Kingston wrote The Woman Warrior: Memoir of a Girlhood Among Ghosts in 1976 and I read it quickly, like I was gulping down water, in the Spring of 2011. I was lucky enough to hear her speak not long after. Her talent, activism, and energy inspired me (she was born in 1940 and shows no signs of slowing down!).
From The Poetry Foundation:
The daughter of Chinese immigrants, poet, memoirist, and fiction writer Maxine Hong Kingston was born in Stockton, California, and educated at the University of California–Berkeley.
Kingston is the author of the book-length poem I Love a Broad Margin to My Life(2011). Walt Whitman influenced her, and the poetic lines in the book shift between real and imagined time, tracing the writer’s journey. Discussing her decision to compose I Love a Broad Margin to My Life as a book-length, free verse poem, Kingston spoke in an interview of the decade each of her previous two books had taken to write and her desire for a lighter, faster form. She noted, “there is not enough time to write everything that one is feeling and thinking—and I have thought that my whole writing life.”
If you are interested in some of the things Kingston mentions in the excerpt from “I love a broad margin”, here are some interesting links:
- On the talented and resilient John Mulligan.
- You probably know Robert Louis Stevenson as the author of Treasure Island and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but did you know he was also a poet?
- Cuchulain (or or Cú Chulainn) has been inspiring writers for centuries
- Grace Paly, whom I’ve never read but now want to
- You can visit Walden Pond
- Last but certainly not least, support for veterans of Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan