"About the Work" with Stephanie Niu



In our "About the Work" series, Savannah Trent asks recent contributors for insight into their writing or for current sources of inspiration. Read Niu's poem, "A Lao Jia Song is A Song of Home," in SER vol. 38.2.



In the past few months of moving, aging, and thinking about aging, I’ve found great comfort in Megan Fernandes’s Good Boys. I came across a copy in San Francisco’s Green Apple Books and miraculously opened it to the exact poem I once heard Megan read aloud at St. Mark’s Church in New York: the dazzling “White People Always Want to Tell Me That They Grew Up Poor.” Her poems capture the unsettling beauty of this place I’m preparing to leave (with titles like “In California, Everything Already Looks Like an Afterlife”) but also gives me strength to rethink aging as a future to grow toward rather than a youth to fall away from. They make me want to “Tell him about the cities / and how you lived there, once.” They make me more okay with wanting to be alone. Brenda Shaughnessy’s cover review declares, “Everyone should give this book to someone they love,” which is perfect for me as I weigh and ship my things and give what I don’t take to the people still here that I love.



STEPHANIE NIU is a poet from Georgia and who currently lives in northern California. She graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in symbolic systems and an M.S. in computer science. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Portland Review, Immigrant Report, Not Very Quiet, Metafore, and elsewhere. Outside of verse, she produces "Following the Water," a podcast on intersecting movements in the natural and human world.