“Asa Drake’s incisive debut chapbook, ONE WAY TO LISTEN, carves through simplistic narratives, filling in the new space with ‘nests of small animals,’ surreal details that promote curiosity and ‘room for uncertainty.’ Operating with furious imagination, these poems return to interlocking loves: of family, place, and self—love especially in resistance to rising violence that this speaker, a Filipina American woman, is positioned to live in acute awareness of. Through such tenderness, Drake opens vital questions about relation and grief. In response to the 2021 Atlanta spa shooting, Drake’s speaker asks what outfit is appropriate to wear after a loss ‘no one will recognize.’ These poems demand recognition. They process aggressions through layered metaphor. As she lays clothed in snakes who shut their mouths to keep warm, the speaker identifies the risks, always, of being a speaker. Of letting in the cold. A brilliant emerging writer, Asa Drake’s debut collection is urgent and unforgettable.” —Taneum Bambrick, author of Intimacies, Received
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies.
Asa Drake is a Filipina American writer and poet in Central Florida. She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the 92Y Discovery Poetry Contest, Tin House and Idyllwild Arts. Her poems can be found in American Poetry Review, Copper Nickel, The Georgia Review and Poetry Northwest.