Marilyn Chin, a Chinese American poet, has garnered numerous awards, including a Mary Roberts Rinehart Award (1983), a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Fellowship (1983), a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University (1984-1985), two National Endowment for the Arts grants (1985, 1991), a MacDowell Colony Fellowship (1987), a Josephine Miles Award from PEN (1994), three Pushcart Prizes (1994, 1995, 1997), a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan (1999-2000), the Paterson Book Prize for Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2003), a Radcliffe Institute Fellowship from Harvard (2003-2004), and a Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award (2008).
Chin is passionately devoted to her craft, keenly aware of her bicultural position as a Chinese American, alert to the sociopolitical events of her times, and always sensitive—even indignant—about the issues of women in their relationships, their families, and their societies. Coming into print in the 1980’s, Chin’s poetic work belongs with the second decade of a contemporary renaissance of Asian American poetry. During the 1970’s, in the wake of the Black Arts movement, poets such as Lawson Fusao Inada, Hagedorn, and Nellie Wong had broken a generation-long silence during which Asian American poetry had waned to a whisper. Like her immediate predecessors, Chin is engaged and caustic about the shortcomings and inequities of American life, society, and policy. However, she possesses a more highly attuned awareness of Asian events, and her study of classic Chinese texts has endowed her with a width of allusiveness and a profundity of feeling for things Chinese that are rarely equaled in her contemporaries.