Asian-American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Asian-American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Asian-American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Asian-American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook

Synopsis

Even though Asian American literature is enjoying an impressive critical popularity, its poetry has been a neglected area of study. This reference helps remedy that situation by providing extended entries on 48 American poets of Asian descent. The entries are arranged alphabetically and each is written by an authority in the field. Each includes a brief biography, a discussion of major works and themes, a review of the poet's critical reception, and a bibliography of primary and secondary works. The volume concludes with a selected, general bibliography. As an overview of Asian American poetry, this volume synthesizes current research and points to the urgent need for additional scholarship.

Excerpt

Guiyou Huang

Even though Asian American literary writing, especially the longer narrative forms such as the novel and the autobiography, is enjoying an impressive critical popularity, its poetry has been a neglected area of study, despite the proliferation of a large number of poets of Asian descent in the twentieth century. The general lack of criticism is a silent comment on the overall cold reception the Asian American poem has experienced. Poetry as an elite genre has not reached the level of popularity of the novel or the short story partly due to the many difficulties associated with reading and interpreting texts written in verse. In the case of Asian American poetry, the emphasis on political exigencies and ethnographical concerns perhaps also impeded its popularization. As a result of the workings of such cultural and racial factors, Asian American poetry has not harvested the amount of critical attention that it truly deserves. This, on the one hand, explains the subcanonical status in which it has found itself; on the other hand, it speaks to the urgent needs of books—reference works as well as critical studies—in Asian American poetry. Asian American Poets: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Sourcebook is designed to meet such needs and to call attention to an important genre of writing that reflects, perhaps more forcefully than other genres, the intense feelings and emotions that Asian Americans have experienced about themselves, their world, and the interrelations of the two.

As has been frequently debated, with limited consensus reached, the perimeters denoted by the term “Asian America(n)” have been rather unstable because of its totalizing tendency and vague labeling of many heterogeneous Asian groups. In this volume, while the term is used in the title and throughout the entries, its function transcends boundaries delimited by “American”: it really

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