Stephanie Niu is a poet from Marietta, GA. She earned her degrees in symbolic systems and computer science from Stanford University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Georgia Review, Southeast Review, Poets Readings the News, and Storm Cellar, as well as scientific collaborations including the 11th Annual St. Louis River Summit. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Award for work on decolonizing historical narratives of overseas Chinese laborers through digital techniques. She lives in New York City.
Photo Courtesy of Nicolette Kang, Photographer
She Has Dreamt Again of Water
In her debut chapbook She Has Dreamt Again of Water, Stephanie Niu imagines the deep sea as sanctuary. Her poems seek solace from generational guilt and a fractured family by diving into dreamscapes where gills grow as easily as wings. Here, the world shimmers with small, stunning miracles: a fish that looks like light, a river delta seen from the moon, a single coyote in the road. In the search for sanctuary, "There is no split, a real self and a dream self / to divide neatly. There are just dreams.” Even upon waking, “she does not weep. She has dreamt again / of water, that place where the river / meets the sea, where long-legged birds / tiptoe through the cordgrass, dipping / their heads to feed." In these poems, the surreal and unseen suggest the shapes of shared longing.