Poetry/ Transgender Studies
A new & revised edition of the classic book by pathbreaking poet & cultural critic Trace Peterson. This edition contains a new Introduction by Joy Ladin.
The second edition of Trace Peterson’s Since I Moved In is a welcome re-issue, with a new introduction by Joy Ladin, of a landmark collection of poems by one of the most influential transgender poets writing today. Peterson, enacting her self-chosen name, traces connections and lines of flight between genders, between creative expression and acute observation, between her grounding and training in Tucson’s celebrated poetry scene and her on-going involvement in New York’s. Trace is an imperative, as well as a noun, and a name. It means to write over, as well as a faint remainder. Animated by the space of that double signification, and by the practice of making new life through transcribing an old life into a new register, Trace Peterson’s poetry — in life and in words — gives voice to something raw, inchoate, in-process-of-becoming. —Susan Stryker
These are the daring adventures of the voice, the voice that wants to be a body, and had no way to be a body in and for itself when this book was written: this book is maybe the first book of poetry in which I saw my own trans experience written and comprehensibly embodied, not allegorically or across a gap of anachronisms but as it is, as it was at the very same time. This is the voice that kept secrets from itself, that knows what it’s like to keep a secret and wonder whether it was never a secret; the voice, too, that knows how troubling it feels to be a voice, to be nothing other than voice, among readers and listeners who claim, in that early-2000s way, to hate voice (because they cannot hear their own). There is a Hartford in her heart, “no broken glass in it,” though “the map is not the map,” and alongside it there lurks, or flourishes, an “inability to be where I am.” This is a voice that sees: that sees “the boys at / lavender the girls in show,” a voice of experiment, a voice “wearing your socks.” I recommend it to anyone like me, and also to people who are nothing like me, who want to know how it has been. — Stephanie Burt
I will forever praise the day in 2010 when I discovered Since I Moved In at a friend’s house and sat down and read it cover to cover. Almost a decade later, my “skull still humming from a gift received.” The experience of recognition (which is to say the benevolence of awareness) (which is different from the more distant (more dangerous) act of seeing/being seen) that transpired in the initial hours with this book altered the trajectory of my life in simple and extraordinary ways. As Joy Ladin’s introduction to the new edition makes clear, Since I Moved In’s 2007 publication was revolutionary and foundational for what would become a beautiful groundswell of trans and nonbinary poetry. “Even the boundaries were drawn up temporarily,” Trace tells us. And how deeply true this is between so many (so much) of us, on any given day. Thank you, Trace, for this 2nd edition–a kind of textual transition, a gift to trans and nonbinary writers, past, present, and future. Here is “The Pleasure of Arriving”: a poetry of integrity–smart, hilarious, frustrated, and tender. — TC Tolbert