Rae: lexical powerhouse. Rae: scientist of intimacies. The words burst as though the poet could not contain them.
Her capacity for eloquence is as vast as her rhetoric is supple.
Gouirand’s voice is hypnotic and potent.
Hers is a new music, indeed a new order of language altogether.
Rae Gouirand is the author of two collections of poetry, Glass is Glass Water is Water (Spork Press, 2018) and Open Winter (winner of the Bellday Prize, Bellday Books, 2011), the chapbooks Little Hour (winner of the Swan Scythe Chapbook Context, Swan Scythe Press, forthcoming 2022), Jinx (winner of the Summer Kitchen Competition, Seven Kitchens Press, 2019) and Must Apple (winner of the Oro Fino Competition, Educe Press, 2018), and a short work of nonfiction, The History of Art (winner of the Open Reading Period competition, The Atlas Review, 2019). Her chapbook Rough Sequence is forthcoming in summer 2023, and her book-length poem The Velvet Book in spring 2024.
Rae’s work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bennington Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Crazyhorse, diode, Foglifter, jubilat, The Kenyon Review, the Lambda Literary Poetry Spotlight, Michigan Quarterly Review, [PANK], The Rumpus, Spinning Jenny, Under a Warm Green Linden, ZYZZYVA, Please Excuse This Poem: 100 New Poems for the Next Generation, Queer Nature: A Poetry Anthology, two volumes of the Best New Poets series, and many other journals and anthologies nationwide, as well as in portfolios at A Dozen Nothing and The Inflectionist Review and the online archives of the Academy of American Poets and Verse Daily. An alumna of Bryn Mawr College and the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Michigan, she has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Santa Fe Art Institute, Kalani, Willapa Bay AiR, and the In Cahoots Artist-in-Residency programs, and awards from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Foundation for outstanding work by emerging poets. Since putting down western roots in 2003, she has founded several longrunning workshops in poetry and prose throughout California’s Sacramento Valley, served as Writer-in-Residence for the nation’s only conservancy-sponsored public arts program at Cache Creek Nature Preserve, and worked with the literary nonprofit Memoir Journal to develop a national platform for the (In)Visible Memoirs project, a grant-funded program facilitating writing workshops in underserved communities. In recent years she has served as guest editor for Sporklet, OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts, and a special issue of Adanna in tribute to Adrienne Rich, and as Nonfiction Editor for California Northern magazine.
In earlier chapters of her life, she has taught bookbinding, cooking, meditation, yoga, reiki, and classical flute. These days she focuses more exclusively on getting things that belong in books into books. A leader in community-based programming for writers, she leads several longrunning independent workshops in northern California and online, including her cross-genre workshop Scribe Lab, and lectures in the Department of English at UC-Davis. She is currently at work on her fifth and sixth collections of poetry and a queer memoir.
Email Rae at rgouirand (at) gmail (dot) com.