Synopses & Reviews
“Chin’s creativity as a poet is undeniable, as she physically shapes poems into images and breaks traditional forms” (International Examiner
). Rich with emotional nuance and electric with high-flying verbal experimentation, the poems in Hard Love Province
include love songs and elegies. Polyphonic and hard-hitting, they are at once elegant and raw, mournful and wry.
Beautiful moon the murderer begins to sing
The thief takes off his mask to smell the
A dirty girl’s face against a clear night pane
dreams of a strawberry pie at Marie Callendar’s
A junkie steals asters from a rich man’s grave
And spreads them on the modest mound of his
"To read Chin (Rhapsody in Plain Yellow) in her fourth collection is to set foot in a land where death and loss are omnipresent and possess their own native tongue. 'Any moment now,' she writes, 'The diasporas will form a new dialect,' and they do. Bookended by poems for a lost lover, Chin's collection is a high-octane elegy that mourns the beloved even as it implicates the mixed-up world the beloved has left behind. Chin transforms the haiku, no longer confining it to reflections on natural beauty, but turning it into an obliterator of identity: 'Gaze at the charred hills,/ the woebegone kiosks,/ we are all God's hussies.' This collection emphasizes stark borders between life and death only to strip them down: 'My cousin calls him Allah my sister calls him Jesus/ ... I call him call him on his cell phone/ But he does not answer.' Put another way, 'You could be a rich corpse or a poor corpse.' Yet, these poems are not consigned to the reality of the grave as destination. Chin shouts into the void, almost frantic, insisting that we 'write pretty poems pretty poems pretty poems/ Mask stale pogroms with a sweet whiff of oblivion.' (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A high-octane elegy that mourns the beloved even as it implicates the mixed-up world the beloved has left behind." Publishers Weekly
"The toughness in Chin's poems is something we have yet to reckon with. She embraces and writes about the conundrum of being a daughter of two cultures, a woman growing older, a woman grieving for her lovers, both of whom have died, a woman remembering her childhood... Chin brings something fresh and daring to her work." John Yau, Hyperallergic
Winner of the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Prize for Poetry From a poet of "dazzling longing" (), a stunning new collection of haunting elegies and playful quatrains.
"Chin's creativity as a poet is undeniable, as she physically shapes poems into images and breaks traditional forms" (). Rich with emotional nuance and electric with high-flying verbal experimentation, the poems in include love songs and elegies. Polyphonic and hard-hitting, they are at once elegant and raw, mournful and wry.
Marilyn Chin is a poet acclaimed by Adrienne Rich for her "powerful, uncompromised, and unerring" poems. Dancing brilliantly between Eastern and Western forms, fusing ancient Chinese history and contemporary American popular culture, she is one of the most celebrated Asian-American poets writing today.
About the Author
Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of three previous poetry collections and a novel. Her work has appeared in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, and Best American Poetry, among other publications. The winner of the PEN/Josephine Miles Literary Award, five Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the United States Artists Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, among other honors, she lives in San Diego.