she heard tales about saving grapefruit skins for cooking she grew bright under the neon dragon of Chinatown she made saffron curry rice for friends she attended a barbecue in Amarillo, Texas she stepped around yellow piss in snow she cut herself on a Hawaiian pineapple she learned to name forsythia where it
Frances Chung was born and raised in Chinatown, New York. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematics from Smith College and taught math in New York City public schools. Chung published her poetry in numerous anthologies and journals and was awarded fellowships from the New York Times Company Foundation and the New York State Council on the Arts. She died in 1990 at the age of forty, leaving behind two manuscripts that were posthumously compiled and published as Crazy Melon and Chinese Apple: The Poems of Frances Chung (Wesleyan University Press, 2000).