Teresa Mei Chuc


Author's Bio

Poet Laureate of Altadena, California (Editor-in-Chief) 2018-2020, Teresa Mei Chuc is the author of three full-length collections of poetry, Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012), Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014) and Invisible Light (Many Voices Press, 2018). Teresa Mei Chuc (mixed ancestry: Vietnamese, Cantonese & Japanese) was born in Saigon, Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Vietnam War while her father, who had served in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, remained in a Vietcong "reeducation" prison camp for nine years. Teresa, a fellow and teacher consultant of the Los Angeles Writing Project (a chapter of the National Writing Project), teaches literature and writing at a public high school. Teresa has a bachelors degree in philosophy, professional teaching credentials in primary and secondary education, and a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing (poetry) from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont. Teresa's poem, "Eternity in Gaza," is featured in Silkworms Ink's 50th Chapbook Anniversary Chapbook, L, an anthology of international poets and short fiction writers http://www.silkwormsink.com/. An avid reader of Russian literature and poetry, Teresa has studied the Russian language for about two decades and, in her spare time, translates her favorite poems from Russian into English. Teresa’s poetry appears in the anthology, Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees (W.W. Norton & Company). Teresa is founder and Editor-in-Chief of Shabda Press, a member of Coast to Coast Poetry Press Collective. She is editor of the poetry anthology, Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands. From the age of two and a half, Teresa grew up in Pasadena, California where she lives and loves, especially the surrounding Tongva Mountains in the Haramokgna area (San Gabriel Mountains) and Angeles National Forest. Teresa Mei Chuc's new chapbook of poetry is How One Loses Notes and Sounds (Word Palace Press, 2016). Teresa Mei Chuc has been a featured poet at Smith College, College of Southern Maryland, University of Indianapolis, University of California Riverside, University of Montana (Creative Writing Conference - Thinking Its Presence: Race & Creative Writing), Los Angeles-Trade Technical College, NEA Our Town "Poetry Within Reach" - Pasadena Rose Poets Featured Reading presented by City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division and Side Street Project, Pasadena Central Public Library (Donald R. Wright Auditorium), Santa Monica Public Library, Fullerton Public Library, Santa Catalina Branch Library, Studio City Public Library, Allendale Branch Library, Sierra Madre Public Library, Pasadena Central Library, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Vroman’s Bookstore, Borders Bookstore, Granada Books, Flintridge Bookstore (Rattle Reading Series, Moonday East Reading, and On Writing to Heal: Reading & Panel), Fact & Fiction Bookstore (Missoula, Montana), Shakespeare & Co (Missoula, Montana), Tia Chucha’s Centro Cultural & Bookstore, Beyond Baroque, The Utah Book Festival, The Bridgewater International Poetry Festival, Leimert Park Book Fair, Foothills Poetry Festival, San Gabriel Valley Poetry Festival, The Rapp Salo(o)n, USC Pacific Asia Museum, Bolton Hall Museum, Levantine Cultural Center, Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden, The World Stage, The Far East Lounge in Little Tokyo, Pasadena City Hall city council meeting (Pasadena Rose Poet reading), 2013 AWP Conference (Multicultural Panel of Poet Activists), 2016 AWP Conference (The Asian Face of War Panel & Inheriting the War Anthology Reading), Poets House, The New York City Poetry Festival on Governor’s Island, Steynberg Gallery, CORE Poetry/Performance Series, The Writer's Center (Bethesda, MD). Teresa has been a featured poet on the following television/radio shows: Literature Radio Show - Sex & Politics (Brooklyn College), Wake Up & Smell the Poetry (HCAM Television, Hopkinton, Massachusetts), Poets Cafe - KPFK 90.7 FM Pacific Radio Los Angeles, ON THE MARGIN - WPFW 89.3 FM, Out of Bounds - WEOS 89.7 FM & 90.3 FM (Geneva, NY) & WSKG 89.3 FM (Binghamton, NY)/90.9 FM (Ithaca, NY). Teresa lead a poetry workshop & conversation, “How We Heal & Transform Ourselves and Society Through Writing,” in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, and she lead a poetry workshop, “Nature as Metaphor,” at the 2016 Wrightwood Literary Festival in Wrightwood, California. In the summer of 2015, Teresa was the featured poet at East and West Languages and Cultures Center in Hanoi, Vietnam and, for the first time, read her poetry in English with Vietnamese translations in her motherland. For National Poetry Month in April 2016, Tricycle Magazine featured Teresa Mei Chuc’s poetry and discussion on the connection between poetry and compassion. Teresa read her poetry and discussed the role of poetry in sparking empathy across difference at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica, CA in January 2017. Teresa, along with several other poets of diverse backgrounds, spoke and read on a poetry panel titled "Metaphor or Misappropriation" at the Sierra Madre Library. Teresa's new collection is Invisible Light, published by Many Voices Press (Kalispell, Montana) in Fall 2018. Teresa is co-founding director of the nonprofit, The Regenerative Collective https://theregenerativecollective.tumblr.com/. Tribal adopted daughter of Tongva elder Gloria Arellanes, Teresa studies the Tongva language and dances hula in ceremony and prayer with Halau Kawahineeali’inohoikeanuenue’elua (Kumu: Mikilani Young). Ku kia'i mauna! Teresa practices tai chi (hao form, 108 moves) and Shaolin staff regularly. Making coil baskets and playing the violin are some of Teresa's favorite things to do. On February 24, 2019, Teresa completed a 40-Hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training (California Evidence Code 1037.1) and is a certified Domestic Violence Advocate.

