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Jenne Hsien Patrick, 2023-24 Hugo Fellow Mid-Year Check In

Hugo Fellow Jenne Hsien Patrick is a writer and artist based in Seattle. She writes poetry, hybrid text/image works, and comics, often incorporating textiles and papercutting. They are currently writing about motherhood, family history, self-preservation, and survival as an inheritance from the matriarchal lines of their family.

Fitting for this Valentine’s Day, Jenne echoes their colleagues’ sentiments of tenderness, vulnerability, openness, and support in sharing her experience working within this fellowship. Join us tomorrow at the Hugo Fellows Mid-Year Reading to celebrate the work and growth of this loving cohort!


Jenne Hsien Patrick

Interview with 2023-24 Hugo Fellow, Jenne Hsien Patrick

Tell us more about your current project! How has participating in the Hugo Fellows program shaped your work and your relationship with writing?

I have been working on a collection of poems/image-text/erasure pieces centered upon grief in a manuscript threaded through with themes of ancestral inheritances and diasporic language loss among a lot of other themes! Through writing more poems and finding new forms for the poems in this manuscript to live (as a crown of sonnets, papercuts, sculpture, experimental handmade books) I have found the Fellows program a space to be free with the work and try new things in community and continue to trust in the writing and where it will lead me.

Tell us more about working with your Fellows cohort and the Hugo House Writers in Residence.

I love working with this cohort and Joyce and Ching-In—I am really inspired by the different genres and approaches in each fellows’ work and our workshops are so generous and tender, with so much care built into how our work is discussed. Writing can feel lonely, and being in this creative community with each other, sharing and supporting each other’s new and vulnerable work has encouraged me to take risks with my writing that I might not have without the openness and encouragement of everyone.

What goal(s) did you establish for your work with this program; how are they going?

I have been trying to stay with my goal of finishing the manuscript and have noticed that much of the work I have done so far this year has constellated into diverse forms, both on the page and off the page. I’ve let myself follow the inspiration, to try new shapes and even materials, constructing new book structures to get closer to an embodied sense of the poems and even to new poems/project about the body and cancer, bringing it closer to my embodied experience.  All that said, experimenting with form and medium has shown me perhaps the manuscript is closer to completion than I had thought, and I am excited to keep following the thread that each poem unravels for me in a curiosity and gratitude for what they reveal in each iteration and attempt.

Thanks, Jenne, for sharing with us! So much to look forward to at the reading tomorrow!

Learn more about Jenne Hsien Patrick and register to hear her work at Hugo Fellows Mid-Year Reading »