THE PERSON OF THE WEEK, #5: HAJARA QUINN
Hajara Quinn is 5’6”. It’s pronounced HaJARa, so quit saying it wrong. You can call her Haji (HA-jee). That’s what I do. She wishes her name were Plum or Ponette though. I like those names a lot too, but those aren’t her names. In boarding school in Massachusettes, other kids called her Dodger, but this isn’t boarding school in Massachusetts anymore, people, so grow up. I first met Haji because she was a student in one of my poetry workshops at Crow Arts Manor. And then she took another one too. For one of those workshops I told everybody that they had to crawl in and out of the room’s window to come to and to leave class. She was one of the ones who did it. There were so many good poets in that workshop (here’s another one). I liked Haji at first because her poems were really good and she had a good laugh. She’s not really capable of bullshitting either. Also, she was the very first person in the world, besides me, to have a copy of Heather Christle’s The Trees The Trees because she wanted it so bad and kept asking about it before it was ever out. She’s like that with poetry books. She likes some of them so hard. Some of our first conversations were about how good Factory Hollow’s books are, for example, and she let me borrow her Mark Leidner’s Beauty Was The Case That They Gave Me, which was probably kept under her pillow every night before that. Anyway, this is especially cool because now she has a chapbook called Unnaysayer from Flying Object which is the organization/storefront the does Factory Hollow. You should buy that for $6, and you can read other poems of hers at Ilk, Kill Author, and in the next issue of Sixth Finch. She is an MFA poetry student at Cornell. She is a tremendously important and vital member of the Octopus Books team. Haji is an assistant editor, and has been for about two years now. Together we’re currently editing Bianca Stone’s forthcoming Tin House/Octopus Books book, Someone Else’s Wedding Vows. I really like editing poems with her. Also, Haji is the entirety of our shipping department. If you’ve ordered a book through our website in the past two years, Haji shipped it. She’s been shipping books from Ithaca. It’s cool that we have a shipping department on the other side of the country. I would guess Haji has single-handedly shipped about 1000 books. She once had a summer job handing out life jackets. One time she was in a canoe that capsized in the middle of a lake and sank. She took off her sweater and that sank. She thought maybe she’d sink too. But at this point she hasn’t. Oh, the important part of that story is that she wasn’t wearing a life jacket. Together with her boyfriend, Ben, we went to the Wild Ones show at Mississippi Studios this week. Also just this week, Haji got a pedicure and has a new toenail color, she completed her first year of grad school, and has moved back to Portland for the summer. So, for these three reasons and more, Hajara Quinn is this week’s The Lovely Arc’s The Person of the Week.
Buy Unnaysayer from Flying Object here.
Please submit your suggestions for next week’s The Lovely Arc’s The Person of the Week to me via email.