Born in Xinzhu in northwestern Taiwan, Chen Xiuxi (Ch'en Hsiu-hsi) published her first volume of poetry, written in Japanese, in Tokyo in 1970. After realizing with a shock that her children could not read her Japanese poems, Chen began writing in Chinese and published four volumes in a short period of time, which secured her reputation in poetry circles. An English translation of her work, On Love, was published in 1978 by the Bamboo Hat Poetry Society.
Chen's poetry is admired for its characteristic simplicity in language and unaffected style. Affectionately known as “Auntie Poet” to her colleagues, Chen served as president of the Bamboo Hat Poetry Society. After she passed away in 1991, an annual poetry prize was established in honor of her contributions.