Asian American Writers Workshop Uses #ActualAsianPoets to Redirect Readers’ Attention


After Michael Derrick Hudson appropriated a Chinese name in order to increase his chances of publication, the Asian American Writers Workshop is taking to Twitter to encourage readers to support the poetry of “actual Asian poets,” according to a recent article in The Guardian.

AAWW is using the hashtag #ActualAsianPoets to disseminate the names of real Asian poets and to bring readers to their work. Poets involved in the response include Monica Youn, Kevin Minh Allen, RA Villanueva, Monica Sok, Jane Wong and others.

Many have responded to the Hudson/Yi-Fen Chou (the pen name of Hudson) controversy. In fact, Jenny Zhang published an essay in Buzzfeed in which she named Cathy Park Hong, Ken Chen, Tan Lin, Hoa Nguyen, Jason Koo, Jackie Wang, Wendy Xu, Trisha Low, Patrick Rosal, Brandon Shimoda, Bhanu Kapil, Wo Chan, Sally Mao, Ginger Ko, Muriel Leung, Jennifer Nelson and Geraldine Kim as poets that should be receiving credit for their incredible work. Zhang also revealed her personal experience at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she encountered many white students who seemed to envy her supposed ethnic advantage. Zhang laments the insulting implication of this envy: “that I could be as mediocre and shitty as I wanted and still succeed.”

Read more about Zhang’s essay and the Yi-Fen Chou controversy here.