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, The 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 midst.press/read.
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).
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.”
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.