Winniebell Xinyu Zong

Poet

Overview

Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a Chinese poet and chapbook editor at Newfound Press. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, The Southern Review, swamp pink, and Meridian, among others. A recipient of the Mellon Fellowship for the Urban Justice Lab, she was a semi-finalist for the 92NY Discovery Poetry Prize in 2022. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, Best of Net, and AWP’s Intro Journals Project, Zong holds an English MA from Kansas State University and a poetry MFA from Cornell University, where she now teaches creative writing as a lecturer. 

Extended Bio

Born in Zibo, China in 1995, Winniebell Xinyu Zong is a poet and chapbook editor at Newfound Press. Her recent poems are forthcoming or have appeared in Poetry, Crazyhorse (now Swamp Pink), The Southern Review, and Meridian, among others. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize, Best New Poets, Best of Net, and AWP’s Intro Journals Project, Zong was the 2020 poetry winner of Columbia Journal’s “Womxn’s History Month Special Issue,” a semi-finalist for the 2022 92NY Discovery Poetry Prize, and a finalist for the Palette Poetry 2022 Emerging Poets Prize.

In 2018, Zong earned her B.A. in English from Franklin & Marshall College. Having studied creative writing in the U.S. since 2014, Zong aspired to write about overcoming on foreign land. She came to understand solidarity through her maternal bloodline, whose power churned her literature into a rhythmic desire for justice. Her recent work seeks to re-examine intergenerational trauma, sexual assault, and self-care through the lens of recognizing systemic oppression. Zong strives to gather the confessional nature of womanly kinship through surprising and meaningful imagery, visual presentation in form and pattern, and intentional word choice. She hopes her poems reach readers physically—a breath in the gut, a furrow of the fist, a crawling on the skin.

As the 2020 Frontier Poetry editorial fellow, Zong created and solicited for the “Director Insights” interview series, selected new poetry books to conduct author interviews on for “How It’s Made” and “Poet in the Mirror,” and maintained a vibrant Twitter presence for Frontier. She enjoyed working closely with the editorial team to discover exceptional pieces.

In spring 2021, Zong served as a publishing intern at Copper Canyon Press, where she read for manuscript submissions and worked on independent and collaborative projects in editing, marketing, fundraising, production, and publicity for upcoming collections. Additionally, she helped plan monthly DEI dialogues and advocated for equity-minded furtherance of the intern program.

Zong earned an MA from Kansas State University in 2021, where she received the Seaton Fellowship for Graduate Students in Creative Writing, the Edwards Scholarship for Academic Excellence, and the International Leadership Award, among others. As the editor-in-chief of Touchstone Literary Magazine, she transformed the locally circulated print magazine into an online platform committed to amplifying underrepresented voices. Under her stewardship, Touchstone reopened its submission access internationally and initiated practices to offer every contributor an honorarium, free submissions for BIPOC writers, and the soliciting of authors’ audio recordings for access equity. One of the nonfiction pieces she accepted, edited, and nominated for, written by Yuko Taniguchi, won Best of the Net.

Zong earned her MFA in poetry at Cornell University in 2023, where she was a recipient of the David L. Picket Thesis Fellowship, the Mellon Foundation Fellowship for the Urban Justice Lab, East Asia Research Travel Grant, and Graduate School Research Travel Grant. She read for Epoch during her first year and taught ENGL 1160: “Intersections: Race, Writing, and Power” through BIPOC poetics and power narratives. She currently teaches creative writing as a lecturer at Cornell University. 

Research Focus

  • Creative Writing: Poetry, Fiction, & Nonfiction
  • Asian American Literature & Theories
  • Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
  • Chinese Literature
  • Grief, Trauma, & Healing from Surviving Sexual Assault

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