Poet and cosmologist Yun Wang grew up in rural southwest China. Her father was a political dissident and her mother was a teacher. She began writing poetry when she was 12, and she majored in physics at Tsinghua University when she was 16. She came to the United States for graduate school in Physics in 1985 and earned her PhD in physics from Carnegie Mellon University. She is the author of two poetry books: The Book of Totality (Salmon Poetry Press, 2015) and The Book of Jade (Story Line Press, 2002), winner of the 15th Nicholas Roerich Poetry Prize. Her two poetry chapbooks are Horse by the Mountain Stream (Word Palace Press, 2016) and The Carp (Bull Thistle Press, 1994), and is the translator of Dreaming of Fallen Blossoms: Tune Poems of Su Dong-Po (White Pine Press, forthcoming 2018). Wang’s poems have been published in numerous literary journals, including the Kenyon Review, Cimarron Review, Salamander Magazine, Green Mountains Review, and International Quarterly. Her translations of classical Chinese poetry have been published in Poetry Canada Review, Willow Springs, Connotation Press, and elsewhere.
Wang is a senior research scientist at California Institute of Technology, where her research focuses on exploring the nature of dark energy, the mysterious cause for the accelerated expansion of our universe. She is the author of the cosmology graduate textbook Dark Energy (Wiley/VCH, 2010). In 2012 she was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.