Anna Yin

Anna Yin's picture
Biography: 

From a Chinese culture-rooted landscape to a new and welcoming Canadian landscape, Anna Yin has found her home in poetry and authored five poetry collections and one collection of translations: Mirrors and Windows (Guernica Editions 2021). She won the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTYs, two scholarships from USA and three grants from Ontario Arts Council. Anna was appointed to be Mississauga’s Inaugural Poet Laureate (2015-2017) and was elected to be Ontario representative for the League of Canadian Poets (2013-2016).  Her poems/translations have appeared at Queen’s Quarterly, ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, Literary Review of Canada etc. She performed on Parliament Hill, at Austin International Poetry Festival, Edmonton Poetry Festival and INSPIRE Toronto International Book Fair etc. She has designed and hosted various Poetry Alive workshops with multimedia since 2011. She also continues to work as an IT professional. Check more: http://annapoetry.com

 

Micro-interview: 
Did you read poetry when you were in high school? Is there a particular poem that you loved when you were a teenager?: 

When I was a kid, like others in China, I was taught to recite Chinese traditional poetry. In high school, we also read mordern Chinese poetry.  There were several poems I loved, they were in chinese and I loved them because of the feeling of loneliness and mystery.  

When did you first start writing poetry? And then when did you start thinking of yourself as a poet?: 

When I was in university I wrote some love poems in Chinese.  After I immigrated to Canada and worked in my IT job, I wanted to improve my English. I started writing short pieces in English. One night after busy work and family chores, I read The Emperor’s New Clothes to my son, a poem came to me. In the poem, I saw a child turn to me asking “Who are you?”…since then I started writing poetry in English. There are more stories in A World of Poetry: Life and Truth (an article I wrote for National Poetry Month)

When I won my first poetry award in 2005, and soon after CBC Radio wanted to interview me and broadcast my poem: "Toronto, No More Weeping," I started thinking of myself a poet. Because I felt my poems were useful not only for myself but also for others.

 

What do you think a poet’s “job” is?: 

A poet's job for me is to be like Mirrors and Windows, seeking one's inner side and also reaching out for others. As a poet, I want to share my understanding of the world and enchange feelings and ideas with others, to help each other to see things differently and to listen to our hearts. 

If you have a poem in our anthology what inspired you to write it?: 

Yes. I am so glad that "Picking Up a Dandelion" has been included in  the Poetry In Voice anthology. I have always liked dandelions and think they are beautiful. I wrote a few haiku about them. Once I listened to CBC radio to an interview of Lorna Crozier about her poems: Sex Lives of Vegetables, I was blown away…I wanted to challenge myself to write like that.  So I wrote “Picking Up a Dandelion”, which is a poem that could be read both erotically and spiritually.

If you had to choose one poem to memorize from our anthology, which one would it be?: 

I would like to memorize P.K.Page's The Blue Guitar. It flows very well and I love the image and meaning behind it.

Publications: 
Title: 
Mirrors and Windows -East and West Poems with Translations
Publisher: 
Guernica Editions
Editors: 
Anna Yin, also translator
Date: 
2021
Publication type: 
Anthology
Title: 
Seven Nights with the Chinese Zodiac
Publisher: 
Black Moss
Date: 
2015
Publication type: 
Book
Title: 
Wings Toward Sunlight
Publisher: 
Mosaic Press
Date: 
2011
Publication type: 
Book