This has been doing the rounds for a week or so now, but doesn't get any less depressing. Michael Derrick Hudson chose an Asian pen name (Yi-Fen Chou) to place a poem that had been rejected 40 times. What isn't clear, is whether Derrick re-submitted this poem to the same publications that had rejected him.
His subterfuge became public after the poem was chosen for publication in the annual Best American Poetry anthology, in which he explains the pen name as a useful technique for publication.
If you click through to the article, you can read people better qualified than me, explain why this act of cultural appropriation is so upsetting to many.
The Asian American Writer's Workshop responded to Hudson's act with humour by creating a white pen name generator.
Franny Choi, a Frederick Bock Prize winner, told The Independent that the author’s deception is cultural appropriation at it’s purest, as Asian-Americans are forced to change their names to survive racism. “When I was in the second grade, I stopped going by my Korean name, Jeong Min, because at seven years old, I already felt the shame of being foreign and the exhaustion of hearing my name butchered over and over again. As a kid, I tried to imagine myself as an author but worried about how to hide my obviously Korean surname,” she said. “For Asian-Americans, changing our names is a strategy to survive a racist and nativist America. Michael Derrick Hudson's pseudonym is cultural appropriation at its purest — it’s stealing from the struggle of people of color for a white man's personal gain.”