Are Pen Names Ethical?

Perhaps some of you remember the controversy over the 2015 edition of Best American Poetry (BAP). After the 75 chosen poems were announced, one of the authors stepped forward to reveal he had used a pseudonym. Instead of being “Yi-Fen Chou,” as the poem states, his name is Michael Derrick Hudson.

As you can imagine, there was quite a lot of backlash. Some felt that Hudson had been highly manipulative and that his poem should be pulled. Others applauded his actions, saying he had revealed the racial bias of the anthology that was keeping out poems based off the author’s ethnicity alone.

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