Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation



University of Illinois Press, 2004

This exciting anthology of work by up-and-coming writers is the first to profile a new generation of Asian American poets. Building on the legacy of now-canonized poets, such as Li-Young Lee, Cathy Song, and Garrett Hongo, who were the first to achieve widespread recognition in the American literary community, this new generation also strikes off in bold new directions. Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation gathers for the first time a broad cross section of the very best work of these young poets, much of which has never before been published or has appeared only in hard-to-find journals and first books of poetry. The poems collected in Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation lay a groundwork for readers while at the same time expanding the scope of American literature. Featured poets, all under the age of forty, include Timothy Liu, Adrienne Su, Sue Kwock Kim, Rick Barot, Brenda Shaughnessy, Mong-Lan, as well as less familiar names. Their backgrounds combine many ethnicities and their perspectives and concerns broaden the boundaries of Asian American poetry. Some continue with styles and topics closely related to those of their predecessors while others break conventional patterns and challenge readers with new subject matter, fresh language, and powerful new voices. A foreword by Marilyn Chin puts the book in context of both Asian American national identity and history, and makes the important distinctions between generations clear. Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation opens the door on a dynamic, developing part of the poetic world, making it finally accessible to students, scholars, and poetry fans alike.


"The poems in this vibrant, varied collection address so many subjects in such a range of voices that it all but destroys monolithic notions of Asian American identity, culture, and issues."
-- Guiyou Huang, author of The Columbia Guide to Asian American Literature

"A new generation of Asian American poets has indeed risen and needs to be acknowledged and celebrated--something this book does brilliantly. Victoria Chang has done a great deal of digging, allowing the reader of this collection to experience again and again the excitement of discovering a vibrant new poetic voice."
--Jim Daniels, author of City Pool and coeditor of American Poetry: The Next Generation