Jayson Keery’s world-building poems reimagine the coming-of-age narrative for queer and trans people. Winner of The Metatron Prize for Rising Authors (Poetry), The Choice is Real is a romp through millennial media landscapes and an interrogation of their power as systems of early childhood gender programming.
Challenging the conventions of how queer and trans people are encouraged to tell their stories, The Choice is Real engages the concept of choice in queerness and trivializes the linear “born-this-way” narratives that queer people are sold. In response to a second puberty brought on by medical transition and an unravelling of family structures following the death of their stepmother, Keery regresses through a warped and foreboding childhood landscape saturated with pop culture iconography. Writing with and against Disney classics, Keery moves between formative memories and contemporary moments, weaving in accounts of current relations in their playful uprooting of assumptions of queer relationality. Opening with a cheeky epigraph from trans author and activist Lou Sullivan: “I love being a girl. So delicate,” The Choice is Real explodes with celebration and criticism of girlhood from a transmasculine perspective.
Editor: Hannah Karpinski
About the author
Jayson Keery is a writer, editor, and arts coordinator from Boston who currently resides in Western Massachusetts. They completed their MFA in Creative Writing 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, edited by Peter Gizzi, 2022). Their work is published and forthcoming in Hot Pink, Boulevard, Black Warrior Review, Overheard, The New Guard, b l u s h lit, Peach Mag, and others. They have been anthologized in Nightboat Books’ We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics and Pilot Press London’s A Queer Anthology of Rage. They are the recipient of 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. They were the runner-up for the Deborah Slosberg Memorial Award, selected by Diana Khoi Nguyen.