Tag Archives: The Best American Poetry 2015

Yi-Fen Chou and the Man Who Wore Her

Yi-Fen ChouI want to mourn Yi-Fen Chou, the Chinese American woman poet who doesn’t exist. Her recent achievement, notable for the fact that she is not real, is snagging one of the 75 highly competitive slots in The Best American Poetry 2015. Ingeniously, she was formulated as the Stepford edition of the modern writer of color: a version of us who is white in all but name, who will never know the pain of having her name “bungled or half-bungled” by a well-meaning literary editor MCing her reading; who will never find any reason to celebrate spotting another Asian woman writer from across the vast AWP Bookfair complex; who will never be inconvenient or angry or vocal. Instead of being a real person—which is always so messy, so loaded with the things that make good poetry!—she is a mask, her name peeled off by someone who probably can’t pronounce it at all. Continue reading


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