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John Yau (b. 1950), poet, art critic, and essayist, was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, shortly after his parents fled Shanghai. He received his B.A. from Bard College (1972) and his M.F.A. from Brooklyn College (1978). His poetry books include Forbidden Entries (1996), Borrowed Love Poems (2002), and the recent Ing Grish (2005), a collaboration with painter Thomas Nozkowski. Yau has edited an anthology of fiction, Fetish (1998). He also contributed a long essay on Robert Creeley's poetry and poetics to the catalogue In Company: Robert Creeley's Collaborations (1999).
His writing on art includes the titles In the Realm of Appearances: The Art of Andy Warhol (1993) and The United States and Jasper Johns (1996), as well as numerous contributions to catalogs and monographs. He has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, and other institutions. Yau teaches art criticism at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and lives in Manhattan.