From acclaimed poet Franny Choi comes a poetry collection for the ends of worlds—past, present, and future. Choi’s third book features poems about historical and impending apocalypses, alongside musings on our responsibilities to each other and visions for our collective survival.
Many have called our time dystopian. But The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On reminds us that apocalypse has already come in myriad ways for marginalized peoples.
With lyric and tonal dexterity, these poems spin backwards and forwards in time--from Korean comfort women during World War II, to the precipice of climate crisis, to children wandering a museum in the future. These poems explore narrative distances and queer linearity, investigating on microscopic scales before soaring towards the universal. As she wrestles with the daily griefs and distances of this apocalyptic world, Choi also imagines what togetherness--between Black and Asian and other marginalized communities, between living organisms, between children of calamity and conquest--could look like. Bringing together Choi's signature speculative imagination with even greater musicality than her previous work, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On ultimately charts new paths toward hope in the aftermaths, and visions for our collective survival.
A Lit Hub "Most Anticipated Books of 2022"
"Franny Choi’s poems are both of the world and transport us to another. I’ve taught her writing in multiple contexts for years. I’m thrilled to now have this new collection of her poems to savor and to share. The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On is a luminous, jarring, and gorgeous gift. Grateful to have these poems as a compass in these times" — Mariame Kaba, author of the NYT bestseller We Do This Til We Free Us
“Capturing the painful truths about surviving this world that seems to care very little about the lives of communities of color, [Choi's] poetry inspires us to continuously fight for a different world--one that would be informed by generations of loss, lessons, and collective movements. Her poetry identifies why it is that our hearts and bones have been aching for so long. We have been at war and the world keeps ending. Franny’s collection is an homage to where we have been and how we must continue--injured, determined, beautifully and together.” — Connie Wun, PhD, co-founder of AAPI Women Lead
“It was Franny Choi who first taught me the truism that every utopia requires an attendant dystopia, and here she catalogues them both with aplomb. Choi charts a path through the gloom and ecstasy of everyday catastrophe, always more mundane than we expected. It’s dull and violent and lined with ancestral memory and mushrooms ready to forage. Anyone who has lived through the daily absurdity of disaster— which is to say, all of us— can find a home here.” — Eve L. Ewing, author of 1919 and Electric Arches
“Virtuosic visionary Franny Choi beholds brutal reality and, with uncanny and singular genius, transforms it into revolution. Choi believes community, family, history, eros, truth, and love demand change worth living for/through. This book gives blood, voice, and generations of memory to the slim chance that we can change this world enough to survive its endless dystopia, war, violence. Somehow this poet still believes in us: that we might read this work and, made bold with desire, love the world so deeply it has to love us back.” — Brenda Shaughnessy, author of The Octopus Museumi and Tanya
"Franny Choi’s poems are arresting, sharp; they demand we listen and follow her where she wants to take us." — Literary Hub
"In this new collection, Franny Choi brings her fierce intelligence, ferocious humor, and tonal virtuosity to new ground, imagining and reimagining utopia, dystopia, ongoingness, ending, and the end of ending. First loves, lost mothers, forever wars, 'little nevers' – the temporal vertigo of grief for country and kin, the anguish of failing to protect elders from being attacked – all are voiced in indelible song.... Choi doesn’t flinch from 'what we had to survive/ to make paradise/ from its ruins,' but, with equal bravery, insists on conceiving new communities, new possibilities, new tomorrows.... Her vision is luminous." — Suji Kwock Kim, author of Notes From the Divided Country
“[O]ne of my favorite poets.” — Roxane Gay