AMANDA GALVAN HUYNH (she/her) is a Xicana writer and educator from Texas. She is the author of a chapbook, Songs of Brujería (Big Lucks September 2019) and Co-Editor of Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics (The Operating System 2019). Her debut poetry collection, Where My Umbilical is Buried, is forthcoming in March 2023 with Sundress Publications. Amanda has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, and Sundress Publications’ Best of the Net. She was a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award Winner, 2018 Best of the Net Winner, a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her poetry can be read in print and online journals such as Hayden’s Ferry Review, Puerto del Sol, The Southampton Review, and others.
Amanda earned her MFA in Poetry at Old Dominion University, BA in English at the University of Texas at Arlington, and BA in Biology at the University of Texas at Dallas. Currently, she is a doctoral student in English at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
In the past, she has taught poetry workshops at The Muse Writers’ Center, and with Writers in the Schools (WITS – Houston). Her writing has been supported by fellowships and scholarships from MacDowell, Storyknife, Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Sundress Academy for the Arts, New York Summer Writers Institute, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, Monson Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and others.
Where My Umbilical is Buried
Pre-Order: Sundress Publications (March 2023)
From the title, Where My Umbilical Is Buried, Amanda Galvan Huynh invites readers to engage with the metaphor and image rich sensibility that drive the poems within. From the roads, nights, and fields where memory lies “buried” under the sounds of voices whispering, Coke tab bracelets jangling, and cumbias, these poems grow and flourish into a lyric gift, an expression of affirmation and presence for gente y familia—the living, the dead, as well as who we must be in between.
— José Angel Araguz, author of Rotura
In her debut collection, Amanda Galvan Huynh cultivates poems that sing and ache toward the matriarchal, memory, and hope. In seeking to rupture intergenerational trauma, identity, and expectation, Galvan Huynh carves a complex and deft vision beyond knowing “how many seams kept them together”, to achieve a conjuring that blesses “the hands of mothers who never had one to follow.” Through rich imagery, vibrant meditation, and a resilient self-examination, Where My Umbilical Is Buried weaves a code-switching tapestry that unabashedly confronts, complicates, and celebrates the lineages and experiences. These are intricate poems that manifest healing and dreaming for the self and future ancestors.
— Anthony Cody, author of Borderland Apocrypha
To read Amanda Galvan Huynh’s poetry is to remember the scent of my mother’s kitchen, the beat of cumbias and the trills of accordions, and the weight of family stories told in the language of pain and silence. In poems both fluid and powerful, Galvan Huynh demonstrates the hard-won struggle to become yourself—to own your language, culture, and sexuality when you’ve inherited more wounds than gifts from your mother and your mother’s mothers. Galvan Huynh writes, “Bless…The hands that may have/never planned on being/a mother and the ones/that feared being enough./Bless the hands of mothers/who never had one to follow,” and in passages like this, Where My Umbilical is Buried becomes an act of learning to mother oneself, free oneself, love oneself. !Poeta brava!
— ire’ne lara silva, author of Cuicacalli/House of Song and Blood Sugar Canto
Where My Umbilical Is Buried offers a disarmingly precise series of poems about the intergenerational struggle to establish a sense of home when home offers its own turbulence. The reality of the working class Latinx families in America looms large over these poems. It haunts them, transfixes them, but in the process these poems create a deeply personal space where this struggle is transformed. In this collection there is a longing for home that goes past the social reality, past the domestic sphere, towards the celestial womb. There is a sense of longing on a cosmic scale, a yearning that stretches towards the stars. These poems heal, they flicker, they are a way of digging into the darkness and growing from the ground up.
— Mike Soto, author of A Grave Is Given Supper
Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics
Edited by: Amanda Galvan Huynh & Luisa A. Igloria
Order: The Operating System
“There is a fierceness required or grown from having little choice but to be attentive. Like walking an uneven and dangerous path chock full of hidden or horizon-obliterating elements screaming quiet in their teeming to be witnessed. This is nothing less magic than the complex work-work of language itself, and in such crucial voicings, the ones offered right here.
Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making :: An Anthology of Essays on Transformative Poetics is testimonial and music, memory and urgency and loss, fire and salve for what has been, for the troubled ongoing future.
The authors, the stories their bodies and flesh carry, the memories they often contend with, brought together and beautifully curated by Luisa A. Igloria and Amanda Galvan Huynh, are no easy “we.” And yet I risk this: it is in gathering uneasy, willing ourselves into readiness, to share how hard or through what experimentations in contention we got here that we may find in the stories, in the work, waystones for the journey on.
I want to quote all the essays in this unbroken promise of a book to you. Like being the first in the crew to, just this side of gushing, pop in a tape our body responses decide carries our next song for crossing bridges. Instead, I say I needed this book many years ago, and need it now. May you who finds this so often brilliant waystone of a book carry it to the places more of us can find it, too.”
— Hari Alluri, The Flayed City
Songs of Brujería
“This emotionally poignant and skillfully crafted chapbook captures the intergenerational stories of a Latinx family as they move across Texas to work the fields. At its center is a frayed mother figure, whose life teaches us about violence, survival, womanhood, migration, death, and love. As the speaker notes in the title poem: “She would teach me how to listen to the magic / found in those nights—as if all I had / to do was press my ear to my pulse—to find my way home.” Galvan Huynh learned this lesson well because every page pulses with memory and song.”
— Craig Santos Perez, from unincorporated territory [hacha]
“In Songs of Brujería, Amanda Galvan Huynh deftly explores the entanglements of identity for the mestizo latinx woman. Here you will not find poems full of elixirs and spells, nowhere the botánica love spell. The book, rather, is itself is an act of the sacred medicine from which brujería stems: taken together, these poems form an act of healing, of clarifying and unburdening the spirit from what ails it. The speech of the poems is plain, prose-like, but turned on the lathe of the line, silences and spaces are carved out — making much-needed windows that bring light into the repressed rooms of the family house. Narratives here are drawn out vertically, opening them, revealing their hidden layers. Galvan Huynh bears witness to the cycles of harm with endless compassion, acknowledging the larger forces of colonization and patriarchy that inform identity and family relationships, particularly those of mothers and daughters. The book urges us to examine our own wounds and those of others, to ask the difficult questions, to keep reaching after what is lost, to be the authors and keepers of our own history.”
— Stephanie Adams-Santos, Swarm Queen’s Crown
March 9, 2023: Demystifying the Application – AWP Panel at 12:10 – 1:25 pm Seattle, WA
June 15, 2023: A Hundred Pitchers of Honey – at 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm (CST) – Virtual Reading
September 13, 2022: Poetry Workshop BoxJelly (Honolulu, HI)
November 15, 2021: Fresno State University Class Visit (Online)
October 21, 2021: VCCA Fireplace Series with Patricia Spears Jones (Online)
October 6, 2021: Old Dominion University Literary Festival with Lynn Waltz (Online)
December 2, 2020: Poetry Hour on WCAA Radio at 7 pm EST (Online)
October 16, 2020: Diversity 2020 – Next: The Now Generation of Poets of Color (Online)
September 19, 2020: Latinx Heritage Month (Online)
August 30, 2020: Women Writers in Translation (Facebook Live)
August 16, 2020: Lengua Suelta Festival de Comala 2020 (Zoom Online CDMX)
June 26, 2020: The Weekly Bop (Online – Instagram Live)
*March 28 – 31, 2020: Split This Rock Festival (D.C.)
*March 17, 2020: University of Texas at Arlington (Arlington, TX)
*March 7, 2020: AWP Reading with The Operating System (San Antonio, TX)
March 6, 2020: Decentralizing Whiteness in Craft: Writers of Color Talk Craft – AWP Conference (San Antonio, TX)
*March 5, 2020: Navigating Residencies as a Writer of Color (San Antonio, TX)
*Canceled due to Covid19
December 17, 2019: Mouth to Mouth @ Asian American Writers Workshop (NYC)
December 8, 2019: Dead Rabbits Reading Series (NYC)
October 27, 2019: Volumes Bookcafe Reading (Chicago, IL)
September 20, 2019: Deep Vellum Reading @ Deep Vellum Books (Dallas, TX)
September 19, 2019: Big Lucks Reading @ Berl’s Poetry Shop (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 2019: Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making Anthology Texas Book Launch @ Brazos Bookstore (Houston, TX)
May 1, 2019: Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making Anthology NYC Book Launch @ Book Culture at W. 112th St (New York City, NY)
April 28, 2019: Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making Anthology Virginia Book Launch (Norfolk, VA)
March 30, 2019: When We Write, We Write with Our Bodies, Our Hearts, Our Histories AWP
March 29, 2019: Of Color: Poets’ Ways of Making ~ Readings from Essays on Transformative Poetics AWP
March 27, 2019: Unlikely Stories & Rigorous ~ Portland, Oregon
March 3, 2019: Zinc Bar Poetry Reading (New York City, NY)
February 16, 2019: St. Rocco’s Reading Series (Albany, NY)
September 28, 2018: Poesía 4 Vientos (Puebla City, Puebla, Mexico)
April 28, 2018: National Poetry Month Event (Middletown, NY)
April 21, 2018: The Traditions of Multiracial Writing Panel (New Orleans, LA)
February – April 2018: Letterpress Exhibition (Peterborough, NH)
April 7, 2018: Poetry Reading & Craft Talk (Itaewon, Seoul, Korea)
March 9, 2018: What We Really Tell When We Tell of Home AWP Panel (Tampa, FL)
March 8, 2018: Living, Reading, & Writing the Multilingual Poem AWP Panel (Tampa, FL)
January 20, 2018: St. Rocco’s Reading Series (Albany, NY)
July 24, 2017: Sewanee Scholars Reading (Sewanee, TN)
July 6, 2017: Poetry Reading (Prague, Czech Republic)
April 13, 2017: MFA Thesis Reading (Norfolk, VA)
January 29 – April 1, 2017: Letterpress Exhibition (Norfolk, VA)
January 29, 2017: Pressing Poetry: Exhibition & Poetry Reading (Norfolk, VA)
November 16, 2016: Food for Thought: Reading Benefit (Norfolk, VA)
November 13, 2016: Other People’s Poetry Poetry Reading Series (Dallas, TX)
November 4, 2016: Huizache Issue Release Reading (Austin, TX)
September 27, 2016: 39th Annual Literary Festival with Tim Seibles (Norfolk, VA)
June 22, 2016: Wordspace/Pegasus Reading Series (Dallas, TX)
January 30, 2016: The Muse Writers Center Grand Opening (Norfolk, VA)
January 10, 2016: Poetry Society of Virginia Reading (Norfolk, VA)
October 16, 2015: Flor De Nopal Literary Festival (Austin, TX)
Readings & Events ~ Writing Tutorials ~ Collaborations
Readings & Events
The last five years I have read in Korea, Mexico, Czech Republic, and various places in the States. I have taught poetry workshops, hosted National Poetry Month Events, and facilitated creative writing classes with children (2nd – 12th grade levels). If you’d like to bring me to your community please get in touch for fees and schedule.
In the past I have facilitated workshops focused on poetry, submitting to journals, and submitting to residencies. If you’d like to bring me to your writer’s group or classroom (in-person or online), please contact for fees and scheduling.
Whether a beginner or advanced writer I offer writing tutorials for poetry manuscript critiques, essays, and publishing suggestions. Please contact for more information.
All Level of Writers Welcome!
I love to collaborate with other artists as it is a part of my practice. I have experience and skills in photography, cyanotypes, letterpress printing, and screenprinting. If you’re an artist looking to collaborate on a project please reach out.