2012 author of the year: trey sager

trey is a writer living in new york city. he is the author of two chapbooks from ugly duckling presse: O New York and Dear Failures. he is co-writer of The Weeds, a book of poems and collages with Widows + Orphans Press. though he’s mostly written poems, right now he’s working on short stories about boring but irregular men and a memoir called Oedipus Breast.


i met trey in grad school, the summer before the world trade towers fell. it was true buddyhood at first sight. i remember seeing him for the first time. he was wearing slim white jeans, a worn-out tee-shirt, and ridiculously huge, plastic sun-glasses. his hair, at the time, was a near-shoulder-length, dirty blond mop, barely inhibited by a bandana. i have never met, and doubt i ever will meet again in this life-time, a man who could pull off that look, other than the one, the only, trey sager.

his most recent chapbook from ugly ducking, Dear Failures, is full of true, brave formal innovation, unmasked humanity, and emotional content. i love it. it actually lives in my night-table drawer and i’ll read a poem out of it once in awhile if i want to cheer myself up. over the past few years (right up until the sweet bianca made her debut), i had the privilege of membership in a very small, three-person writer’s group that met weekly. trey and i, along with our friend adam, had a really special time there for awhile, a space of true communion and inquiry.

as trey moved into fiction, it was thrilling for me to witness him figure out how to write prose, how to write a short story. it was wonderful to watch his quick mind deconstruct the ideas of language he’d become so accustomed to as a poet. and he did it with true courage. his fiction is raw, it’s startling, and it’s sincere. if you don’t believe me, you can ask Bomb Magazine, i think they were lucky enough to snag one of his first stories.

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