Ai

Ai was born Florence Anthony in 1947. She legally changed her name to Ai, meaning “love” in Japanese. Her poetry is often concerned with her identity and feminist politics. She includes first-person accounts in her work, many of which have earned praise. Her first collection was Cruelty, published in 1973.

Cuba, 1962

by Ai

Ai’s poem ‘Cuba, 1962’ appears in her poetry collection Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999), winner of the National Book Award for Poetry. This piece is written in the context of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

The Kid

by Ai

Ai’s poem ‘The Kid’ presents a haunting tale of a fourteen-year-old boy who kills his mother, sister, and grandfather, and then runs away. It appears in her award-winning poetry collection Vice: New and Selected Poems (1999).

The Man with the Saxophone

by Ai

‘The Man with the Saxophone’ by Ai contains a description of a lonely, quiet New York street and the moments of happiness the narrator experiences while listening to music.

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