I wrote a memoir called, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life. I’m the “birthday girl” in question but the phrase belongs to my mother, a command she would issue at parties. My friend tells me that my book’s title, in Mandarin Chinese, now reads: Please Don’t Kill My Daughter.

Sandra Beasley is the author of four poetry collections—Made to Explode, winner of the Housatonic Book Award; Count the Waves; I Was the Jukebox, which won the 2009 Barnard Women Poets Prize; and Theories of Falling—as well as Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life, a disability memoir and cultural history of food allergies. She served as the editor for Vinegar and Char: Verse from the Southern Foodways Alliance. Honors for her work include the 2019 Munster Literature Centre’s John Montague International Poetry Fellowship, a 2015 NEA fellowship, and six DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities fellowships. She lives in Washington, D.C.