Chin’s first collection of verse, Dwarf Bamboo, which she dedicates to the Communist poet and revolutionary Ai Qing, contains many poems that focus on the immigrant experience in the United States. Critics have praised Chin’s poetry for its unflinching examination of the contradictory feelings brought on by immigration in general and for Asian Americans specifically.
Chin conveys an openness about female sexuality and the social roles of women of color in particular. Asian women as exotic and doll-like are images that Chin evokes and undermines throughout the collection. Her frequent references to the revolutionary movement in China have earned her a reputation as an important political feminist poet. Chin is known for producing confrontational poetry that explores her experience as a first-generation Chinese-American and a woman of color in the United States as well as social and political injustices in her native China.