The Real Yi-Fen Chou is Not Okay with Your Fake Poetry Name

Poet Michael Derrick Hudson went to the same high school as Yi-Fen Chou in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

So now we all know about the pseudonymic deception of white guy poet Michael Derrick Hudson, who couldn't get his work published under his own regular-ass name, so he used a Chinese pen name, "Yi-Fen Chou," and got a poem placed in the prestigious Best American Poems anthology. Controversy ensues.

Now it turns out that fake Chinese name was borrowed from a real person -- who is not okay with it.

Family Protests White Poet's Use of Chinese Pen Name

It looks like Michael Derrick Hudson didn't just make up his now-infamous wong de plume out of thin air. The family of a woman actually named Yi-Fen Chou, who apparently attended the same high school as Hudson in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has stepped forward, demanding that he cease using the name immediately.

Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana

Yi-Fen Chou, who now goes by a married name and works as a nuclear engineer in Chicago, doesn't want to be identified or interviewed. But her sister, Ellen Y. Chou, says her family is pretty damn angry about Hudson's racefakery, calling it "highly fraudulent and unethical." They want an apology, and they sure as hell deserve it.

"I think what he did was highly fraudulent and unethical," Chou told the fort Wayne News-Sentinel. "His actions not only stole my sister's name, but also tarnished our family name through its association with him. He owes my family a formal apology and needs to stop using my sister's name immediately."

She also calls bullshit on Hudson's claim that he "invented" the name for the publication of his poetry.

"I just find it interesting and a little too convenient that my family resides in Fort Wayne, both my sister and I attended school there, and that Mr. Hudson works in the Genealogy Department at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne and uses a name that he supposedly 'invented for the publication for his poetry,'" she wrote in an email.

Hudson works on a part-time hourly basis for the library's Genealogy Department, where he indexes periodicals.

"Chinese names are typically unique, and most people do not have the same first names, unlike many American names," Chou continued. "The combination of characters generally means something to the family. In this instance, Yi-Fen (two separate characters), is unique to our family and given to my sister by our paternal grandfather."

She also said the way Hudson spelled the pen name, with the hyphen between the two parts of the first name, is uncommon to most current spellings in Chinese names, which leads her to question his honesty about making up the name.

It's highly possible that Michael Derrick Hudson crossed paths with Yi-Fen Chou at Wayne High School -- their years overlap. Maybe he knew her. Maybe her name stuck his brain. Who knows why? But now Yi-Fen and her family's name are unwillingly connected to this guy's craptacular poetry, and they want to kick his ass.

More here: White poet's use of Chinese pen name too personal for Fort Wayne family


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