- Book Review:
Lois P. Jones reviewing Anna Yin’s “Wings Toward Sunlight” (Loch Raven Review, 2011)
You have an affinity with the Imagists, a group of poets I think fascinating. The poems are certainly heartfelt and mysterious (in a good way!). You have a knack for saying things simply and evocatively. You should defend this gift! You have mapped out a technique for yourself and you should continue to explore its possibilities. It will be a long time before you have exhausted the style you have developed. — Richard Greene (English professor of U of T)
It is a beautiful book, crafted by a beautiful poet. You have a great tell-tale line. It is “You outlive.” Beautiful, beautiful. –John Robert Colombo
“Anna Yin’s delicate, sensitive and haunting poetry will sweep you off your feet, carry you to exciting, exotic places and land you right in your own backyard. From her carefully crafted Haiku, to her sorrowful, melodic, sweet verses, you will not be able to put her work down, nor will you be able to read those beautiful poems only once. You will want to read them over and over again.”
– I.B. Iskov, editor and founder of the Ontario Poetry Society
- Anna Yin’s poetry provides a gracious blend of elements from both Asian and Western poetic traditions. She says in one poem, “I wake to listen.” Indeed, she does listen: she listens especially to the natural environment, dreams and the longings of the heart. There is a mysterious quality about some of her poems which pulls at the reader’s feelings. Images (such as “a river / where a black rose floated,” and metaphors (such as tea grown cold, bread in a toaster and “a hooked fish”) will not readily be forgotten. You will want to put this book on the nightstand or coffee table where you can pick them up and read them again.
An authentic, direct tone brings the author’s native Chinese voice to these poems, which are charming and fresh at their best. There is a Mary Oliver-like feel of ‘merging with nature’ captured in simple diction and similes, and unusual images.
–Elana Wolff/ Poet and Editor from Toronto
- It is a rare thing to come across a first collection of poems that leaves the reader feeling completely captivated and awed. Writing mainly in short narrative lyrics, Yin’s highly imagistic style brims with freshly-conceived similes and metaphors and an economy of language that belies the powerful messages of loss and love. These are poems that remain with you long after you have finished reading them; a collection that constantly surprises and delights with its beautifully-rendered images, unexpected turns of phrases, and its equally powerful quiet moments of longing and regret. Simply dazzling!
-Laura Lush / Poet and Instructor from University of Toronto
- “There is not a wasted word in Yin’s poem “Raspberries”. The poem is a concise exploration of a moment; a modern interpretation of the kind of classical Chinese poems in which a specific scene, thought or feeling is condensed and captured in the most economic way. Yet despite its focus on a particular instant, Yin’s poem still allows for a number of interpretations.”
– Tammy Ho, Cha Magazine
- “Beautiful verses and powerful images touched many readers.”
– Alan Neal, host, CBC Radio
- “Anna Yin is one the bravest poets I have read…she dares to straddle the line between two languages, two very different cultures and strives to find an acceptable service to both….I often find bits of poetry in her writing that are like small Chinese miniatures, bits of meditation where the mind makes lovely images of the commonplace.”
– Don Schaeffer
- “Not all poets have the talent for honing in on just the right word, but Yin possesses that rare gift.”
– Sandy Millar, Mississauga News
- “The blending of East and West adds a fascinating dimension to her oeuvre. Her unique voice represents a new direction in contemporary Canadian literature.”
– Paul Hartal