Walt Whitman Birthplace Association
2014 Poet in Residence
“What characterizes Lee’s poetry is a certain humility…a willingness to let the sublime enter his field of concentration and take over, a devotion to language, a belief in its holiness.” —Gerald Stern
Born in 1957 of Chinese parents in Jakarta, Indonesia, Lee learned early about loss and exile. His great grandfather was China's first republican President; and his father, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Lee's parents escaped to Indonesia. In 1959, his father, after spending a year as a political prisoner in President Sukarno's jails, fled Indonesia with his family to escape anti-Chinese sentiment. After a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan, they settled in the United States in 1964.
WWBA's Past Poets-in-Residence
The annual Poet In Residence is proudly sponsored by WWBA. Each year the program features revered and distinguished contemporary poets who continue to embody Walt Whitman’s spirit of democracy, diversity and creativity.
William Heyen: 1981; Allan Planz: 1982; Louis Simpson: 1983; John Ciardi-1984; W.D.Snodgrass: 1985; Galway Kinnell: 1986; David Ignatow: 1987; June Jordan: 1988; Stanley Kunitz: 1989; William Stafford: 1990; Allen Ginsberg: 1991; Sharon Olds: 1992; Adrienne Rich: 1993; Robert Bly: 1994; Joseph Bruchac: 1995; Diane Wakoski: 1996; Galway Kinnell: 1997; Mark Rudman: 1998; Yevgeny Yevtushenko: 1999; Marge Piercy: 2000; Billy Collins: 2001; Gary Soto: 2002; Samuel Menashe: 2003; Marvin Bell: 2004; Nikki Giovanni: 2005; Molly Peacock: 2006; David Wagoner: 2007; Alicia Ostriker: 2008; X. J. Kennedy: 2009; Mark Doty: 2010; C.K. Williams: 2011; Martín Espada: 2012; Naomi Shihab Nye: 2013