An Introduction to Molly Zhu by Tiffany Troy

The two poems featured by Tupelo Quarterly, “I dream of all my insecurities” and “The girl with no hands” sample Molly Zhu’s tender-hearted and freedom-driven poetry.

“I dream of all my insecurities” is an ekphrastic poem inspired by visual artist, Ilsse Peredo. Zhu writes: “I dream of escaping a trap/ that I’ve built for myself” and draws from the power of music in its repetition to put to words a speaker’s insecurities, longing and fears, in a world which sometimes seeks to pin and chase her down. In what language do we dream? And might our imagination in fact be rooted in a greater preoccupation? I find behind the bombast in “The girl with no hands” is an artist’s solitude, as the artist searches for her family and by extension, herself.

Molly Zhu is a Chinese American poet and attorney. She likes to write about chasms, dreams, tears, rage, translation and the women in her life. She was twice nominated for Pushcart prizes and has been published in both print and online journals including Hobart Pulp, the Ghost City Press, and Bodega Magazine, among others. She currently serves as assistant poetry editor for Passengers Journal, and she is the winner of the 2021 Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize awarded by the Cordella Press. Her debut chapbook, Asian American Translations, is now available for purchase. She is currently working on a full length poetry manuscript dedicated to womxn, their dreams, conceptions of feminism and freedom. You can learn more at