Cathy Song Biography
(1955– ), Picture Bride, Frameless Windows, Squares of Light, School Figures, Sister Stew
Hawaiian poet, born in Honolulu, Hawaii; she grew up in the small sugar town of Wahaiwa, and was educated at the University of Hawaii, Wellesley College, and Boston University. She has taught creative writing in many institutions. Her first book, Picture Bride (1983), was chosen for the Yale Younger Poets Prize by the poet Richard Hugo. Two later collections, Frameless Windows, Squares of Light (1988) and School Figures (1994), extend the range of her finely observed compositions which aspire to the condition of the visual aesthetics of the painters she celebrates, the Japanese printmaker Kitagawa Utamaro and the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe. She has also co-edited a collection of fiction and poetry by women from Hawaii, Sister Stew (1991). Widely anthologized, her poems draw upon Korean and Japanese Hawaiian cultural sources and address multicultural, familial, and highly personal themes. At their best they are sensuously drawn, marked by a respect for tradition and unforced imagery. See Asian-American Literature.