美國「詩歌基金會 (The Poetry Foundation)」宣布，將 2020 年 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize 詩獎頒予香港出生的美國詩人 Marilyn Chin（陳美玲）。
Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize 是美國最重要詩獎之一，獎項於 1986 年成立，頒發予終身成就非凡的美國在世詩人。Marilyn Chin 可獲得 10 萬美元獎金。
Marilyn Chin 生於香港，童年後移民至美國，學士畢業於麻省大學中國語文學系，在愛荷華大學獲創意寫作藝術碩士。她著有 5 本詩集和 1 本小說，詩集有 Dwarf Bamboo (1987)、The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty (1994)、Rhapsody in Plain Yellow (2003)、Hard Love Province: Poems (2014)、以及最新的 A Portrait of the Self as Nation (2018)；小說則是 Revenge of the Mooncake Vixen (2009)。Marilyn Chin 曾獲眾多獎項，包括美國國家藝術基金會、國際筆會 Josephine Miles Award 等。其作品列入牛津現代美國文學選集、The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry 等。「香港國際文學節」形容其作品是「亞裔美國人的經典」。她目前是聖地亞哥州立大學的榮譽退休教授，同時亦擔任 Academy of American Poets 院長。
「詩歌基金會」是一獨立文學組織，出版 Poetry 雜誌。頒獎典禮將於 9 月 21 日網上舉行。
How I Got That Name
an essay on assimilation
I am Marilyn Mei Ling Chin
Oh, how I love the resoluteness
of that first person singular
followed by that stalwart indicative
of "be," without the uncertain i-n-g
of "becoming." Of course,
the name had been changed
somewhere between Angel Island and the sea,
when my father the paperson
in the late 1950s
obsessed with a bombshell blond
transliterated "Mei Ling" to "Marilyn."
And nobody dared question
his initial impulse—for we all know
lust drove men to greatness,
not goodness, not decency.
And there I was, a wayward pink baby,
named after some tragic white woman
swollen with gin and Nembutal.
My mother couldn't pronounce the "r."
She dubbed me "Numba one female offshoot"
for brevity: henceforth, she will live and die
in sublime ignorance, flanked
by loving children and the "kitchen deity."
While my father dithers,
a tomcat in Hong Kong trash—
a gambler, a petty thug,
who bought a chain of chopsuey joints
in Piss River, Oregon,
with bootlegged Gucci cash.
Nobody dared question his integrity given
his nice, devout daughters
and his bright, industrious sons
as if filial piety were the standard
by which all earthly men are measured.
Oh, how trustworthy our daughters,
how thrifty our sons!
How we've managed to fool the experts
in education, statistic and demography—
We're not very creative but not adverse to rote-learning.
Indeed, they can use us.
But the "Model Minority" is a tease.
We know you are watching now,
so we refuse to give you any!
Oh, bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots!
The further west we go, we'll hit east;
the deeper down we dig, we'll find China.
History has turned its stomach
on a black polluted beach—
where life doesn't hinge
on that red, red wheelbarrow,
but whether or not our new lover
in the final episode of "Santa Barbara"
will lean over a scented candle
and call us a "bitch."
Oh God, where have we gone wrong?
We have no inner resources!
Then, one redolent spring morning
the Great Patriarch Chin
peered down from his kiosk in heaven
and saw that his descendants were ugly.
One had a squarish head and a nose without a bridge
Another's profile—long and knobbed as a gourd.
A third, the sad, brutish one
may never, never marry.
And I, his least favorite—
"not quite boiled, not quite cooked,"
a plump pomfret simmering in my juices—
too listless to fight for my people's destiny.
"To kill without resistance is not slaughter"
says the proverb. So, I wait for imminent death.
The fact that this death is also metaphorical
is testament to my lethargy.
So here lies Marilyn Mei Ling Chin,
married once, twice to so-and-so, a Lee and a Wong,
granddaughter of Jack "the patriarch"
and the brooding Suilin Fong,
daughter of the virtuous Yuet Kuen Wong
and G.G. Chin the infamous,
sister of a dozen, cousin of a million,
survived by everybody and forgotten by all.
She was neither black nor white,
neither cherished nor vanquished,
just another squatter in her own bamboo grove
minding her poetry—
when one day heaven was unmerciful,
and a chasm opened where she stood.
Like the jowls of a mighty white whale,
or the jaws of a metaphysical Godzilla,
it swallowed her whole.
She did not flinch nor writhe,
nor fret about the afterlife,
but stayed! Solid as wood, happily
a little gnawed, tattered, mesmerized
by all that was lavished upon her
and all that was taken away!
From The Phoenix Gone, The Terrace Empty by Marilyn Chin, published by Milkweed Editions.
1994 Marilyn Chin