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Home: Fiona Sze


Books | Fiction | Poetry | Essays | Anthologies


Dear Chrysanthemums

A Novel in Stories

Out from Scribner on May 2, 2023

Longlisted for the 2024 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction

Watch the book trailer

Featured in New York Times Book Review

Prepub Alert in Library Journal | Also featured in What to Read in 2023 | LJ's Annual Books Preview

Read reviews in Kirkus Reviews | Publishers Weekly | Booklist | Shelf Awareness | Asian Review of Books | Mekong Review | Mochi Magazine | No Man Is an Island (New Bloom Magazine) | Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism | Soapberry Review | Reading Chinese Network Reviews (The Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing)

Watch a book talk "Diaspora Unfurled" at the American Library in Paris

Listen to a podcast interview in the Asian Review of Books | New Books Network

Watch a podcast interview on The World of Chinese

Read an interview by Tsering Yangzom Lama in Asymptote

Read a conversation with Shawna Yang Ryan in Singapore Unbound (Suspect)

Read more interviews in Asian Books Blog | NüVoices | FUSAC (Paris)

Featured on Page One program, KSUT Radio

Online Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Bookshop

Please consider ordering it from your local bookshops.

Also in Kindle | Audiobook (narrated by Catherine Ho)

Read a review in AudioFile Magazine | Booklist


Rain in Plural

Catalog Press Release | Watch a film here

Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, 2020

Starred Review in Library Journal: Longing and Speech: Nine Major Poetry Collections from Writers Veteran and New

Shortlisted for the 2021 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry

Read Sze-Lorrain's essay "How Each Line Appears | some loose leaves" in Princeton Ideas

More Than Allusion: Interview by William Sharpe at Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination  

Watch a filmed reading of "Not Meant as Poems," performed by Oscar Olivo 

From One Wound, How to Navigate Another: Interview with Dan Beachy-Quick by H.L. Hix at Inquire

Featured title in Asian American Poetry Unbound Lantern Review's "October APA Poetry Companion—Books to Curl Up with for Fall"

Read reviews in Poetry LondonAsian Review of Books, Center for Literary Publishing (Colorado Review)Quill and Parchmentthe Adroit Journal, EcoTheo ReviewSingapore Unbound, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Harvard Review.

Featured in Yaddo News

Read a poem "Strand" in The Literary Hub.

"Macabre Dance" is featured on Poetry Daily.

Read an interview at Off the Coast.

For online purchases, order at the pressherehere, or here.

Or from bookstores Barnes and NobleLabyrinth BooksGreen Apple BooksStrandIndiebound . . .

Please consider ordering it from your local bookshops.


Moonlight Rests on My Left Palm 
Poems and Essays by Yu Xiuhua
Translated from the Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Published by Astra House, September 2021

Order here.

Read reviews in The Washington Post, the Poetry Foundation Harriet Books, the Great Book WyrmWest Trade Review, The World of Chinese, the Asian Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, Culture and Dialogue, and Columbia Journal of Literary Criticism.

Featured in The New York Times' GlobetrottingWords without Borders' Watchlist, Medium, and Space between Pages.

"Rain Falls outside the Window" is featured on Poetry Daily.

Listen to an interview on The Translated Chinese Fiction Podcast.


A Blue Dark

Ink Paintings by Fritz Horstman | Poems and Translations by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Published by Vif Éditions, 2019 (on the occasion of the summer exhibition at the Institute Library in New Haven, Connecticut)

Read more in New Haven Independent and The Arts Paper.

Read an interview in Poetry Society of America.

Watch a short promotional video | View photos of the exhibition.

View some of the artwork on Cahiers at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination. 

Limited Edition US$22 (+ $14 shipping); 21€

To purchase: info@vif-editions.com or phf.lorrain@orange.fr


The Ruined Elegance

Named one of Library Journal's Best Books 2015: Poetry and Top Fall Indie Poetry

Finalist for the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton Series of Contemporary Poets, 2016 

Order here or here

Read an interview and a poem on Princeton's blog, and learn more about the poem "Towering" from Poetry Society of America.

Read and listen to the poem "Transparent" from Princeton's Poem in Your Pocket Day National Poetry Month 2016.

Listen to the poem "Given Silence" from Princeton's Poem in Your Pocket Day National Poetry Month 2018.

Read reviews in The Rumpus, Library Journal, Pamplemousse, Arcadia, CutBank, Asian Review of Books, Columbia College Today, Lantern Review, The Antigonish Review, The American Poetry Review, The Literary Review, The Chattahoochee Review, and West Branch.

One of Maureen McLane's "Seven Poets on the Verge" in Vela


Karma by Yin Lichuan
Translated from the Chinese

Published by Tolsun Books, May 2020

This is a bilingual collection of poems by contemporary Chinese poet and filmmaker Yin Lichuan. 

Order at Small Press Distribution, Amazon, or Tolsun

Read some poems in New England Review and Cahiers at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination.

"Life Should Have Been So Serious" is a featured poem on Poetry Daily.

Read more about Karma in this interview, From One Wound, How to Navigate Another (with Dan Beachy-Quick) by H.L. Hix at Inquire.

Read a micro-review in the Kenyon Review

Read reviews in the Asian Review of Books and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal


Green Mountain

Green Mountain by Yang Jian
Translated from the Chinese
Foreword by Christopher Merrill

Published by MerwinAsia, 2020

Green Mountain compiles a representative selection of lyrical poems by contemporary Chinese poet and painter Yang Jian, also a Buddhist, in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s elegant translation. Exploring history, faith, memory, nature, and the various transient complexities of human existence, these poems seek a pure form of simplicity in thought and style, reminiscent of meditative beauty and Asian ink-wash painting aesthetics.

