Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong in 1955 and raised in Portland, Oregon.
She is the author of Rhapsody in Plain Yellow
(W. W. Norton & Co., 2002), The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994),
and Dwarf Bamboo (1987), which was nominated for the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award.
She also co-edited Dissident Song: A Contemporary Asian American Anthology
(with David Wong Louie, 1991) and co-translated The Selected Poems of Ai Qing
(with Eugene Eoyang, 1985).
Her honors include two National Endowment for the Arts Writing Fellowships,
the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, and a Stegner Fellowship. She lives in San Francisco.
b-day 1955 1955: Marilyn Chin
A self-described "hyphenated American poet," Chin was born Mei Ling Chin in
Hong Kong in 1955. On her family's immigration to Portland, Ore., she acquired her Americanized first name in honor of her father's idol, Marilyn Monroe. The history of this naming is chronicled in her poem "How I Got that Name," but the story of a bicultural identity and the struggle with assimilation is the undercurrent of all of Chin's work.
Her poetry-individual collections include "Dwarf Bamboo," "The Phoenix Gone,"
"The Terrace Empty" and, most recently, "Rhapsody in Plain Yellow"-is influenced materially, technically and thematically by such diverse sources as the classical Chinese tradition and the epigrams of Horace. While she engages in an ongoing lament for the losses and grief of exile and assimilation, her work is also informed by a fierce joy and hope in the possibility of integration.
Chin has been honored with two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the
Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, four Pushcart Prizes and a Stegner Fellowship. Her bicultural sensitivity led her to translation, as well. During a stint at the University of Iowa's International Writing Program, she co-translated a collection of poems by her mentor, Aig Qing.
Chin considers the Pacific Rim her home, with family in China, Hawaii and all
over the West Coast. She teaches in the MFA program at San Diego State University.
" I am interested in cultivating the consumate political poem. I believe that
my work is daring, both technically and thematically. I am working on material which is very ambitious in thematic scope and form and is both a delicate and apocalyptic melding of East and West."
She won two National Endowmennt for the Arts Writing Fellowhships.
co-translated The Selected Poems of Ai Qing
http://www.poets.org/poets/poets.cfm?prmID=91: Niki Berg
The Dictionary of Literary Biography. About Marilyn Chin's Poetry . 2000
Gale Group . Feb. 16, 2000
The Academy of American Poets. Marilyn Chin - The Academy of American Poets. 1997
About Poets.org. Feb. 16, 2000