CURRENTLY BOOKING FOR 2023/2024 : annelysegelman at

Even the grass was coming up positive
Soles beading little match tips of blood
A reticular glitch made me saccade like crazy
Clouds like anemones, electric fortresses
A dandelion fluff might fly in your mouth
As you ate a hamburger, the last hamburger

That was the year the hurricanes began
I hardly swelled but felt her features forming
There were airs, waters, places, daughters
I pressed my eyes dry like flowers-in-book
A tree couldn’t move without tearing its roots
There was no other world to bring a child into

Annelyse Gelman's second book, Vexations, was published by The University of Chicago Press March 2023.

Vexations won the 2022 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets. Judges Aracelis Girmay and Solmaz Sharif said:

Vexations is a brilliant, dizzying, necessarily unnerving take on the project of the state and the varied estrangements on which it feeds. Demanding and speculative, Annelyse Gelman’s book-length poem names the absurd conditions out of which we (readers), and the text itself, emerge, awakening a rage. The world Gelman creates is a strange, slant rendering of our own, delivering shock after shock of recognition in our reading of its intimacies—clarity, threat, pleasure, dread. Part mother’s account of her life with her young daughter, part encounter with Erik Satie’s nineteenth-century score of the same name, Vexations is a poem, a performance, and a score of endurance. It is a book radiant and terrifying with our time. It is afire.”

"Viewed from a distance, interdisciplinary artist and poet Annelyse Gelman's Vexations could be described as a long poem-a book-length narrative work in the tradition of epic or romance. Vexations is fragmentary and dreamlike, however, chipping away over time at the very foundation on which such a narrative tradition typically rests. The central drama of Vexations is centered around the journey of a mother and her daughter through a speculative world that seems utterly contemporary and, at the same time, indexical of alternative unsettling futures. Threats and anxieties are inextricable here: environmental disaster, medical treatments, medication, motherhood, grasshoppers, horses, shopping malls, evolution, inheritance, advertising. "There was no other world to bring a child into," Gelman writes. Endlessly, intoxicatingly inventive, nearly every line of Vexations is worthy of independent attention, even as the work as a whole advances its tragic narrative on multiple fronts. As the work traverses scales from the dramatic scope of its quest narrative, on one hand, to the miniaturist phenomenological precision of its lyric progression on the other, Vexations balances affective intimacies with dystopian political vision, and the result is a singular, genre-warping work of contemporary poetry.”


Annelyse Gelman’s most recent book, Vexations (University of Chicago Press, 2023), won the 2022 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and was longlisted for the National Book Award. Gelman is also the author of the poetry collection Everyone I Love Is a Stranger to Someone (Write Bloody, 2014), and the experimental pop EP About Repulsion (Fonograf Editions, 2019), as well as the artist’s book POOL (Neck Press, 2020). Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, BOMB Magazine, the PEN Poetry Series, Iowa Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Gelman also founded and directs Midst, an app and digital publishing platform focused on capturing, saving, and sharing the writing process. Each poem published in Midst includes an interactive timeline showing readers exactly how each published poem was written and edited—blank page to final draft. Midst is in active development, with the ultimate goal of becoming a free and highly accessible public resource. Though still in beta as of Winter 2023/24, Midst has already commissioned and published many emerging and acclaimed contemporary poets, including Forrest Gander, Franny Choi, Daniel Borzutzky, Mónica de la Torre, Xandria Phillips, and Dan Beachy-Quick. Read Midst at

Gelman’s language-based, trans-disciplinary projects often use domestic technologies and available materials to explore intimacy, vulnerability, and interdependence. She has been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from the Deutsch-Amerikanische Fulbright-Kommission, New Zealand Pacific Studio, Fondation Jan Michalski, Fondation Thalie, and elsewhere (a full CV is available upon request). She received a BA from Reed College (psychology) and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers (poetry/fiction).

looking for photos, a press release, cover art, etc.?
download press kit here


       OCTOBER 25 - Reading at Prairie Lights with Eleni Sikelianos, Iowa City, IA
       OCTOBER 27 - Reading at NYU with Gillian Conoley, New York City, NY


       jan-april 2023: deep springs college
       march 8-12 2023: awp, seattle
       april 13-16 2023: phoenix poets festival, chicago
       august 6 2023: pickathon, oregon

Released in March 2023 from the University of Chicago Press: Vexations is a book-length poem—a surreal, glitchy meditation on social and economic collapse, nonhuman intelligence, and the limits of empathy.

