“Where Poetry and Politics Overlap”


What do Fatimah Asghar, Terrance Hayes, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, Anne Waldman, Maggie Nelson, Jenny Xie, Adrian Matejka, Natalie Eilbert, and awhile crew of great poets have in common other than beautiful work and all-around fierceness?


The whole list is like a favorite conversation table at the best speakeasy in town and I’m glad to be sitting and enjoying the night with every single one of these Poets and Poems!

  #NowLetsGoStartSomeTrouble 🤗

 #NowLetsGoStartSomeTrouble 🤗

Thanks to Signature Reads for a sweet interjection into a summer’s day...

Find all 11 books and the entire write-up here:



Thank you to the judges, to Literary Arts, and to the entire Oregon community of readers and writers, plus all those around the country who have supported this work. Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists. What an incredible group and what an honor to be a part of it.

I am honored to have Field Theories recognized with the 2018 Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry. What a gift!

Tumblrs I’d Start if I had the Time:

  • Cats in the bathroom
  • Assholes who hunt trophy animals: Where do they live and work?
  • Black Girls on Surfboards
  • Homophobic Closet Cases & the Damage they Do
  • No, really, what IS the deal with Florida though?
  • Cats in the Bathroom II, The Tropics
  • Hard Femme BMX
  • A Poetics of Ass
  • Cars I’d Drive Before I’d Drive Un Pinche Prius
  • Fuck, Fuck, Fuck: When Marriage Isn’t Your Ministry & You Don’t Pay No Shooters
  • Trolling the TSA: Steel Implants & Other Ways to Force Uncomfortable Public Crotch Grabs
  • Cats in Outer Space: Bathroom Edition
  • Remember When We Had Knees? A Former Runner’s Anti-Mobility Blog
  • Sexy-Ass Muslimahs: Made You Look!  Now get out.

Bashir’s performance mixes science and poetry

The effect was like a haunting fever dream I wanted to stay in. Striking deliberations from that night still penetrate my consciousness now. Phrases like “I bear the long silence of my own extinction,” “Light speed = need = constancy,” “We are our own shadow. We are want of touch. We are biting. We are hungry. We are a stopped carousel” and “Did anyone ever ask?”
Through repetition and renewing contexts, these phrases get absorbed into the listener’s subconscious, rumbling there.
-Sara Fullerton

FIELD THEORIES short-listed for the Oregon Book Awards!

I'm honored to have FIELD THEORIES short-listed for the Oregon Book Awards' Stafford/Hall Award for Poetry. Come to the ceremony to celebrate a year's worth of groundbreaking books!


Oregon Book Awards & Fellowships supports, promotes, and celebrates Oregon’s writers and publishers.

The Oregon Book Awards honor the state’s finest accomplishments by Oregon writers who work in genres of poetry, fiction, graphic literature, drama, literary nonfiction, and literature for young readers. Oregon Literary Fellowships provide financial support to Oregon’s emerging and established writers and publishers.

2018 Oregon Book Awards Ceremony
April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gerding Theater at the Armory
Tickets start at $12, available at BrownPaperTickets.com

On Monday, April 30, Literary Arts will host our annual celebration of the state’s most accomplished writers in the genres of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, young readers, and graphic literature. This event draws an audience of over 500 literary enthusiasts from our local community and beyond. Young adult author Renée Watson will host this year’s event.


Judges: Eowyn Ivey, Shanthi Sekaran, Justin Tussing
Omar El Akkad of Portland, American War (Knopf)
Wayne Harrison of Springfield, Wrench and Other Stories (New American Press)
Victor Lodato of Ashland, Edgar and Lucy (St. Martin’s Press)
Matthew Robinson of Portland, The Horse Latitudes (Propeller Books)
Lidia Yuknavitch of Milwaukie, The Book of Joan (HarperCollins)  

Judges: Chris Abani, Laura Kasischke, D.A. Powell

manuel arturo abreu of Portland, transtrender (Quimérica Books)
Samiya Bashir of Portland, Field Theories (Nightboat Books)
Allison Cobb of Portland, After We All Died (Ahsahta Press)  
Stephen Lackaye of Beaverton, Self-Portrait in Dystopian Landscape (Unicorn Press)
Ed Skoog of Portland, Run the Red Lights (Copper Canyon Press)


2018 Readers’ Choice Award

Cast your vote in the Readers’ Choice Award survey and help your favorite Oregon Book Award finalist win a special honor. The winner will also be announced live at the ceremony on April 30. Click here to vote.

New Work in Sinister Wisdom!

Sinister Wisdom 107: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution lifts up the voices of African-American lesbians for us all to hear, see, and know.

The creative work in Sinister Wisdom 107: Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution gathers together new writing by an array of emerging and established black lesbian and queer women writers. 

Sinister Wisdom 107 invites us all as readers, thinkers, activists, and cultural workers to engage in meaningful and productive ways with the voices and works of African-American lesbians as they write and imagine new worlds.

Get your copy now!

Samiya Supernovas OPB's State of Wonder!

Samiya Supernovas OPB's State of Wonder!
"It’s easy to find poetry in science, from the ring of Latin names to the construction of an elegant theory. It’s a harder thing to find science in poetry. But that is the genesis of Portland poet Samiya Bashir’s book “Field Theories,” where poems titled after scientific principles like “Planck’s Constant” and “Synchronous Rotation” plumb the space where theories collide with real life: from the back seat of a taxi to jazz clubs, early morning cigarettes, human fables, gun violence and Groucho Marx."
Read More

Lambda Literary Reviews FIELD THEORIES...

"One thing’s for sure," muses Lambda's Shane Michael Manieri, "Field Theories contains an energy, or energies, and Bashir explores every aspect of it/them." 

Of Field Theories, Adrian Matejka said, “There is so much happening in these poems…” And it’s true. There are poems in the voices of John Henry and his wife, Polly Annin sections titled “Coronagraphy,”—a coronagraph, as some may know, is a telescope that uses a disk to block the Sun’s bright surface so that one might be able to see things close to it. However, one can’t help but think of a Coronary Angiography, which is a scientifically medical system that X-rays the chest to detect blockages in the heart—which have the literary craftsmanship of Jean Toomerand is a further study into the relationship between the monumental black figure—be it male or female—and social science, people and their environment, their societies and have the lyrical ballad swing of the language we hear on the street mixed with the colorful characters of the American folklore: man against machine, man against boss, man against the power structure.