© Copyright Ye Chun
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Winner of the Berkshire Prize, chosen by D. A. Powell
Finalist of Barnard Poetry Prize, Dorset Prize, & Idaho Prize

“Ye Chun’s poetry is remarkably gorgeous, courageous, astute, and inspiring. A ‘space dark enough for a peach tree to bloom.’ These poems are solidly anchored in both the world and the imagination — in fact, they use one in order to make the other possible.”       

                                                                                       — D. A. Powell

“Lantern Puzzle opens with an earthquake and ends on a breath, and from tremor to murmur, a lyric history unfolds, following a map/ of cherries and water paths, as mildew turns back into rain and food into fire, in a twirl of air once a village/ with salt and piglets. By turns we are in China, in childhood, in America, and in a world wholly the poet’s own, suspended in time. Chun’s is a rain-lit, gestural world, where bicycles are ridden through smoke and a stupa of pear blossoms covers a sheep’s shorn body. We move between the stillness of aftermath, and the inexorable workings of history. It is not often that a poet possesses the gift of rendering the missed moments of world visible, and who finds a language for deeply meditative attention, but such is the accomplishment of Ye Chun. A beautiful work.”   

                                                                                       — Carolyn Forché

“The intricate lyrics of Ye Chun’s Lantern Puzzle shimmer liminally, like the many windows, spiders, moons, lanterns, and reflected faces that hover between heaven and earth throughout the collection. These talismanic portals suggest that the realms of the soma and geography are blurred and permeable, turning and returning into one another in revelatory epiphanies, allowing the past and present, and the lost, longed for, and the realized to exist at once. The poems draw on Ye Chun’s Chinese childhood, Zen practice, and the crucible of exile to ask what—perhaps language?—is home, and also 'How long does it take to rise / from the mat woven / with long roads and hunger // to travel the length of / understand understand // And the harbor comes tiding / from heart to toe-tips.' In prismatic, palimpsestic, chromatic tiers, these poems offer multivalent iterations of experience in which the speaker’s “window sits, a clear heart, / exchanging frost for frost, promise for promise / with what’s cooling, blooming in wind: // Once I held a map which was empty. Only at night the roads emerged. // Destinations tingling: dew on a leaf.'”     

                                                                                    — Lisa Russ Spaar

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