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Asian American Literature
and Featured Writers Reading Room


Li-Young Lee

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you the poet Li-Young Lee as the first in an ongoing series of featured writers at the Moonrabbit Blues Asian American Writers Reading Room. Li-Young Lee was born in 1957 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. Due to political upheavals, Lee's early childhood was tumultuous. His father spent nineteen months in jail as a political prisoner while Lee's family waited anxiously for his return. Upon his eventual release in 1959, Lee's family was forced to flee Indonesia -- traveling through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan before eventually settling in the United States. Lee's poetry is often characterized by themes of buried memory, exile and otherness, and frequently examines the nature of his powerful and complicated relationship with his father. Although Li-Young Lee's poetry is indeed significantly marked by the cultural richness of his ethnic and familial background, he is still first and foremost a poet. His poems are multi-layered and psychologically complex -- imbued with lush, sensual imagery and impeccably crafted language. Lee has received numerous honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987, and is the author of three books -- The City in Which I Love You (1990), Rose (1993), and, most recently, the prose memoir The Winged Seed: A Remembrance.

What follows is an assembled collection of assorted poems by Li-Young Lee culled from various sources on the internet. Those of you familiar with his work I know will return to these poems with much pleasure. For those of you who are new to Li-Young Lee's poetry, I am sure that you will be delighted to have found his work. These are poems of stunning beauty and immense power.

Three Poems by Li-Young Lee from The City in Which I Love You.
From Blossoms, by Li-Young Lee.
Persimmons, by Li-Young Lee.
This Hour and What is Dead, by Li-Young Lee.
This Room and Everything In It, by Li-Young Lee.
Praise Them, by Li-Young Lee. From "Unauthorized Testimony: Poetry and the Sacred -- Edward Hirsch Introduces New Poems by Czeslaw Milosz, Frank X. Gaspar, Li-Young Lee, Patiann Rogers, Robert Cording, Susan Lasher," in Doubletake, Issue 14, Fall 1998.

Books by Li-Young Lee

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The City in Which I Love You, by Li-Young Lee.

Rose, by Li-Young Lee.

The Winged Seed: A Remembrance, by Li-Young Lee.


Asian American Literature Home Page
Asian American Links: Resources
Spotlight on Asian-American Poets
Moon Rabbit Review: Asian Pacific American Voices
Asian Canadian Literature
South Asian American Literature
TeeCow -- Asian American Literature List
Teaching Asian American Literature, by Amy Ling
Asian American Literature
Manoa: A Pacific Journal of International Writing
AKDA Zine -- Filipino Lit Zine
Selected Bibliography on Asian American Writers and their Writings
The Filipino Book Barn
Filipino American Literature
IndiaWorld Poetry

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