info@kearnystreet.org and we’ll take care of you.


Featured Artists

Author Photo 3.jpg

Arhm Choi Wild

is a queer, Korean-American poet who grew up in the slam community of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and went on to perform across the country, including at Brave New Voices, the New York City Poetry Festival, and Asheville Wordfest. Their debut book of poems, CUT TO BLOOM, was the winner of the 2019 Write Bloody Book Contest. Arhm is a Kundiman fellow with an MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College, and was a finalist for the Jake Adam York Prize in 2019. They have been anthologized in Daring to Repair by Wising Up Press and The Queer Movement Anthology of Literatures, and their work appears in Barrow Street, The Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, Split this Rock, and other publications. They work as the Director of the Progressive Teaching Institute and as a Diversity Coordinator at a school in New York City. For more information, visit arhmchoiwild.com.

photo by Sy Klipsch-Abudu


Hieu Minh Nguyen

is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer. He is a Kundiman fellow, the recipient of the 2017 NEA fellowship for poetry, a 2018 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry fellowship, the VERVE grant from Intermedia Arts, the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from The Loft Literary Center, and the University of Arizona Poetry Center’s Summer Residency. His work has appeared in PBS Newshour, POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, Nashville Review, Indiana Review, and more. In 2014, his debut collection of poetry, This Way to the Sugar, was a finalist for both the Lambda Book Award and Minnesota Book Award. His second collection, Not Here, was published in April 2018 by Coffee House Press. He received his MFA from Warren Wilson College and is currently a Stegner Fellow in poetry at Stanford University.


Isabella “Isa” Borgeson

is a queer, mixed race, white and Filipina poet, community organizer, and teaching artist from Oakland. Isa was named a “Best New Poet” of 2018. She has received fellowships from Voices of Our Nation Art Foundation (2015, 2017), the Poetry Incubator through Crescendo Literary (2016), and AIR Serenbe as their 2019 Spoken Word Artist with a commitment to Community and Collaboration (SWACC!) Fellow. Most recently, she was named a 2020 Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellow. Isa is a co-founder of The Root Slam – a free poetry venue in Oakland dedicated to promoting the artistic growth of the Bay Area poetry community. She currently organizes with the #StopSanQuentinOutbreak coalition around COVID-19 rapid response work to decarcerate all prisons. Isa’s commitment toward teaching poetry as a tool for resistance keeps her grounded in her communities from Oakland to Tanauan.

photo by Andrea Gutiérrez


What does it take to unlearn the survival instinct of trauma? What does it take to choose our tools instead of wearing down the ones we’ve been handed? In Cut to Bloom, Arhm Choi Wild attempts to forge answers to these questions by navigating the hyphen, sometimes chasm, between the Asian and American identity, between queerness and the politics of belonging, between survival and the possibility of choice.

While talking back to the colonialism of strict poetic form, this book attempts to disrupt clear definitions and redefine the American identity as one that is constructed more by questions than answers. This book celebrates the self-made, rogue bouquet, the taking of what you were given and transforming it into something you could make a gift of, and examines what needs to be pruned in order to arrive at this transformation.


November 13, 2020
8:00 pm PST
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Kearny Street Workshop
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