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About the Author

Sherry Quan Lee, MFA, University of Minnesota, is the author of Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse; How to Write a Suicide Note, serial essays that saved a woman's life; Love Imagined: a mixed-race memoir (a Minnesota Book Award Finalist); and, the picture book And You Can Love Me a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD-published by LHP, Modern History Press, Ann Arbor, MI. She is the editor of How Dare We! Write: a multicultural creative writing discourse, an anthology finding home in university writing classrooms.


I've been reading Sherry Quan Lee's work for almost thirty years and her voice keeps getting stronger, more urgent, deeper. In Septuagenarian, she continues to write out of her past, "the Black/Chinese/girl passing for white," but the range of her voice is wider now, both inward and outward and it's anchored by a wisdom that can only be achieved through struggle and time. This is a significant, heartfelt work, one that will help readers to understand not only the author and her life, but also America itself--what we have been, what we are and, hopefully, what we might become. --David Mura, author of A Stranger's Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in WritingSeptuagenarian by Sherry Quan Lee, is a book that answers, in many different ways, the question posed in one of the poems contained within: "What does surrender look like?" Surrender looks like passion, like the banishment of shame, like truth telling. The narrator is not afraid of death, but embraces the inseparability and magnitude of opposing forces: "The world is a large body of terror where good and evil coexist, and each of us is responsible." Quan Lee's bold language makes space for living within impos-sibilities. It is a book that maps, often with aching beauty, many of the author's passions, desires, grief and the circularity of life at seventy, "I have lost so many people over time, but at seventy long-term memory brings them back, both the wicked and the wise...story ends where it begins." -- Sun Yung Shin, author of Unbearable SplendorSeptuagenarian is a poignant retrospective covering seven decades of Sherry Quan Lee's life, culminating in 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this collection, which blends new work with poems published in her previous books, Quan Lee reckons with invisibility-a mixed-race woman who was raised white/ "a gray-haired specter" "the critics ignore." The pain and frustra-tion caused by the pervasive, divisive effects of generational trauma on herself and her family are no longer obstacles, and love is no longer imagined-and the world at large explored. --Carolyn Holbrook, author of Tell Me Your Names and I Will TestifySherry Quan Lee writes with a purity of intention. She has no interest in certain kinds of poetics that conceal, or only honor, adornment. She has her gaze on the long sweep of her personal history. She reflects on old wounds, key mistakes and certain joys. She pushes against cliched thinking or feeling. She is hard on herself, in these poems, in ways few poets are. She honors the complicated narratives of race, of being female, of living a long life and works to discern the point of it all. I've read and taught Sherry Quan Lee's work for a very long time now and am grateful for this new collection .--Deborah Keenan, author of ten collections of poetry and a book of writing ideas, from tiger to prayer

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