Sherry Quan LeeWebsite
Years: 1996; 2000
BiographySherry Quan Lee, MFA, 1996, University of Minnesota, and first year Cave Canem participant 1996 is the author of Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir; a Minnesota Book Award Finalist 2015, Modern History Press, Ann Arbor, MI, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman's life, 2008, and Chinese Blackbird, memoir in verse, 2002. Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Retired from teaching Creative Writing at Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul, Minnesota, she continues to teach and mentor in Twin Cities venues such as The Loft Literary Center. Lee is the literary editor of How Dare We! Write, 24 writers of color share the challenges they face(d) as writers, why they continue to write, and how they find ways to make their writing available, due out 2017.
Father escaped mother with his chow mein
and the flaming red-haired woman who
served it to him. Mother remained starched
white rice steaming in a black
kettle. Jesus was at the Lutheran church
across the street—I had access
to him. this white light of mine; I’m gonna let it shine
let it shine ‘til Jesus comes; this white light
of mine No one knew, Jesus and I weren’t white
each of us conceived—immaculately.
Hungry for sweet potato pie and string bean chop suey,
I jumped the fence, the neighborhood, the city.
At a monastery in New York I confess to a priest,
and twenty-seven poets that I am Black
and they, the Cave Canem poets, respond, Amen.
Sticky Rice, publishes my poem, “White Dragon”
no one says: you’re not Asian.
I shave my head. Thank you Nikki Giovanni,
Sapphire, Ndegeocello. I am a Buddhist
nun, burn the chapters of my memoir
one by one.