Hard Love Province: Poems
Winner of the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Prize for Poetry
Chin's fourth volume of poems, Hard Love Province, is composed of erotic elegies in which the speaker grieves for the loss of her beloved. In "Void" she writes with the imagistic, distilled quietude of a solitary mourner: "It's not that you are rare / Nor are you extraordinary // O lone wren sobbing on the bodhi tree / You are simple and sincere." In "Formosan Elegy," by contrast, she is that mourner, beyond simplicity or quietude, crying out for a lover: "I sing for you but my tears have dried in my gullet / Walk the old dog give the budgies a cool bath / Cut a tender melon let it bleed into memory."
Emotionally nuanced and electric with high-flying verbal experimentation, image after image, line by line, Chin's spectacular reinventions, her quatrains, sonnets, allegories, and elegies, are unforgettable.
Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong. She is the author of four previous poetry collections and a novel. Her work has appeared in The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women, and Best American Poetry, among other publications. She is the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, five Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the United States Artists Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, among other honors. Presently, she serves as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and lives in San Diego.
Marilyn Chin, 2014, Paperback, 80 Pages. ISBN-13: 978-0-393-35181-1.