Poem Sampler

Asian American Voices in Poetry

A collection of poets and articles exploring Asian American culture.
By The Editors

Asian Americans have been contributing to U.S. literature for over a century, but their role did not gain recognition in mainstream culture or academia until the 1970s. Since then, over 50 Asian American studies programs, centers, and institutes have been established on university campuses, and organizations such as Kundiman and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, presses, and journals have helped to further cultivate Asian American poetry. As a result, Asian American writers may no longer feel compelled to write in particular traditional or protest modes or represent the external cultural labels pressed upon them. In her 2004 introduction to Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation, Victoria Chang writes, “new Asian American poets have captured the power of the past but have ventured into new territories and discovered, created, and revealed new voices and styles.”

The following poets in the U.S. have emerged out of a broad range of Eastern and Western influences. Many are first- to fourth-generation Asian American poets whose heritages (part or whole) originate from South or East or West Asia. Some were born in the U.S., and others are expatriates or poets-in-exile. They all help to broaden our understanding of contemporary American poetry.

This collection is intended to introduce new readers to Asian American poets and to help those who are interested in learning more about these poets and their poetry. It is an ongoing project to make visible the vastness and variety of U.S. literary culture and to expand our notions of human experience in our time.

Please contact us if you wish to make suggestions for additions to this sampler, or if you are listed here and wish to be removed. 

The editors would like to thank Kundiman, and our advisors Monica Youn, Raza Ali Hasan, and Ravi Shankar for their help in compiling this selection, and to those readers who write in to help us improve this feature. (Last updated July 2017.)

POETS (in alphabetical order):

Dilruba Ahmed

Zubair Ahmed


Meena Alexander

Agha Shahid Ali

Kazim Ali

Hala Alyan

Indran Amirthanayagam

Cynthia Arrieu-King

Fatimah Asghar

Rick Barot

Quan Barry

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Tamiko Beyer

Arlene Biala

Jaswinder Bolina

Jenny Boully

Luis Cabalquinto

Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello

Tina Cane

Nick Carbo

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha

Michelle Chan Brown

Jennifer Chang

Tina Chang

Victoria Chang

Hayan Charara

Cathy Linh Che

Chen Chen

Ken Chen

Justin Chin

Marilyn Chin

Wendy Chin-Tanner

Eric Chock

Chiwan Choi

Franny Choi

Teresa Mei Chuc

Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis

Brian Komei Dempster

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa

Linh Dinh

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs

Tishani Doshi

Tarfia Faizullah

Farnoosh Fathi

Monica Ferrell

Shamala Gallagher

Eric Gamalinda

Sarah Gambito

Eugene Gloria

Vince Gotera

Jessica Hagedorn

Sadakichi Hartmann

Raza Ali Hasan

Sharon Hashimoto

Kimiko Hahn

Lee Herrick

Anna Maria Hong

Cathy Park Hong

Garrett Hongo

Tung Hui Hu

Luisa A. Igloria

Lawson Fusao Inada

Hiromi Itō

Paolo Javier

Ha Jin

W. Todd Kaneko

Summi Kaipa

Bhanu Kapil

Vandana Khanna

Maxine Hong Kingston

Myung Mi Kim

Suji Kwock Kim

Juliet Kono

Amitava Kumar

David Lau

Dipika Mukherjee

Larissa Lai

Alan Chong Lau

Ed Bok Lee

Esther Lee

Karen An-hwei Lee

Li-Young Lee

Sueyeun Juliette Lee 

Joseph Legaspi

Mari L'Esperance

Genny Lim

Sandra Lim

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim

Tan Lin

Tao Lin

Timothy Liu

Trisha Low

Pamela Lu

Gerald Maa

Amit Majmudar

Mai Mang

Randall Mann

Sally Wen Mao

Wong May

Dunya Mikhail

Janice Mirikitani

James Masao Mitsui

Rajiv Mohabir

Mary Anne Mohanraj


David Mura

Kristin Naca

Sawako Nakayasu

Vivek Narayanan

Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Rick Noguchi

Yone Noguchi

Hoa Nguyen

Matthew Olzmann

Shin Yu Pai

Hannah Sanghee Park

Ishle Yi Park

Oliver de la Paz

Craig Santos Perez

Sasenarine Persaud

Hai-Dang Phan

Bao Phi

Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha

Michelle Naka Pierce

Jon Pineda

Wang Ping

A.K. Ramanujan

Bino A. Realuyo

Srikanth Reddy

Paisley Rekdal

Barbara Jane Reyes

Lee Ann Roripaugh

Patrick Rosal

Brynn Saito

Nicky Sa-eun Schildkraut

Sudeep Sen

Vijay Seshadri

Ravi Shankar

Solmaz Sharif

Prageeta Sharma

Brenda Shaughnessy

Brandon Shimoda

Sun Yung Shin

Anis Shivani

Beau Sia

Brandon Som

Cathy Song

Brian Kim Stefans

Adrienne Su

Arthur Sze

Eileen R. Tabios

Jeff Tagami

Alex Tarampi

Bryan Thao Worra

Jeet Thayil

Barbara Tran

Truong Tran

Pimone Triplett

Amy Uyematsu

Mai Der Vang

Pramila Venkateswaran

Ocean Vuong

Divya Victor

Ronaldo V. Wilson

Janet Wong

Nellie Wong

David Woo

Koon Woon

Khaty Xiong

Lynn Xu

Wendy Xu

Mitsuye Yamada

Jeffrey Yang

John Yau

Emily Jungmin Yoon

Mia You

Monica Youn

C. Dale Young

Timothy Yu

Jenny Zhang






Articles and Blog Posts:

A look at the landays written by Afghanistan women

Chen Li on Chinese language differences in poems from Mainland China and Taiwan

Barbara Jane Reyes on Filipina voices and lives in literature and a survey of the Filipino American literary scene 

Jaswinder Bolina on the issue of obligation to racially identify one’s poems, as a first-generation minority poet.

A survey of recent Asian Pacific American literary journals

Cathy Park Hong on the fallacy of poetic “voice” and the failures of language

Tsering Wangmo Dhompa addresses Tibetan identity and poetry in her “Writing About” series (Part I and Part II)

Alan Gilbert interviews Vivek Narayanan (Part I and Part II)

Barbara Jane Reyes covers an event exploring Asian American feminist poetics

Timothy Yu makes a case for Asian American studies

Major Jackson on the Asian American Writers’ Workshop


Audio and Video:

Li-Young Lee reads his poems on PBS NewsHour

Kazim Ali discusses Agha Shahid Ali's ghazal “Tonight”

Lawson Inada discusses the U.S.’s WWII Japanese internment camps

Linh Dinh catalogues the myriad grades of Vietnamese chuckles

Documentary on the poetry of the women of Afghanistan 

Jeffrey Yang discusses nature poetry on PBS NewsHour

Marilyn Chin reads her poem “The Floral Apron”

Jennifer Chang reads her poems on the Poetry magazine podcast

Li-Young Lee on valentines and the difficulties of love and childhood

A PoemTalk discussion of Linh Dinh's “Eating Fried Chicken”

Karen An-hwei Lee reads her poems on the Poetry magazine podcast

Cathy Park Hong discusses her poems with the Poetry editors

Originally Published: February 26th, 2014