Portrait of the Self as Nation

A Portrait of the Self as Nation

A Portrait of the Self as Nation is Marilyn Chin’s most recent book of poetry, available for purchase in October 2018: “Spanning thirty years of dazzling work—from luminous early love lyrics to often-anthologized Asian American identity anthems, from political and subversive hybrid forms to feminist manifestos—A Portrait of the Self as Nation is a selection from one of America’s most original and vital voices.”

“These poems have a fearless life on every page, moving big themes into language, and pointing to past silences. But for all its sociable music, this poetry is also a serious and moving meditation on an inner life. Not simply the inner life of the the poet but also- as the title suggests- the inner life of the nation that poet recognizes. This work is poised over both the public spaces where art and ethics are made, as well as the private reaches of a self where – as the poems show -an Asian-American woman can weigh both identity and freedom. Marilyn Chin is a major voice. And this is a book to be treasured.” – Eavan Boland

“Collection of fiercely anti-colonialist, anti-xenophobic, feminist poems, from 1987’s Dwarf Bamboo through 2009’s Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen and new poems. The selected poems show a consistent focus across Marilyn Chin’s books—each pairing the political and cultural histories of China alongside fixtures of American identity, accounting instances of othering, orientalism, and violent culture clashes: We shall all be vestigial organs, the gift of democracy. / The pale faces, the wan conformity.”Maya Phillips for Poets.org

Review of Marilyn Chin’s A Portrait of the Self as Nation: New and Selected PoemsHarriet staff for Poetryfoundation.org