Order at University of Hawai'i Press or Amazon.

Read reviews in Asian Review of Books and Quill and Parchment.

Read an interview in Poetry Northwest.

"Surveying from Mount Dongliang" is featured on Poetry Daily.


My Mountain Country by Ye Lijun
Translated from the Chinese
Foreword by Christopher Merrill

Published by World Poetry Books, August 2019 

Shortlisted for the 2020 Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry

In this remarkable English debut, award-winning Chinese contemporary poet Ye Lijun offers readers a lyrical diorama of nature and the inner world. By turns intimate and profound, Ye’s poems in Fiona Sze-Lorrain’s masterful translations make music of everyday silences, and illuminate the invisible openings in our lives. In this vital collection by one of China’s essential literary voices, each encounter is an invitation, wherein a village, a nest, a telescope, or a book proves to be a transient guide to the unknown.

Order herehere, or here.

Read about the translator's thoughts on Ye's poem "Backyard" in Poetry Society of America.

Read a few other poems in Poetry Northwest and New Poetry in Translation.

Read an interview with Ye Lijun, "Living and Writing in Lishui" in Kenyon Reviewand an interview with Sze-Lorrain in Lantern Review.

Read reviews in the Asian Review of Books, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Literary Review, Center for Literary Publishing, The Los Angeles Reviewand Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.

Featured poem at Poetry Society of America's Calling the World.

Featured poem in Poetry Daily [read also a short commentary in newsletter]


Not Meant as Poems
by Fiona Sze-Lorrain

Published by The Green Violin |
Le Violon Vert in Montreal, Canada, 2018

Handmade chapbook | pamphlet
Illustrations by Rem Stahl
Limited Edition

Read the poem in Poetry Northwest.


Trace by Yu Xiang
Translated from the Chinese

Ji'nan, August 2017

Handmade chapbook
(limited edition)

Read two poems in InTranslation.

Sea Summit by Yi Lu
Translated from the Chinese
Foreword by Melissa Kwasny

Milkweed Editions, January 2016

Finalist for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award (Poetry)

Chosen by the Center for Courage & Renewal as one of the Favorite Courageous Books of 2016 for Poetry

Order here, here, or here.

Poet-scenographer Yi Lu's Sea Summit is a collection of paradox and questioning. The sea is an impossible force to the poet: it is both a majestic force that predates man, and something to carry with us wherever we go, to be put "by an ancient rattan chair," so we can watch "its waves toss" from above. Exploring the current ecological crisis and our complicated relationship to the wildness around us, Yi Lu finds something more complex than a traditional nature poet might in the mysterious connection between herself and the forces of nature represented by the boundless ocean.

Read reviews in Publishers Weekly | Three Percent ["Why This Book Should Win"] | Asian Review of Books | The Literary Review | The Los Angeles Review | CutBank Heavy Feather Review.

Read a short essay in Asian Review of Books.

Read a related interview with the translator in Foreword Reviews.

Read an interview with the poet in Poetry Society of America.



My Funeral Gondola

In her second book of poetry, Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes about rifts and departures, memory and experience. With lyricism and restraint, her poems meditate on the bittersweet struggles and inner intensities of a solitary life.

Like a vessel moving smoothly on an impressionistic surface, My Funeral Gondola explores time and language, suggesting the dark shapes and emotional currents beneath.

Click here or here (or here) to buy.

More in Poetry »



Book Cover

Starry Island:
New Writing from Singapore

Starry Island (University of Hawai'i Press, 2014) presents essays, fiction, and poetry that express the complex tensions and interconnections of Singapore. These writings by two dozen writers include meditative essays, satire, magical realist fiction, and lyric poetry. Click here to buy.

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On Freedom:
Spirit, Art, and State

The various meanings of freedom are difficult to clarify in the discursive language of theory and philosophy. This anthology, On Freedom (University of Hawai'i Press, 2013) includes fiction, essays and poetry by authors residing throughout North America and Asia who explore the need for cultural, spiritual and intellectual freedoms in a fully-realized life. Click here or here to buy.

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Book Cover

Sky Lanterns: New Poetry from China, Formosa, and Beyond

Sky Lanterns (University of Hawai'i Press, 2012) brings together innovative poetry, essays, and fiction by 23 authors—primarily poets—in China, Taiwan, the United States, and beyond who are engaged in truth-seeking, resistance, and renewal. Click here or here to buy.

More in Anthologies »

image: Silhouette Shadow

© Triangle

The Cinematic Art of Gao Xingjian

Combining poetry and prose with over eighty pages of illustrations, this book contains new poetry, images, and essays written by the 2000 Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature, Gao Xingjian and his film collaborators, Alain Melka and Jean-Louis Darmyn. This is the first print documentation that focuses on Gao's artistic expression in the film world.

With a preface written by the editor Fiona Sze-Lorrain, it also contains a new essay by Gao on his cinematic craft (translated from the Chinese by Mabel Lee) and the unabridged version of the poem "The Way of the Wandering Bird" (translated from the French by Ned Burgess and Sze-Lorrain).

More in Books »

To purchase, please contact the publisher:


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Contours (Paris, France)
2, Villa du Bel Air
75012 Paris, France
Tel: (+33) 01 46 28 71 50


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