Phoenix Poets consulting editor Douglas Kearney writes: “With this stunning shapeshifter of a manuscript, Gelman manages to create a remarkable hybrid: a book-length poetic narrative of speculative fiction, an urgent account of a mother/daughter relationship, and a coruscating view of our ecological future. . . . This is twenty-first-century literature in action.”


harper's magazine • from vexations
fence • "the story" & "mushroom"
the new yorker • "boy"
the new yorker • "the climate"
BOMB magazine • 3 poems from heck land
the offshore economist • "SWIM"
the iowa review • "spooky town"
southword journal • "glossolalist"
the new yorker • "conch"
best new zealand poems • "hospital" from heck land
7x7 • "power" parts i-vii
verse daily • "class of whatever"
cultural weekly • 3 poems
PEN poetry series • 3 poems from heck land
nailed magazine • 5 poems
embarrassment party • "on silence"

POOL (2020)

Annelyse Gelman's POOL, a collaboration between NECK Press and Midst, offers an exploded view of the process of writing a single poem about a man who has drowned in a municipal swimming pool. Each page features a single moment from the poem's creation (in lieu of page numbers, the book uses timestamps). As the poem completes itself, POOL's blue pages become darker and more saturated, mimicking the fading of light as one dives into a body of water.

hey look, we made a 𝖒𝖚𝖘𝖎𝖈 𝖛𝖎𝖉𝖊𝖔 for Lady!

Conceived + shot by Auden Lincoln-Vogel and James Siewert. 💅

would you like to read my first collection? 🐣

midst, or, wtf is a poem

Midst is a new digital publishing platform allowing writers to share their poems in the form of interactive timelapses, allowing readers to see exactly how they were written from start to finish, including the entire editing/revision process.

about repulsion

About Repulsion, a collaborative EP with Jason Grier featuring samples from Max Ritvo, Carl Phillips, & Brigit Pegeen Kelly, is out now on Fonograf Editions!

awards, exhibitions, etc.

artist-in-residence, fondation thalie (2021)
michener fellow, austin tx (2017-20)
writer-in-residence, fondation jan michalski (2019)
roy crane award @ ut austin (2018)
artist-in-residence, co-incidence festival, somerville ma (2018)
fulbright fellow, arts/filmmaking, berlin de (2016-17)
artist-in-residence, urban hinterland, arnis de (2017)
digital writers' festival, 'video hits', commissioned artist (2017)
"heck land" exhibit @ das giftraum, berlin de (2017)
lavinia winter fellow, new zealand pacific studio (2014)
co-organizer, ANAGRAM collective residency (2013, 2014, 2016)
kaspar t locher summer creative scholarship (2012)
poet-in-residence, uc san diego brain observatory (2012)

arts writing

hyperallergic • review of words/matter at the blanton museum of art, austin tx
glasstire • review of r eric mcmaster's "bells suspended from clouds" at testsite, austin tx
sightlines • review of hedwige jacobs' "if i could, i would cover everything with my drawings" at women & their work, austin tx
glasstire • review of steve parker's "war tuba recital" at big medium, austin tx
berlin art link • review of rima najdi's "happy new fear" at ctm, berlin de
conflict of interest • review of joey + neil fauerso's "dig three tunnels" at testsite, austin tx
conflict of interest • review of kate mcintosh's "in many hands" at fusebox festival, austin tx
nomadic press • review of "superior packets" by susie timmons (wave books)


"the center" • ZEBRA poetry-film festival (2018), triquarterly (2019)
"body with no windows" • triquarterly, 2017
"decisiveness & pleasure" • 2017 digital writers' festival
"gag" • reality beach, 2017
"giraffe" • ZEBRA poetry-film festival, 2014
"an illustrated guide to the post-apocalypse" • 2013
"ars poetica" • 2014

booking, commissions, cv, etc.