Anna Yin

Country of Origin:

China

Themes:

Citizenship, Immigration, Asian Heritage, Racism/Discrimination, Human Rights & Social Justice, Identity & Heritage, Multiculturalism & Diversity, Adjusting to Life in Canada

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Bio

Anna Yin is Mississauga’s first Poet Laureate (2015-2016) and Ontario representative for the League of Canadian Poets (2013-2016). She has authored six books of poetry and her poems have appeared at ARC Poetry, New York Times, China Daily, CBC Radio, World Journal etc. Anna won many awards including the 2005 Ted Plantos Memorial Award, two MARTY Literary Arts Awards and 2013 Professional Achievement Award from CPAC. Her poem “Still Life” was part of Poetry in Transit featured on buses across Canada in 2013. She read her poetry on Parliament Hill and has been featured at 2015 Austin International Poetry Festival and 2016 Edmonton Poetry Festival. Anna has been interviewed by CBC Radio, Rogers TV and Talent Vision TV, The Toronto Star and China Daily several times. She was a finalist for Canada’s Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award in 2011 and in 2012, and is proud to be twice a “Living book” for the Living Library at the Mississauga Campus of University of Toronto. She now is teaching Poetry Alive at schools, colleges and libraries. Poetry Alive workshops combine computer arts and audience participation through Poets in Schools Program. Her website: annapoetry.com Email: anna.yin@gmail.com

Story

Born in China, immigrating to Canada in 1999 and working as an IT professional for years, I always thought for many immigrants language was the biggest challenge. After my son was born in 2000, I tried to write journals to improve my English and record my son’s growth. But with my busy IT job and my son’s need for attention, it was hard to find any time to write. In 2003, after reading stories to my son, the “Child” in me awakened to ask the question: Who Are you? Who am I? A poem came to me. I never knew that the cultural soil in a new world would nurture in me a soul seeking liberation, one that looks for truth about the human spirit. That awareness not only saved me from our common limited reality, but also developed my empathy for suffering. In 2005, my poem “Toronto, No More Weeping” was broadcast by CBC Radio for hope and peace. I followed these intuitions and began translating American, and Canadian poets into Chinese. Through my own writing and translations, I have found poetry enlarged my sense of the world, and developed my emotional sensitivity and hope.

Now I have published six poetry books and received good reviews that have inspired many immigrants, especially those from China.

On my poetry journey, I have received enormous help and support from poets, friends and a broad range of communities. I followed their example to help others and designed Poetry Alive educational programs combining computer arts and live audience participation for schools, colleges, libraries, and communities in 2011. Since then my programs have not only stimulated young students but also helped other artists and non-art professionals.

In 2013 I was elected as the Ontario representative for the League of Canadian Poets, in 2015 I was appointed as the Inaugural Poet Laureate for the City of Mississauga. Both positions gave me great opportunities to develop my skills as a poet and a mentor.

I was very grateful to have been on poetry tours in China, USA and Canada and was glad that to perform at many public events such as Reading for Canada Day, for Parapan Am Games Torch Relay, at the Mayor’s New Year’s Levee, for 100,000 Poets for Change, at the Manor (Windsor), at 2015 AIPF (USA) and at Parliament Hill, Ottawa etc. I was also inspired to write many new poems: “Hello, Canada” and “The Red Maple” which truly express our country Canada has gone through many difficulties to realize its values of freedom and fairness. I am very grateful and proud to be a part of this process.

Books in Print:Awards Link: http://www.annapoetry.com/?page_id=56

Publications link: http://www.annapoetry.com/?page_id=166

Interviews: http://www.annapoetry.com/?page_id=877

Poetry Alive Education Program: http://www.annapoetry.com/?page_id=378

Translations Link: http://www.annapoetry.com/?page_id=133