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Organs of Little Importance

Selected by Solmaz Sharif
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“Mind detritus becomes the stuff of great art in the hands of poet Adrienne Chung . . . a poet in complete command of her craft.” —NPR.org

Organs of Little Importance is a riotous feat . . . Ferocious. Funny. Deeply intelligent. Adrienne Chung leaves a charred wake.” —Solmaz Sharif, author of Customs and Look

From National Poetry Series winner Adrienne Chung, a debut poetry collection about psychology, love, and memory


Taking its title from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Adrienne Chung’s debut collection asks why we cling so dearly to the vestigial parts of our psychologies—residues of first impressions, thought spirals to nowhere, memories that persist despite outliving their usefulness. The speaker in these poems tries to wear more color, indulges in Y2K nostalgia and falls in and out of love; a Jungian psychoanalyst has a field day with her dreams. 

While Darwin was perplexed and ultimately dismissive of these seemingly useless body parts, Organs of Little Importance reframes and repositions the apparent uselessness of our compulsions, superstitions, errant thoughts, and other selves. In diptychs and ghazals, sonnets and lullabies, Chung collects and preserves pieces of psychological debris as one would care for precious heirlooms, revealing their surprising potential to become sites of meaning and connection.
Adrienne Chung’s poetry and prose have appeared in The Yale Review, Joyland, Recliner, and elsewhere, and have been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s MFA program. View titles by Adrienne Chung

About

“Mind detritus becomes the stuff of great art in the hands of poet Adrienne Chung . . . a poet in complete command of her craft.” —NPR.org

Organs of Little Importance is a riotous feat . . . Ferocious. Funny. Deeply intelligent. Adrienne Chung leaves a charred wake.” —Solmaz Sharif, author of Customs and Look

From National Poetry Series winner Adrienne Chung, a debut poetry collection about psychology, love, and memory


Taking its title from Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, Adrienne Chung’s debut collection asks why we cling so dearly to the vestigial parts of our psychologies—residues of first impressions, thought spirals to nowhere, memories that persist despite outliving their usefulness. The speaker in these poems tries to wear more color, indulges in Y2K nostalgia and falls in and out of love; a Jungian psychoanalyst has a field day with her dreams. 

While Darwin was perplexed and ultimately dismissive of these seemingly useless body parts, Organs of Little Importance reframes and repositions the apparent uselessness of our compulsions, superstitions, errant thoughts, and other selves. In diptychs and ghazals, sonnets and lullabies, Chung collects and preserves pieces of psychological debris as one would care for precious heirlooms, revealing their surprising potential to become sites of meaning and connection.

Author

Adrienne Chung’s poetry and prose have appeared in The Yale Review, Joyland, Recliner, and elsewhere, and have been supported by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s MFA program. View titles by Adrienne Chung

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