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Return of the Chinese Femme (Paperback)
Not Yet Published
The speaker in Dorothy Chan's fifth collection, Return of the Chinese Femme, walks through life fearlessly, "forehead forever exposed," the East Asian symbol of female aggression. She's the troublemaker protagonist--the "So Chinese Girl"--the queer in a family of straights-- the rambunctious ringleader of the girl band, always ready with the perfect comeback, wearing a blue fur coat, drinking a whiskey neat. They indulge on the themes of food, sex, fantasy, fetish, popular culture, and intimacy. Chan organizes the collection in the form of a tasting menu, offering the reader a taste of each running theme. Triple sonnets, recipe poems, and other inventive plays on diction and form pepper the collection. Amidst the bravado, Return of the Chinese Femme represents all aspects of her identity--their Asian heritage, their queerness, their kid of immigrants' story--in the most real ways possible, conquering the world through joy and resilience. She's unabashed in her exploration of queerness, and while Return of the Chinese Femme moves through excess and sex, it transitions and closes on notes of tenderness.
About the Author
Dorothy Chan (she/they) is the author of five poetry collections, including Return of the Chinese Femme (Deep Vellum Books Fall 2023 / Spring 2024), BABE (Diode Editions, 2021), Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). They were a 2023 finalist for the Roethke Poetry Award for Revenge of the Asian Woman, 2022 finalist for the Sheila Margaret Motton Book Prize from the New England Poetry Club for BABE, a 2020 and 2014 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, a 2020 finalist for the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Poetry for Revenge of the Asian Woman, and a 2019 recipient of the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing from Cornell University. Their work has appeared in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets, and elsewhere. Chan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Book Reviews Co-Editor of Pleiades, and Co-Founder and Editor in Chief of Honey Literary Inc., a 501(c)(3) BIPOC literary arts organization, run by women, femme, and queer editors of color. Chan was the 2021 Resident Artist for Toward One Wisconsin. Visit their website at dorothypoetry.com.