White Male Uses Chinese Pseudonym as a Pen Name for Poetry Success

September 10, 2015 • Community, News

By P.C. Staff

Michael Derrick Hudson, who is a contributor for The Best American Poetry 2015, is under heavy criticism for his pen name useage of “Yi-Fen Chou.” Hudson frequently uses his pen name because it has been “quite successful” and that he has been rejected a “multitude of times” when he uses his real name.

Hudson’s usage of his pen name has been vital in his effort to see his poetry successfully in print. However, the usage of his pen name has sparked furious reaction from some Asian American literary groups. Some of this reaction came from the Best American Poetry Tumblr and others in the Asian American literary community.

Sherman Alexie, “Best American Poetry 2015” editor, posted a response on the anthology’s selection process. According to Alexie, he and others were unaware that “Yi-Fen Chou” was a pen name for a white male poet, but added that he kept “that poetry colonist” in the book because name or depiction of name doesn’t matter in this case.

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