Jenny Yang Cropp

jenny Yang Cropp (Poetry) | Lawton, OK

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Jenny Yang Cropp is a Korean American poet from Oklahoma. Her debut collection, String Theory, was published by Mongrel Empire Press in 2015. Her work has appeared in a variety of journals including Boxcar Poetry Review, Ecotone, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Eclipse. Several of her poems were anthologized in the 2015 Nodin Poetry Anthology. She received an MFA from Minnesota State University-Mankato and is a PhD candidate in English at the University of South Dakota where she served for two years as the managing editor of South Dakota Review. She currently teaches English at Cameron University in Lawton, Oklahoma.


String Theory (Mongrel Empire Press, 2015). Poetry.
String Theory (Mongrel Empire Press, 2015). Poetry.

Press & Reviews

Jenny Yang Cropp’s debut volume of poetry, String Theory, is a devastating meditation on mixed-race identity. This volume navigates the fraught distances between maternal Korean ancestry and hardscrabble Oklahoma roots, cataloguing a litany of childhood abandonment, addiction, sexual trauma, and young motherhood. These powerful poems, with their deft music and keen intellect, are both emotionally cataclysmic and recuperative, and reveal Jenny Yang Cropp’s gorgeous poetic voice as stunningly unforgettable.
—Lee Ann Roripaugh, Author of Dandarians

String Theory is a book of searching. “Looking for the m attached to other,” these poems strive to conjure up what has been lost: a mother, a sister, past histories that might take on “mass and weight instead of bells and wings.” But there is no nostalgia in these elegies. Even at their most harrowing, these are poems of open-eyed witness, echoing a mother who, making kimchi, knows “to stuff the jar / quietly, and not to flinch.” The reward for these excavations, uncompromising in their vulnerability, is the discovery of the vibrations that resonate between past and present, as “my mother’s missing breast / hums back into existence as my own,” revealing that “the universe / is again a moving, breathing thing.” What comes through above all is Jenny Yang Cropp’s clear, strong voice, as it “leans in / to tell me the thing she’s not supposed to talk about.”
—Timothy Yu, Author of 100 Chinese Silences

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