Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple by Frances Chung
The Poems of Frances Chung (Wesleyan Poetry Series)

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Frances Chung's poetry stands alone as the most perceptive, aesthetically accomplished, and compassionate depiction of a supposedly impenetrable community during the late 1960s and 70s. Written "For the Chinatown People" and imprinted with Chung's own ink seal, Crazy Melon collects brief poems and prose vignettes set in New York's Chinatown and Lower East Side. Chung incorporates Spanish and Chinese into her English in deft evocations of these neighborhoods' streets, fantasies, commerce, and toil. The title of her second collection, Chinese Apple, translates the Chinese word for pomegranate: there she offers "small crimson bites" of new themes and cityscapes -- delightfully understated eroticism, tributes to other poets, impressions of other Chinese diasporic communities during her travels in Central America and Asia. Its new formal experiments show that Chung's poetic prowess continued to deepen before her early death. Publication of these two works will finally allow Chung's growing circle of admirers to experience the full range of her skills and sensibility, and will draw many others into that circle.

About Frances Chung

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FRANCES CHUNG (1950 - 1990) published her poetry in several anthologies and journals, including The Portable Lower East Side and IKON, and posthumously in Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry and Chain. A teacher of mathematics in Lower East Side public schools who often taught in Spanish, she was awarded several poetry fellowships by the New York Times Co. Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts.This unique collection has been edited and has an afterword by WALTER K. LEW, editor of Premonitions (1995) and author of Excerpts from: IKTH DIKTE, for DICTEE (1982) and a collection of poetry forthcoming from Wesleyan.
Published December 18, 2000 by Wesleyan. 189 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Chung died in 1990 at the age of 40, leaving behind several different plans for collections of her work. Poet and scholar Walter K. Lew (Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Po

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Publishers Weekly

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On Saturday night,/ the streets are so crowded with people/ that to walk freely I have to walk in/ the gutter."" While Chung's poems do not always display a great virtuosity, some of the later, more formally accomplished poems in ""Chinese Apple""--including a pantoum and several quasi-metrical l...

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