#TPQ5: KAREN AN-HWEI LEE

Sarah Gambito

She pours her vision of community into the hot lava of new American poetry. Her most recent collection, Loves You, celebrates the soul of Kundiman, a moveable feast of Asian American poetry.

Josephine Yu

Her debut collection, Prayer Book of the Anxious, explore faith, scripture, and the human spirit with a meditative sensibility. I look forward to Yu’s subsequent books.

Amy Uyematsur

A wise poet and word-warrior whose Sixties essay, “The Emergence of Yellow Power,” resounds today. I met Uyematsu at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles about a decade ago; her friendship and grace continue to inspire me.

Marilyn Chin

I had the pleasure of seeing Marilyn Chin read twice within the space of a year, and she packed out the entire house both times. A feminista who’s in a fiery class of her own, she presents her oeuvre – poetry and prose – with extraordinary passion and verve.

Oliver de la Paz

A marvelous poet and mentor to his students, I initially met Oliver de la Paz through his fine poems, starting with The Names above Houses and most recently in his fifth collection, The Boy in the Labyrinth. He is a poet of remarkable intelligence in the execution of technique as well as breadth of vision and generosity of heart.


Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of Phyla of Joy (Tupelo 2012), Ardor (Tupelo 2008) and In Medias Res (Sarabande 2004), winner of the Norma Farber First Book Award. She authored two novels, Sonata in K (Ellipsis 2017) and The Maze of Transparencies (Ellipsis 2019). Lee’s translations of Li Qingzhao’s writing, Doubled Radiance: Poetry & Prose of Li Qingzhao, is the first volume in English to collect Li’s work in both genres (Singing Bone 2018). Currently, she divides her time between San Diego, where she serves in the administration at Point Loma Nazarene University, and Seattle, where she teaches in the low-residency MFA Program at Seattle Pacific University.

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