Ep. 43 11/8/17 Show Notes ft. Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

This week’s show features the poetry of Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello and a musical playlist she’s chosen to accompany her work.


Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello is the author of Hour of the Ox, which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Best Small Fictions, The New York Times, and at www.marcicalabretta.com.


  1. Taeyang – Eyes, Nose, Lips (눈, 코, 입) 
  2. Girls’ Generation – Dear Mom 
  3. Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello performs her poem “A Working Theory of Eyes”: As a Korean American adoptee, I was left to navigate both the tangible and intangible differences between my Caucasian parents and myself. This piece examines the difficulties of reconciling my family’s love for me with ignorance over issues of heritage and microaggressions.
  4. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons – Can’t Take My Eyes Off You 
  5. Andy Grammer – Fresh Eyes 



Books saved me as a child. I became the quintessential armchair traveler, bringing the whole world to me because I couldn’t go out into the world from my isolated life. Writing is also a private form of communication. Other forms of art require supplies and can’t be created in secret: visual art requires supplies and must be displayed; music must be heard; but writing can be squirreled away in notebooks and Word files, and no one ever needs to know that I’m an author. Literature doesn’t need to be shared to exist, but it enhances the joy when you write something and discover that someone else connects with what you’re saying.

If you could go back in time to your younger writer self, at any age, what advice would you give yourself and why? You only have a minute. 

This is for all my younger selves, and all my future selves: There is room for every kind of style and content. Just because someone’s work doesn’t resonate with you doesn’t mean it’s not important to someone else in the world. You can appreciate what someone else is doing even if you don’t personally like it. Who knows? You just might find yourself liking it in 10 or 20 years.



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