Cathy Linh Che

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Cathy Linh Che
Che at The Ace Hotel, May 2019
Che at The Ace Hotel, May 2019
Alma materNew York University
Notable awardsKundiman prize

Cathy Linh Che is a Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles. She won the Kundiman Poetry prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America,[1] and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association for Asian American Studies[2] for her book Split.[3]


Cathy Linh Che attended Reed College and New York University where she received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees. In an interview done by Emerson College, Che states, "I was raised in Highland Park in a working class Asian and Latinx immigrant community. So, while there were plenty of clashes between my parents and me, it was something that everyone around me experienced so I never felt different or alone until going away to college."[4]

In 2018, she helped organize the Kundiman "Because We Come From Everything" project.[5] She participated in the digital project the "Poetics of Haunting," curated by Jane Wong.[6]

Writing career[edit]

When asked in an interview at Emerson College of what brought Cathy Linh Che to poetry, Che responded saying: "I would have to say that my parents brought me to poetry. Though neither one is a poet, my upbringing was filled with their stories. While sitting at the dinner table, my parents would tell me about their lives during the Vietnam War, the year in a refugee camp, their first years in the U.S. When I began writing, their voices demanded to be told. I couldn't help but see their stories as fundamentally part of my own."[7]

Che is currently the Executive Director at Kundiman.[8]

Che's most recognized work comes from a book called Split, "which contains poems on the psychological, sexual, and abusive effects of war."


Throughout Cathy Linh Che's career, several awards have been pinned to her name, such as The Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and The Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies.[9]


  • Split, Alice James Books, 2014.
  • Hair : poems: a collection of cuts and ties, Reed College, 2002. OCLC 268892934
  • Split, Chestertown, Maryland: Literary House Press, 2016. OCLC 993260020
  • Laren McClung; Yusef Komunyakaa (eds) Inheriting the war : poetry and prose by descendants of Vietnam veterans and refugees, New York : W.W. Norton & Company, 2018. ISBN 9780393354287, OCLC 1009717493


  1. ^ "Cathy Linh Che - Poetry Society of America". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  2. ^ "Award Winners | Association for Asian American Studies". Retrieved 2019-05-06.
  3. ^ "Cathy Linh Che". Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation. 2018-05-29. Retrieved 2018-05-29.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ De Leon, Jennfier. "Interview With Poet Cathy Linh Che". Ploughshares at Emerson College.
  5. ^ "'Because We Come From Everything' explores migration through postcards and poetry". NBC News. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  6. ^ Mcgehee, Cate. "Haunting Verse". Inlander. Retrieved 2018-08-02.
  7. ^ De Leon, Jennfier. "Interview With Poet Cathy Linh Che". Ploughshares at Emerson College.
  8. ^ "Leadership". Kundiman. Retrieved 2019-05-05.
  9. ^ Nixon, Melody. "Leaving New York City: an Interview with Cathy Linh Che". The Common.

External links[edit]