The 2019 Whiting Selection Committee

The most unsettling of lullabies, Kayleb Rae Candrilli’s verse memoir unfolds with savage grace as it lays bare the violence and isolation of a trans person’s coming of age. It is a dazzling addition to literature about rural childhoods. In looping imagery of animals and decay, Candrilli gives their uncompromising vision of the wages of familial love and the various ways a young person can devise their own escape. They show how language has the power to shape and to misshape the self, and their work feels as urgent and electric as a living thing.

TC Tolbert on What Runs Over

Part fist-to-the-face-of-God, part pain-drunk-howl, part sex-slick-reverie, Kayleb Rae Candrilli’s debut book, What Runs Over, is brutal and necessary. You will be taken to a mountain, dear reader, and there you will experience the violence of isolation and proximity. But you can (and I do) trust a writer who says, “the pain of being cut to pieces is lovely” and then pays equally deft attention to the pain, the pieces, the loveliness, and the cut.

sam sax on What Runs Over

Kayleb Rae Candrilli's first book What Runs Over is a triumphant, daring, & filthy collection of letters. It grips sorrow, kink, desire, memory, family, queerness, nostalgia between its gnarled teeth & shakes. When I finished reading it, I was shaking. Be careful reader as this book will leave you shook.  

Kaveh Akbar on What Runs Over

When Roethke said 'energy is the soul of poetry,' he might have been anticipating a book like What Runs Over, which is so full of energy it practically vibrates in your hand. Here, Candrilli’s speaker sticks their tongue 'into the heads / of venus fly traps just to feel the bite,' then later, burns holy books in the backyard and rolls around in the ashes until they become 'a painted god.' This is the verve of an urgent new poetic voice announcing itself to the world. As Candrilli writes: 'This is what I look like / when I’m trying to save myself.'

Past Readings:

  • TriQuarterly Reading, Taborspace, Portland, March. 2019

  • Muzzle & Vinyl Reading, Cup & Bar, Portland. March. 2019

  • Hayden’s Ferry Review Reading, The Jasmine Pear Tea House, Portland. March. 2019

  • Whiting Foundation Winners Reading, The Strand Rare Books Room, NYC. March. 2019

  • No Tokens Issue 7 Launch, PowerHouse Arena, NYC. May. 2018

  • Dahlak Paradise, Philadelphia, PA. May. 2018

  • Lambda Literary Finalist Reading, Philadelphia, PA. May. 2018

  • Blue Marble Books Reading Series, Mount Airy, PA. May. 2018

  • YesYes Books Showcase, Tattooed Mom, Philadelphia, PA. April. 2018

  • YesYes Books Showcase, Berl's Poetry Shop, NYC. April. 2018

  • YesYes Books Showcase, Bryant Park Reading Series, NYC, April. 2018

  • Iowa's Writer's House, Iowa City, IA. April, 2018

  • Lit Walk at Mission Creek Festival, Iowa City, IA. April. 2018

  • Excuse My Dust, Good Good Comedy Theater, Philadelphia, PA, March. 2018

  • YesYes Books Offsite Reading, AWP, Tampa, FL. March. 2018

  • No Tokens Offsite Reading, AWP, Tampa, FL. March. 2018

  • Grist Journal Offsite Reading, AWP, Tampa, FL. March. 2018

  • Saturnalia, Wooden Shoe, Philadelphia, PA. February. 2018

  • Tragic: The Gathering, Wooden Shoe, Philadelphia, PA. January. 2018

  • LitCrawl Portland, The Cleaner’s at Ace Hotel, OR. November. 2017

  • Brilliant Voices, YesYes Books & Gramma Poetry, Zoe Events, Seattle, WA. November. 2017

  • Kissing Caskets, Book Release Party, Solae’s Lounge, 1801 NE Alberta, OR. November. 2017

  • Portland Community College, Cascade Campus Reading, Portland, OR. November. 2017

  • Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus Reading, Portland, OR. November. 2017

  • Portland Community College, Cascade Campus Class Visit, Portland, OR. November. 2017

  • Lambda Literary Emerging Voices Reading, Los Angeles, CA. August. 2017

© 2019 by Kayleb Rae Candrilli.