White Belt

by Yu-Han Chao


[Click on triptych to full it full-size.]

whitebelt

Yu-Han (Eugenia) Chao was born and grew up in Taipei, Taiwan. She received her BA from National Taiwan University and MFA from Penn State. She teaches at the University of California, Merced. The Backwaters Press published her poetry book, We Grow Old: Fifty-Three Chinese Love Poems, and Dancing Girl Press, Imaginary Friend Press, and Boaat Press published her chapbooks. Her website is www.yuhanchao.com.

What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “White Belt”?

    I’ve been working on a series of taekwondo poems since I was a white belt, and as I revised them it made sense to address them to 1) a younger me and 2) any survivor of sexual assault. I saw Matter Press’s call for triptychs and was immediately drawn to the form. I tried converting a few taekwondo poems into triptychs, and it just clicked—this was exactly the additional dimension and backstory they needed. (Thank you, Matter Press, for the inspiration.)
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