Follow Harriet on Twitter
Asian American Poetry Sampler
While we were all off hobnobbing in Seattle, our dutiful online editors were publishing a sizable, inclusive, and fabulous sampler of Asian American poetry right here on our very own website! From the sampler’s intro:
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 influences. Many are first- to fourth-generation Asian American poets whose heritages (part or whole) originate from South or East 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 poetry in the U.S.
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.