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March 24, 2023

In a poetry collection that BookLife Reviews called “striking,” Chinese poet Xueyan employs biblical themes to explore her spirituality in these “richly emotional poems of faith, connection, and eternity.”     

Time Peels All to Original White is your debut work. What prompted you to start writing it?

The color of my mother’s hair grows whiter and whiter as the years go on and on relentlessly.

Were there any poems that you wanted to include but couldn’t fit into the collection of 139 poems?

Sure, here’s a poem that is not included. It’s just self-irony I use to tease myself when I do something I think is smart or stupid:

Sign & Sigh

Genius is the sign of God
Dummy is the sigh of God  

How do you imagine readers at this moment will connect to Time Peels All to Original White?

Many people have been through moments of loss and grief, especially during this pandemic; here’s a poem from the collection:

Why Are Saints in This Sinful World

The night sky is dark
so the stars can shine 

Maybe all life’s sorrows and pains can make us cherish the happiness and laughs we share with those we care about, cherish each moment we spend with them, especially after trauma, more than ever. If someone we love is gone, our precious memory will support us and keep us going, even with a smile.

If you could pick anyone to give this book to, who would it be and why? 

I’d want to give it to a distressed and tired person. Maybe she or he is now sitting on a park lawn or a subway bench or wandering up and down the street helplessly. If my poetry could soothe this lonely soul, even a little bit, even for just a moment, then maybe my poetry will have met its mission.

Recently, a reader wrote that she was touched by my poem “Joy” and finds a place to keep it in her being. I am touched by her comment and want to share this poem:


What dwells within a body?
A soul
What dwells within a soul?
A song
What dwells within a song?
Only sorrow
I dream of a land
where every heart when lonely dances
every petal when withers arrives at pearly gates
every tear becomes a star

Can readers expect more from you soon?

I hope so. Readers are welcome to visit my website and send me a message at Their encouragement will be a sparkling star for my writing momentum.