Poet, essayist, and performance artist Justin Chin was born in Malaysia and educated in Singapore and at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. With humor and raw vulnerability, Chin’s poems interrogate the personal, political, and commercial implications of claiming a queer Asian American identity. Fiercely political, Chin stated in an interview with Frigate magazine, “Every work of art that works as art is a critique.”
Chin was the author of several collections of poetry, including Bite Hard (1997), Harmless Medicine (2001), and Gutted (2006), which won the Publishing Triangle’s Thom Gunn Award for Poetry and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. His prose collections, which weave criticism with memoir and fiction, include Mongrel: Essays, Diatribes, & Pranks (1998), Burden of Ashes (2002), Attack of the Man-Eating Lotus Blossoms (2005), and 98 Wounds (2011). He lived in San Francisco before his death in late 2015.