Activist Poet Marilyn Chin to Read at Phillips Exeter Academy
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Exeter, NH—On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, at 7:30 p.m., Phillips Exeter Academy's Class of 1945 Library will present a reading by Marilyn Chin, poet/author, editor, translator and professor. Chin will be the spring 2012 poet in Phillips Exeter Academy Library's Lamont Poetry Series. The reading will be held in the Assembly Hall, on the second floor of the Academy Building on Front Street. A book signing of Chin's latest novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen: A Novel (2009) will immediately follow the reading. The event is free and open to the public.
A spirited activist poet, Chin's work focuses on her experiences as an Asian-American and a politically charged woman. Written in direct and confrontational style, she explores and exposes cultural and gender assimilation, coupled with sharp political influences.
Born in Hong Kong, Chin immigrated to the U.S. and grew up in Portland, OR. She received her undergraduate degree in Chinese Literature from the University of Massachusetts in 1977, and a graduate degree in Fine Arts in 1981 from the University of Iowa. In the late 1970s, Chin served as a translator for the International Writing Program at UI, where she co-translated Selected Poems of Ai Qing.
She is the author of three distinguished collections of poetry, including Dwarf Bamboo (1987); The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994); and Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2002). Chin's work is also included in a number of anthologies, including Two Hundred Contemporary Poets (1981); Breaking Silence: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian American Poets (1984); The Norton Introduction to Poetry (1984); Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (1994); The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (1993); and The Best American Poetry of 1996 (1996).
Chin is the recipient of the PEN Oakland-Josephine Miles Award, four Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship, a Stegner Fellowship, the Paterson Prize and further fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others.
Literary reviewer Matthew Rothschild of The Progressive said of Chin's The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty that she "has a voice all her own—witty, epigraphic, idiomatic, elegiac, earthy…She covers the canvas of cultural assimilation with an intensely personal brush." A Publishers Weekly critic also noted that the same installation with Chin's "stalwart declaration" provides her poetry with a "grounded force, line to line; and her imagery, simple and spare, lifts up those same lines."
Currently, Chin co-directs the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program at the San Diego State University, where she also teaches in the English and Comparative Literature Departments. She lives in San Diego, CA.
The Library's Lamont Poetry Series is supported by the Lamont Fund, established in 1982 by Corliss Lamont '20. Two poets are invited each year to read their poetry and attend English classes. Each visiting poet is photographed and asked to present the library with a manuscript poem, which is framed and hung on the fourth floor of the library. The collection of framed manuscript poems includes the works of such noted others as Jorge Luis Borges, Seamus Heaney, Gwendolyn Brooks, Joseph Brodsky and Allen Ginsberg. The series continues to bring remarkable poets to Exeter and remains a testimony to Mr. Lamont, who died in 1995.
For more information, please call the PEA Charles Lynn and Mary Chase Stone Instructor in the Humanities and Instructor in English Todd Hearon at 603-777-3714 or visit the English Department webpage. For more information on the library and a complete list of upcoming community events, please visit the library's and PEA Community Calendar . You may also call the PEA public events line at 603-777-4309, or visit the PEA website . Directions to the Academy are available at 603-777-4330.