Liberals were excited when a poet named Yi-Fen Chou published a poem that got ranked as one of the best American poems of 2015–but now, they’re eating their words.
It turns out that Yi-Fen Chou isn’t the fawned-over Chinese-American liberals thought he was. As it turns out, Chou is just the pen name of a white man named Michael Derrick Hudson.
Hudson had submitted his poem, “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve,” more than 40 times under his own name–getting rejected every time.
But when he changed his name to something a bit more “diverse,” he soon found himself a published author–and ranked as one of the top poems of the year, even being included in the high-profile anthology, “The Best American Poetry, 2015.”
Authors have been publishing under fake names for years–but, with their current crusade of identity and so-called “white privilege,” the Left is going ballistic. They’re claiming that Hudson unfairly “misappropriated” Asian culture by picking his pen name, even though his poem was not about anything remotely Asian.
Hudson was aware of the criticism–but stood by his choice.
“There is a very short answer for my use of a nom de plume,” he said. “After a poem of mine has been rejected a multitude of times under my real name, I put Yi-Fen’s name on it and send it out again. As a strategy for ‘placing’ poems, this has been quite successful for me.”
Despite the controversy around Hudson’s selection, the anthology that ranked his poem as one of the best of the year is sticking by his poem–claiming that doing otherwise would delegitimize all of their adjudicating standards.
But the guest editor of the book, Sherman Alexie–who is part Native American–admitted the name Yi-Fen Chou got Hudson’s poem included, rather than any merit of the author himself. But he showed no remorse over that.
“Hey, guess what?” he said, unapologetically. “In paying more initial attention to Yi-Fen Chou’s poem, I was also practicing a form of nepotism. I am a brown-skinned poet who gave a better chance to another supposed brown-skinned poet because of our brownness.”
So much for “white privilege” and a post-racial society–if even the editor of a top poetry anthology is actually blatantly stating that he throws special favors to help get minority authors published.