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©2019 Diode Editions

Dorothy Chan

Ramsey Mathews, Photographer

Dorothy Chan is the author of Chinese Girl Strikes Back (Spork Press, forthcoming), Revenge of the Asian Woman (Diode Editions, March 2019), Attack of the Fifty-Foot Centerfold (Spork Press, 2018), and the chapbook Chinatown Sonnets (New Delta Review, 2017). She is a 2019 recipient of the Philip Freund Prize in Creative Writing from Cornell University, a 2014 finalist for the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in POETRY, The American Poetry Review, Academy of American Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Quarterly West, The Offing, and elsewhere. Chan is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Poetry Editor of Hobart. 


Chan received her PhD in poetry at Florida State University, her MFA in poetry at Arizona State University, and her BA in English (cum laude) with a minor in History of Art at Cornell University.


Visit her website at dorothypoetry.com.

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Revenge of the Asian Woman

In Dorothy Chan’s new poems watch how the boys and girls of a materialist world depend on destruction (even of the earth) as the price of vision. This is a particle acceleration of the human heart, of shiny attractions that are mysteriously transmitted out of abstraction into our world—here desire organizes culture, one tracking the other in a wilderness that is increasingly desperate for perfection. Of course, she says, we are what we eat! This is a very very important book.

— Norman Dubie


Dorothy Chan's mind is a banquet, a smorgasbord, a feast of oysters, caviar, cocktails, sexual investigation, and late-night bacchanals. Like Odysseus she is at the prow of her poetic ship of odes and sonnets, and with a fearless voice navigates through the sirens of 21st century peril. This is an all-you-can-eat buffet of wild abandon, a curious over-caffeinated woman plowing into the night of pop culture delirium. Be prepared to enter a world where Judy Jetson and Liberace tango with Aphrodite and Parmigianino's Madonna. Chan says, "Asian girls have that thing going on," and you may think you know what she means, but believe me, you have no idea what this poetic tsunami will unleash on your shores.

—Barbara Hamby


Here to snatch you into a frenzied, messy, riotous joy, the poems in Dorothy Chan’s collection flash and spin and buzz, a cyclone of imagery and formal play. A Fury in the middle of a John Hughes film, “a freak everywhere,” Chan’s speaker tears through the scenery: all pop and porn and “abs abs abs,” daytime soaps, boba tea in Kowloon, and “Technicolor Xanadu”; then quiets to reveal (“your grandparents worked at a pajama stand/ in Mong Kok”; or “two anime girls...sneaking a kiss/ in the rose bushes of the Catholic boarding school”; or how “one day, saying goodbye to your/ pet goose—you ran down the road/ and into a circus tent”) longing pulsing the center of each moment. Writing “Dad thinks my forehead is too Godzilla,” Chan pops the top, exposing a vast cache: the poetics of “a grown ass woman.” “...[A]nd you know I’m not some Fay Wray,” these poems declare boldly, “who screams at the sight of a hand.” Revenge of the Asian Woman translates itself into a dizzyingly lush and empowered excess. Revenge is “lavender religieuse and Ispahans,” “whipped plum ice cream,” “what potato chips taste like on Saturn.” Revenge is “I don’t have time to be someone else’s biographer.” Revenge is beautiful.

—Lyrae Van Clief-Stefanon

Revenge of the Asian Woman

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