February 5, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marti Hobbes, email@example.com
Editor's note: For a photo of Chin,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (413) 585-2190.
Chinese-American Poet Marilyn
Chin to Read at Smith
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.-Smith College will
present a poetry reading by Marilyn Chin at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday,
Feb. 25, in Stoddard Auditorium. The event is free, open to the
public and wheelchair accessible.
A self-described "hyphenated American poet," Chin was
born Mei Ling Chin in Hong Kong in 1955. On her family's immigration
to Portland, Ore., she acquired her Americanized first name in
honor of her father's idol, Marilyn Monroe. The history of this
naming is chronicled in her poem "How I Got that Name,"
but the story of a bicultural identity and the struggle with
assimilation is the undercurrent of all of Chin's work.
Her poetry-individual collections include "Dwarf Bamboo,"
"The Phoenix Gone," "The Terrace Empty" and,
most recently, "Rhapsody in Plain Yellow"-is influenced
materially, technically and thematically by such diverse sources
as the classical Chinese tradition and the epigrams of Horace.
While she engages in an ongoing lament for the losses and grief
of exile and assimilation, her work is also informed by a fierce
joy and hope in the possibility of integration.
Chin has been honored with two National Endowment for the Arts
Fellowships, the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award, four Pushcart Prizes
and a Stegner Fellowship. Her bicultural sensitivity led her
to translation, as well. During a stint at the University of
Iowa's International Writing Program, she co-translated a collection
of poems by her mentor, Aig Qing.
Chin considers the Pacific Rim her home, with family in China,
Hawaii and all over the West Coast. She teaches in the MFA program
at San Diego State University.
This reading is supported by the Delmas Foundation, and will
be followed by a bookselling and signing. For more information,
call Cindy Furtek in the Poetry
Center office at (413) 585-4891 or Ellen Doré Watson,
director, at (413) 585-3368.