Brandon Blue: Snap.Shot

Brandon Blue’s debut chapbook Snap.Shot is available for pre-order now, & we are excited to highlight this talented poet & share a sample of his work!

In his debut collection, Snap.Shot confronts held narratives of black queer life, Snap.Shot strives to answer questions of belonging, identity, and survival. In poems directed by personal narrative, engagement with art, and the erotic, Snap.Shot grounds the reader in a fragmented speaker in order to create a self-resilience strong enough to brave devastation.

From sword swallower to bug, mother to dominatrix, these poems shapeshift and ask the reader to trace their own moments of tribulation and triumph to reflect on how they came together to make something entirely new, a Snap.Shot of a life.

Award-wining poets Michael Collier and Muriel Leung describe the collection as “a convincing and promising introduction to a deft new voice in American poetry” and “takes ekphrasis — writing about other art forms — to new heights in this exciting debut collection full of sword swallowing yearning dressed in pleaser heels” respectively.

Brandon Blue is a black, queer poet, educator and MFA candidate at Arizona State University from the D(M)V. He is an assistant editor for Storm Cellar Magazine and his work has or will appear in Barzakh, the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Poetry Anthology, [PANK], and more. His work is also featured in the Capital Pride Poem-a-Day event. His work has received the support of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. 

Blue also holds an M.ED from the University of Maryland, College Park in curriculum and instruction and a B.A. in French Language and Culture.  He worked as a public school French teacher for 6 years and a creative writing mentor to young and developing writers for 4 years.

At the root of everything Blue does is an initiative sense of care. In every project, poem, and teaching experience what must be first in our minds are those we care most for and the strangers who are only strangers for a while. He believes that both creative work and teaching are both practices of community and empathy and they feed each other. It is through this work of interconnectivity that we not only learn more about ourselves but about the world around us— how we co-exist, and how we make sense of what cannot be known. But rather than fear or escape this ambivalent state of being, Blue pushes forward into that wall to create a possibility where anything should be able to happen. 


“In language that’s fresh and in poems guided by formal invention, Brandon Blue’s Snap.Shot describes love’s passages of joy and sadness, the pleasures and perils of physical and emotional passion. Snap.Shot is a convincing and promising introduction to a deft new voice in American poetry.” — Michael Collier, author of The Clasp and Other Poems, The Folded Heart, The Neighbor, The Ledge, Dark Wild Realm, An Individual History: Poems, and My Bishop and Other Poems  

“Brandon Blue’s Snap.Shot takes ekphrasis — writing about other art forms — to new heights in this exciting debut collection full of sword-swallowing yearning dressed in pleaser heels. Zooming into the blur of a photograph or painting or video, Blue turns our attention towards the oftentimes unexamined and quieter intimacies of queer desire, the areas where shame or want deferred struggles to buck against the frame, distilling for us this very lone moment in time where one’s reaching comes alive. This collection asks a persistent question: How can any poem, image, or body remain unchanged after what it has seen and endured? The answer: The poem, the image, the body, let them all shapeshift, borrowing their parts from one another in the inventive spirit of gender fuck, no feeling or word left behind. This is the ultimate drag, this becoming and becoming, until finally — it breaks free; it is.” — Muriel Leung, author of Bone Confetti and Imagine Us, The Swarm

You can pre-order a copy of Snap.Shot here!