Marilyn Chin was born in Hong Kong and raised in Portland, Oregon. She received a BA from the University of Massachusetts and an MFA from the University of Iowa.
Chin is the author of five collections of poetry, including Sage (W. W. Norton, 2023); A Portrait of the Self As Nation: New and Selected Poems (W. W. Norton, 2018); and Hard Love Province (W. W. Norton, 2014), which won the 2015 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. In addition to writing poetry, she has translated poems by the modern Chinese poet Ai Qing and co-translated poems by the Japanese poet Gozo Yoshimasu. She is also the author of a novel, Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (W. W. Norton, 2009).
Chin has received numerous honors for her poetry, including the 2020 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the PEN/Josephine Miles Award, five Pushcart Prizes, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship at Harvard, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at Bellagio, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the SeaChange fellowship from the Gaea Foundation, the Stegner Fellowship, and the United Artist Foundation Fellowship, as well as residencies at Yaddo, MacDowell, the Lannan Foundation, and the Djerassi Foundation.
Chin’s work has also been featured in a variety of anthologies, such as The Norton Anthology of Modern and Contemporary Poetry, The Norton Introduction to Poetry, The Oxford Anthology of Modern American Poetry, The Best American Poetry of 1996, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin Books, 1994), edited by Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Jennifer Gillan; and The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (Doubleday, 1993), edited by Garrett Hongo. She was also featured in Bill Moyers’s PBS series The Language of Life.
Chin has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and served as a guest poet at universities in Berlin, Hong Kong, Manchester, Singapore, and Sydney. In 2018, she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She is a professor emerita at San Diego State University and, from 2022–23, served as the Holmes Poet at Princeton University.