Franny Choi (born February 11, 1989) is a Korean-American queer writer and poet. She has published many poems focusing on social activism and equality. Her poetry has won awards and has been highlighted in many journals and magazines. She has competed in many slam poetry competitions, where she became increasingly known as a poet. Choi is also known for writing poetry for the rapper Lil Wayne.
Choi was born on February 11, 1989. She resides in Providence, Rhode Island where she heads the local poetry slam community. Her fascination with poetry began when she was in the third or fourth grade. She enjoyed the action of ordering words together in such a way that they provided profound meaning. As her love for poetry grew, she began to identify and to use poetry as a means of coping with real life experiences. In high school, Choi was introduced to poet Allen Ginsberg and fell in love with poetry’s spoken form. In college, she joined a group for marginalized spoken poets, called WORD!, which was her introduction to the world of slam poetry.
Choi has released two poetry and prose collections, Soft Science (Alice James Books, 2019) and Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014). Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017) is her only published chapbook thus far. Her work has been published by magazines and collectives including Poetry magazine, The Huffington Post, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, Ms. Magazine, and Angry Asian Man.
Choi has been a competitive finalist in three prestigious spoken word competitions - the National Poetry Slam, the Women of the World Poetry Slam, and the Individual World Poetry Slam. She also takes part in teaching students of all ages and level of experience.
She has published two independent plays: Mask Dances and Family Style.
Currently, Choi is working for Hyphen Magazine, a non-profit Asian culture publication, as Senior News Editor. She is also a co-host with Danez Smith of the podcast VS.
Choi's poems focus on self-identity and her struggles in a white-dominated society. In her poem "Choi Jeong Min," for example, she focuses on her name, and how she wants to go by "Franny" because people kept butchering her name. This signifies the way society deems to be normal in relation to names, and ways in which names signify identity. Another poem, "Too Many Truths," deals with identity and what it means to be alive within a certain identity.
Choi is a two-time winner of the Rust-Belt Poetry Slam.
Choi promotes social activism through her poetry and writing. In her poem "Whiteness Walks Into A Bar," she brings to light the institutionalized racism in the United States.
She also advocates for feminism through her poetry, such as in "furiosa."
She is a part of an organization called Split This Rock, aimed towards promoting poetry that fosters social change and activism.
Choi is also a part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where she advocates for queer poets from the Pacific Islands.
Choi believes that it is the poet's responsibility to use their stage time to say things that are new and important. She believes that the goal of a poet is to create consciousness and to change the game of poetry. She has very strong beliefs in speaking fearlessly about race and class.