Wong’s (GREAT MORNING! Poems for School Leaders to Read Aloud, 2018, etc.) 1996 collection of poems has been reissued, now enhanced with over half new content to inspire young writers.
The American-born daughter of Korean and Chinese immigrants, Wong separates her poems into the three sections of her identity: Korean, Chinese, and American. Each begins with an essay giving readers background information about her heritage and moves on to poems highlighting her memories and experiences relating to that culture. Each is now accompanied by new text on the facing page that expands upon the poem’s topic or theme with more details and stories from Wong’s life. Wong’s pointed and evocative poems leave much to interpretation, and the new material often forces readers into a single understanding of the poem’s meaning. However, it simultaneously gives aspiring writers a glimpse into how a poet might morph a theme or a single experience into a finished poem. Moreover, each poem is accompanied by related questions that can be used as springboards for further thought or writing prompts. Backmatter consists of advice for young writers, including how to get published and how to self-publish.
With its new content, this poetry collection now offers layers of meaning both literary and practical, making it a strong resource for teachers of creative writing, school libraries, and anyone interested in exploring identity and belonging. (Poetry. 8-12)