Born in Shandong, China, in 1987, Wendy Xu immigrated to the United States in 1989, three days ahead of the events of Thiananmen Square. The Past probes the multi-generational binds of family, displacement, and immigration as an ongoing psychic experience without end. Moving spontaneously between lyric, fragment, prose, and subversions in "traditional" Chinese forms, the book culminates in a centerpiece series of "Tiananmen Sonnets" to conjure up the irrepressible past, and ultimately imagine a new kind of poem: at once code and confession.
Wendy Xu is the author of Phrasis, named one of the 10 Best Poetry Books of 2017 by the New York Times Book Review. She teaches poetry at the New School and serves as Poetry Editor for the arts magazine Hyperallergic.