I wrote XIU XIU at the start of the first covid-19 lockdown. Days moved at strange speeds, uncertain of any type of forward momentum. The sounds that structured or unstructured my days were all I felt tethered to. The only other constants were a yearning for connection and the heaviness of absence. I was in Colorado missing my family in Barcelona. We zoomed and reached out to each other through our screens. I asked them about the sounds they heard and told them about the ones that kept me company. XIU XIU was selected by Patricia Spears Jones as The Poetry Project’s 2020 Brannan Poetry Prize winner and originally appeared in The Poetry Project Newsletter #262.
Emma Gomis is a Catalan American poet and essayist. She is the cofounder of Manifold Press. Her texts have been published in Denver Quarterly, The Brooklyn Rail, Entropy, and Asymptote among others and her chapbook Canxona is forthcoming from b l u s h lit. She holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Poetics from Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in criticism and culture at the University of Cambridge.