Publications and Prizes

Invisible Light
(Many Voices Press, 2018)
, Keeper of the Winds
(Foothills Publishing, 2014)
, Red Thread
(Fithian Press, 2012)
Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees
(W. W. Norton & Company, 2017)
, L
(Silkworms Ink, 2011)
, Mo
(Silkworms Ink, 2011)
, Mo' Joe
(Beatlick Press, 2014)
, New Poets of the American West
(Many Voices Press, 2010)
, Nuclear Impact: Broken Atoms in Our Hands
(Shabda Press, 2017)
, Rise: An Anthology of Power and Unity
(Vagabond, 2017)
, Then & Now: Conversations with Old Friends
(Sadie Girl Press, 2015)
, Trumped
(Beatlick Press, 2017)
, Truth to Power: Writers Respond to the Rhetoric of Hate and Fear
(Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, 2017)
, With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century
(West End Press, 2014)
Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Atlas Poetica, Babel Fruit, Big Bridge, California English, Consequence, Cutthroat: A Journal of the Arts, EarthSpeak Magazine, English Journal, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hummingbird, Jack Magazine, Kyoto Journal, Masque & Spectacle, Memoir Journal, Miller's Pond, Mosaic, National Poetry Review, Pantheon Magazine, Poet Lore, PoetryMagazine.com, Rattle, Saltwater Press, Sugar Mule, Good Men Project, The Prose-Poem Project, The Splinter Generation, Verse Daily, Whitefish Review
Cartesian Product
(Silkworms Ink, 2010)
, Cartography of Family
(Chippens Press, 2010)
, Danaus Plexippus Plexippus
(Victorian Violet Press, 2010)
, How One Loses Notes and Sounds
(Word Palace Press, 2016)
, Truth is Black Rubber
(Silkworms Ink, 2010)
, Year of the Hare
(Shabda Press, 2013)
Prizes Won: 
Teresa Mei Chuc was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2012 for "Truth is Black Rubber," a section of poems in her collection RED THREAD, and she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2016 for her poem "Quan Am on a Dragon."

More Information

Listed as: 
Creative Nonfiction Writer, Poet
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Asian American
Prefers to work with: 
Fluent in: 
Chinese, English, Russian, Vietnamese
Born in: 
Saigon, Vietnam
Raised in: 
Pasadena, CA
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Mar 25, 2019