Posts Tagged: Best American Poetry

White Jealousy

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The new Best American Poetry anthology, edited by Sherman Alexie, contains a poem by the very white Michael Derrick Hudson who used the pen-name Yi-Fen Chou to get his poem into publication. Now, Asian American poets are pushing to get readers interested in actual Asian poets, in addition to decrying Hudson’s attempts to game the system:

[Author Jenny] Zhang revealed that when she was a graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop for fiction writing, her white classmates “never failed to remind me that I was more fortunate than they were at this particular juncture in American literature.” … Hudson, she wrote, wanted “what my cohorts at Iowa wanted too, to have the right to a name that gave them an ‘edge’ without having to endure racism, erasure, tokenization, self-devaluation, and the constant requests for free intellectual labour.”

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Weekend Rumpus Roundup

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First, in the Saturday Essay, Melissa Carroll praises the “refreshing” film, The Diary of a Teenage Girl. But despite the wonderful story, great acting, and a great soundtrack, something about the movie falls short, Carroll argues. Some aspects of the adaptation are not fully faithful to Phoebe Gloeckner‘s graphic novel of the same name.

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An Open Letter to Aimee Nezhukumatathil

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Dear Aimee,

So the latest thing (why is there always a latest thing) is that a white man used a Chinese name to submit poems that were then chosen for Prairie Schooner and then included in Best American Poetry 2015 which of course has a lovely poem of yours in it too!

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Yellowface in Poetry

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There’s a storm in the poetry world, this one set off by the bio in Best American Poetry 2015 of Michael Derrick Hudson, who has been publishing under the name Yi-Fen Chou. I’m not here to talk about the poem, or about how (at least) silly the notion of collecting some poems from the previous year and calling them the “best” of anything is.

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