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Sherman Alexie Defends Knowingly Publishing a White Man Masquerading as a Chinese Poet

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- sherman alexie was a guest editor for 'best american poetry 2015'
- some white man named michael derrick hudson submitted a poem under the pen name 'yi-fen chou' because he was finding it hard to get published under his real name
- hudson revealed his true identity to alexie on being selected
- alexie wondered how he would "deal with this colonial theft" and decided that it would be hypocritical not to publish it
- he says that white people publishing white people and brown people publishing brown people are both forms of "racial nepotism"

- alexie: "If I'd pulled the poem then I would have been denying that I gave the poem special attention because of the poet's Chinese pseudonym. If I'd pulled the poem then I would have been denying that I was consciously and deliberately seeking to address past racial, cultural, social, and aesthetic injustices in the poetry world. And, yes, in keeping the poem, I am quite aware that I am also committing an injustice against poets of color, and against Chinese and Asian poets in particular. But I believe I would have committed a larger injustice by dumping the poem.I think I would have cast doubt on every poem I have chosen for BAP. It would have implied that I chose poems based only on identity. But that's not what happened. In the end, I chose each poem in the anthology because I love it. And to deny my love for any of them is to deny my love for all of them."


full blog post here

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