A poet named Michael Derrick Hudson has recently come under fire for using the pen name Yi-Fen Chou, apparently as a strategy to get his work published. You can read more about it at NPR, WaPo, and Slate. I don’t really want to wade into the controversy, except to make the following points:
- I am white, and blog under the pen name “Mei-Mei”
- I think I have been fairly clear about #1 on my blog? I have at least intended to be.
- Based on this, it seems hypocritical for me to universally decry Hudson’s actions, but neither will I universally defend something that seems so ethically dubious.
- I think there are several key differences between Hudson’s situation and mine. I am willing to go into further detail if anyone wants thoughtful discussion.
- I have updated my “About” page to explain why I use the pen name “Mei-Mei” (complete with terrible high school fan art), and I am happy to answer any follow-up questions anyone has. I may write a longer post about it in the future.
- If I ever publish my fiction “for real,” I will be using my real name.