Marilyn Chin2015

  • I am not afraid of my “Chineseness” and I’m not afraid of my “Americanness.” I begin the day reading Li Bai, Tu Fu, the Shijing. Some of us have to do this. It’s very important to me that I leave that mark, that I write this hybrid poetry. I want to showcase the brilliance of both literary traditions.Los Angeles Review of Books with Irene Hsiao.
  • The problem with contemporary poetry is that lots of poets shy away from form or shy away from musicality, so I wanted the book to be based on the elegiac quatrain, which is mimetic of Eastern and Western quatrains, so you can hear Chinese poetry but you can also hear Tennyson.Fresno State MFA with Carleigh Takemoto.


  • I pay homage to many teachers and muses. It’s time to give gratitude. We’ve lost some important poets in California: I miss the mentorship of Adrienne Rich, June Jordan, Wanda Coleman, and others. “Live worthily and die bravely.” Yes, I am still that activist poet.Poetry Flash with Ken Weisner.
  • I am inspired by the rich global history of poetry.  But as an artist, one who “makes” the work, I am thinking about form and variations, and the craft of making a poem –  Oxford Journals with Nissa Parmar
  • The landscape is ever-shifting, the tonal range can move quickly from playfulness, to deep sorrow, to in-your-face-anger, to humor, to hot sex, to comic absurdity, to didactic finger pointing, to zen stillness, to the macabre – American Book Review with Anastasia Turner
  • The quatrain and the ballad are versatile and beloved forms that are here to stay. I listened to folk songs from all over the world, work songs, blues songs, and rap –  Poets and Writers







Poems Online

  • Tienanmen, the Aftermath at Library of Congress
  • Brown Girl Manifesto (Too), Altar (#3) from “Broken Chord Sequence”, Chinese Quatrains (The Woman in Tomb 44), Formosan Elegy, from Beautiful Boyfriend, Get Rid of the X at Poetry Foundation
  • One Child Has Brown Eyes, How I Got That Name at United Patrons of the Arts
  • How I Got That Name, from A Chinaman’s Chance at UMN
  • The Survivor, Turtle Soup, Moon and Oatgrass, The Barbarians are Coming   at University of Illinois
  • How I Got That Name, Quiet the Dog, Tether the Pony, One Child Has Brown Eyes, from Two Inch Fables at Poets.org
  • Alba: Moon Camellia Lover,  at Poetry Daily
  • Alba: Moon Camellia Lover, Brown Girl Manifesto (Too), Beautiful Boyfriend, One Child Has Brown Eyes, Black President, Twenty Five Haiku at Poets and Writers
  • Turtle Soup at Norma Lisa


Essays on Marilyn’s Work


Marilyn Chin on Goodreads

Marilyn Chin on Amazon