Asian American Poets

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Even though Asian American literature is enjoying an impressive critical popularity, attention has focused primarily on longer narrative forms such as the novel. And despite the proliferation of a large number of poets of Asian descent in the 20th century, Asian American poetry remains a neglected area of study. Poetry as an elite genre has not reached the level of popularity of the novel or short story, partly due to the difficulties of reading and interpreting poetic texts. The lack of criticism on Asian American poetry speaks to the urgent need for scholarship in this area, since perhaps more than any other genre, poetry most forcefully captures the intense feelings and emotions that Asian Americans have experienced about themselves and their world. This reference book overviews the tremendous cultural contributions of Asian American poets.

Included are alphabetically arranged entries on 48 American poets of Asian descent, most of whom have been active during the latter half of the 20th century. Each entry begins with a short biography, which sometimes includes information drawn from personal interviews. The entries then discuss the poet's major works and themes, including such concerns as family, racism, sexism, identity, language, and politics. A survey of the poet's critical reception follows. In many cases the existing criticism is scant, and the entries offer new readings of neglected works. The entries conclude with bibliographies of primary and secondary texts, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography.

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Editorial Reviews

US literary scholars, many of Asian descent, profile 48 poets, most still living but a couple from as early as the late 19th century. Typically, the poets live or lived in the mainland US and pursue thematic interests and subject matter that is marked by mainland US historical events and geographical entities, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Some however, live and work in Canada or, more controversially, in Hawaii. Each entry covers biography, major works and themes, critical reception, and primary and secondary bibliographies. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313318092
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/30/2002
  • Pages: 358
  • Lexile: 1430L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

GUIYOU HUANG is Associate Professor of English and Director of the University Honors Program at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. His previous books include Whitmanism, Imagism, and Modernism in China and America (1997), and Asian American Autobiographers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook (Greenwood, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Makers of the Asian American Poetic Landscape 1
Ai (1947- ) 15
Meena Alexander (1951- ) 21
Agha Shahid Ali (1949-2001) 31
Himani Bannerji (1942- ) 37
Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge (1947- ) 45
Virginia R. Cerenio (1955- ) 53
G. S. Sharat Chandra (1938-2000) 59
Diana Chang (1934- ) 65
Marilyn Mei Ling Chin (1955- ) 71
Eric Chock (1950- ) 83
Rienzi Crusz (1925- ) 89
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (1956- ) 93
Jessica Hagedorn (1949- ) 101
Kimiko Hahn (1955- ) 113
Yukihide Maeshima Hartman (1939- ) 121
Sadakichi Hartmann (1867-1944) 125
Garrett Hongo (1951- ) 133
Lawson Fusao Inada (1938- ) 145
Lonny Kaneko (1939- ) 159
Myung Mi Kim (1957- ) 165
Juliet Sanae Kono (1943- ) 173
Lydia Kwa (1959- ) 179
Alan Chong Lau (1948- ) 185
Carolyn Lau (1946- ) 189
Evelyn Lau (1971- ) 195
Le Thi Diem Thuy (1972- ) 201
Li-Young Lee (1957- ) 205
Shirley Geok-Lin Lim (1944- ) 213
Fatima Lim-Wilson (1961- ) 219
Wing Tek Lum (1946- ) 223
Pat Matsueda (1952- ) 229
Janice Mirikitani (1941- ) 233
David Mura (1952- ) 243
Tran Thi Nga (1927- ) 255
Yone Noguchi (1875-1947) 259
Uma Parameswaran (1938- ) 267
Albert Saijo (1926- ) 271
Cathy Song (1955- ) 275
Toyo Suyemoto (1916- ) 289
Arthur Sze (1950- ) 293
Jose Garcia Villa (1908-1997) 305
Nanying Stella Wong (1914- ) 311
Nellie Wong (1934- ) 313
Rita Wong (1968- ) 319
Merle Woo (1941- ) 323
Mitsuye (May) Yamada (1923- ) 331
Lois-Ann Yamanaka (1961- ) 337
John Yau (1950- ) 343
Selected Bibliography 357
Index 361
About the Editor and Contributors 371
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