Jayson Keery is based in Western Massachusetts, where they completed their MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. They are the author of The Choice is Real (Metatron Press, 2023) and the chapbook Astroturf (o•blēk editions, 2022). They have been anthologized in Mundus Press’s Nocturnal Properties, Nightboat Books' We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics, and Pilot Press London's A Queer Anthology of Rage. They received the 2022 Metatron Press Prize for Rising Authors, selected by Fariha Róisín, and the 2021 Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship, selected by Wendy Xu.
“A debut in name only, The Choice is Real is a testament to what utter magic can occur when a poet makes of the line an altar to study and quest from. Sure-footed, sorcerous and tender in its ferocity, this is one of the most impressive and unforgettable first books I’ve read in years.”
— Ocean Vuong, author of Time Is a Mother, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, and more
“In myriad forms and with etched lines, this book is in a constant state of becoming. Jayson Keery is a truly exciting poet. What a great debut. The details are entirely real.”
— Peter Gizzi, author of Now It’s Dark, Sky Burial, Archeophonics, and more
“Occasioned by the loss of three mothers, Jayson Keery returns in these poems to the scenes of their girlhood, grappling with how it is that we, because of and despite everything, become. In particular, and against the pervasive, structuring idea that children have no bodies”—no desire, no right to choose their lives—The Choice Is Real insists on the queerness of childhood. Its strangeness. Its perversity. Its persistent deformation of Disney-scripted grids of gender. At once flippant and grief-struck, guarded and tender, heady and viscerally felt, Keery’s debut collection is a forceful reminder of the magic that happens wherever queer/trans children grow.”
— Cameron Awkward-Rich, author of The Terrible We, Dispatch, Sympathetic, Little Monster, and more
“Dedicated ‘to those forced to prove it,’ this is queer celebration! Jayson Keery is one of my favorite living poets, and I am so glad you found this book to celebrate its magnificent poetry!”
— CAConrad, author of You Don’t Have What It Takes to Be My Nemesis, Amanda Paradise, While Standing in Line for Death, and more
2023 "Am I still a broken tile," "State of undress," Shabby Doll House.
2023 "Leave her alone," The Copenhagen Poetry Journal.
2023 "Have it your way," Rejected Lit Magazine.
2023 "The day I knew," Not For Resale.
2022 "And fell through the dark," "[a beckoning]," "[an unbeckoning]," Nocturnal Properties, Mundus Press.
2022 "BISEXUAL SNACK TIME," Hot Pink.
2022 "Stealth narcissus," Black Warrior Review.
2022 "The choice is real," Boulevard.
2021 "Mammalian Dreams," Overheard.
2021 "If angels," The New Guard.
2021 “Tonight I am little,” Metatron Press.
2020 “Me Problem,” We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics. Nightboat Books.
2020 “Breast Pump,” Peach Mag.
2019 “Mark the Psychic Confirms I’m a ‘Tough Guy’,” Cosmonauts Avenue.
2019 “It’s Our Problem Free,” “Pucker Up,” b l u s h lit.
2018 “Oops Sorry, I’m Not Punk I’m Gay,” Girls Like Us Magazine Issue 11.
2018 “Oh, Kay,” A Queer Anthology of Rage. Edited by Rich Porter. Pilot Press: London.
Awards and Fellowships
2022 The 2021 Metatron Prize for Rising Authors, judged by Fariha Róisín -- winner
2021 Omnidawn Single-Poem Broadside Contest -- finalist
2021 Daniel and Merrily Glosband MFA Fellowship, judged by Wendy Xu -- winner
2021 Knightville Poetry Contest, The New Guard, judged by Shanna McNair -- finalist
2021 Snowbound Chapbook Award, Tupelo Press, judged by Denise Duhamel -- finalist
2019 Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award, judged by Diana Khoi Nguyen -- runner up