Marianne Chan is the author of All Heathens from Sarabande Books. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Cincinnati Review, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Creative Writing at the University of Cincinnati.
Her book, All Heathens, is a declaration of ownership―of bodies, of histories, of time. Revisiting Magellan’s voyage around the world, these poems explore the speaker’s Filipino American identity by grappling with her relationship to her family and notions of diaspora, circumnavigation, and discovery. Whether rewriting the origin story of Eve (“I always imagined that the serpent had the legs of a seductive woman in black nylons”), or ruminating on what-should-have-been-said “when the man at the party said he wanted to own a Filipino,” Chan paints wry, witty renderings of anecdotal and folkloric histories, while both preserving and unveiling a self-identity that dares any other to try and claim it.
In addition to writing, Marianne loves to play poker and strum the same open chords on the guitar (badly).
Marianne reads both poetry and prose. Some of her recent favorite reads include: Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire by Michelle Peñaloza, The Experiment of the Tropics by Lawrence Ypil, White Blood by Kiki Petrosino, Great House by Nicole Krauss, Heavy by Kiese Laymon, and Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong. For inspiration, she often returns to poems by Anne Sexton, Terrance Hayes, Larry Levis, and Frank O’Hara.
Right now, Marianne is reading Li-Young Lee’s The Undressing and Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half.