“Reader, you are lucky to have the award-winning chapbook of JinJin Xu before you. These superb poems resonate with personal and cultural intimacy. JinJin Xu writes with the insight and skill of a veteran poet, a doyen, a griot. Her lines open and breathe on the page as they do in the mind and heart. There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife is inventive, linguistic, ambitious, tender, wise, brave. This fabulous chapbook may be a collector’s item someday.”
Xu’s inter-disciplinary work is birthed from poetry, realizing itself in various forms of docu-poetics: unheard soundscapes, unspoken memories, the taboos in our most intimate relationships, the tensions between mothers/daughters. Her work moves between poetry, experimental film, sound Installations, and performance— seeking to hear what lies beneath ordinary reality, creating a new poetics of witness through echoes and stutters and dialect.
She is the 2020 winner of the Poetry Society of America’s George Bogin Memorial Award and her poems have received honors from 92Y Discovery Prize, Southern Humanities Review, Tupelo Press, Poetry Society of America's Cecil Hemley Prize, Global Research Institute (Athens), and two Pushcart nominations.
Her installations, films, and performances have/will be exhibited at How Museum, Shanghai, the 13th Shanghai Biennial, Berlin’s Harun Farocki Institute, NYC’s The Immigrant Artist Biennial, NYU's Production Lab, LA Design Festival, Shanghai's Powerlong Museum and she was a curatorial fellow at the Flaherty Seminars.
She received her BA from Amherst College and traveled for a year as a Thomas J. Watson Fellow recording docu-poems with women dislocated cross nine countries. She received her MFA in Poetry from NYU, where was a Lillian Vernon fellow, and taught hybrid ballet-writing workshops through NYU Tisch's Art of Future Imaginations Grant.
Her debut chapbook There Is Still Singing in the Afterlife was selected by Aria Aber for the inaugural Own Voices Chapbook Prize (Radix Media, 2020). Her second chapbook This Is My Testimony interrogates language, otherness, and belonging in writing workshops (Black Warrior Review, 2022).
She was named 100 Most Influential Chinese in 2023 by Forbes China.