Jay Deshpande has held residencies at the Saltonstall Arts Colony and the Vermont Studio Center and was selected by Billy Collins for the 2015 Scotti Merrill Memorial Award at the Key West Literary Seminar. His poems have appeared in Boston Review, Sixth Finch, Atlas Review, Handsome, Spork, Prelude, and elsewhere. Essays and reviews have been published in Slate, The New Republic, The Millions, and Publishers Weekly. He holds degrees from Harvard and Columbia and has taught in Egypt, France, and the United States. Born in Austin, Texas, he now lives in Brooklyn.
"This is a book of great beauty and of terrible suspicion regarding that beauty. This is a poet of intensifying linguistic gift and of terrible suspicion regarding that gift. Is there, yet, an Auto-Voyeuristic school of poetry? If not, then Jay Deshpande’s troubling and gorgeous Love the Stranger—“watch yourself grow muscle in your failures / and hate it”—could be the founding document."
"Deshpande tracks those moments when we become strange to ourselves, when indecision and failure wrench us open. He writes with a kind of glowing, dreamlike clarity about desire, distraction, regret—the ways we rush past ourselves, the ways we hurt each other. This book is full of searching and light."
"Elegant, dreamy, and hauntingly charismatic, Deshpande’s poems captivate the way the recordings of their patron saint Chet Baker do, insisting time after time that exceptional artistry can spin even radical loneliness and excruciating sensitivity into music that radiates and affirms. Provoking 'a hunger become so animal' then tranquilizing it with 'orchestrated moonlight,' Love the Stranger is a book, a shady neighborhood, and a mood that readers will return to again and again."