Arthur Sze

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Arthur Sze
Arthur Sze in 2004
Arthur Sze in 2004
Alma materUniversity of California, Berkeley

Arthur Sze (Chinese: 施家彰; pinyin: Shī Jiāzhāng; born 1950, New York City) is a Chinese-American poet.


Sze attended the University of California, Berkeley. His poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, The Kenyon Review, Manoa, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and the Virginia Quarterly Review,[1] and have been translated into Albanian, Chinese, Dutch, Italian, Romanian, and Turkish. He has authored eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light[2] (Copper Canyon Press, 2009) and Compass Rose[3] (Copper Canyon Press, 2014). This latter volume was a finalist for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.[4]

He has been included in anthologies such as Articulations: The Body and Illness in Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 1994), Premonitions: The Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, (Kaya Production, 1995), I Feel a Little Jumpy around You (Simon & Schuster, 1996), What Book!?: Buddhist Poems from Beats to Hiphop (Parallax Press 1998), and American Alphabets (Oberlin College Press, 2006).

He was a Visiting Hurst Professor at Washington University, a Doenges Visiting Artist at Mary Baldwin College, and has conducted residencies at Brown University, Bard College, and Naropa University. He is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts, is the first poet laureate of Santa Fe and has won three grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry.[citation needed]

in 2012, Sze was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.[5]


The poet Jackson Mac Low has said: "The word 'compassion' is much overused, 'clarity' less so, but Arthur Sze is truly a poet of clarity and compassion." Albuquerque Journal reviewer John Tritica: commented that Sze "resides somewhere in the intersection of Taoist contemplation, Zen rock gardens and postmodern experimentation." Critic R.W. French notes that Sze's poems "are complex in thought and perception; in language, however, they have the cool clarity of porcelain. The surface is calm, while the depths are resonant. There is about these poems a sense of inevitability, as though they could not possibly be other than what they are. They move precisely through their patterns like a dancer, guided by the discipline that controls and inspires."[6]



  • The Willow Wind, Rainbow Zenith Press (Berkeley, CA), 1972,
  • The Willow Wind: Poems and Translations from the Chinese, Tooth of Time Books (Santa Fe, NM), revised edition 1981.
  • Two Ravens, Tooth of Time Books (Guadalupita, NM), 1976,
  • Two Ravens: Poems and Translations from the Chinese, revised edition 1984.
  • Dazzled, Floating Island Publications (Point Reyes, CA), 1982.
  • River River, Lost Roads Publishers (Providence, RI), 1987.
  • Archipelago, (Copper Canyon Press, 1995) (Port Townsend, WA).
  • The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998, (Copper Canyon Press, 1998).
  • Quipu (Copper Canyon Press, 2005).
  • The Ginkgo Light (Copper Canyon Press, 2009).
  • Chinese Writers on Writing. Ed. Arthur Sze. (Trinity University Press, 2010).
  • Compass Rose (Copper Canyon Press, 2014).
  • Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press, 2019).


In anthology[edit]


  1. ^ Virginia Quarterly Review Archived 2008-12-01 at the Wayback Machine,; accessed 16 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Copper Canyon Press: The Ginkgo Light by Arthur Sze". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Copper Canyon Press: Compass Rose, Poetry by Arthur Sze". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  4. ^ "2015 Pulitzer Prizes". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  5. ^ Sze, Arthur (4 February 2014). "Arthur Sze". Arthur Sze. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  6. ^ R.W. French. "Arthur Sze: "The Redshifting Web: Poems 1970-1998"". Archived from the original on April 18, 2010. Retrieved June 16, 2015.
  7. ^ "Guggenheim Fellowship". Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  8. ^ "Lannan profile". Archived from the original on 2009-04-14. Retrieved 2009-05-18.
  9. ^ Press, Associated. "Updated: Santa Fe's Arthur Sze Wins Major Poetry Prize". Retrieved 29 May 2017.

External links[edit]