Charlyne Yi

Is there anything you'd like to share about the work you do/projects your involved in/your interests?:

I'm writing a few children's books. One is about creation and destruction, which tackles how certain things must be destroyed in order for creation to take place. Like for instance forest fires have been prevented when there are several trees and shrubs that need to burn to germinate.  

Another book is about humans trying to play the role of God, and how dangerous that is. This one is a difficult subject that I'm trying to tackle. It was inspired by articles I read about the obsession that humans have with Golden Orb Spider silk. It's strong and golden. Humans have been putting thousands of spiders in these medieval wooden contraptions to steal their silk. But that wasn't enough for them. Now they've genetically compromised embryos of goats in an attempt to make their udders produce this golden silk, which they have failed at. It's incredibly scary when human's tamper with another creature's life because of greed.


What is moving you at this moment? 

I've been gravitating towards fire-pits lately. Sometimes just being near a big ball of fire has been heart-warming, soul-warming, and body-warming.


Could you describe your writing process?

I can't haha. 


How do poems and words connect us as human beings?

Well, we can't read minds, thank god, so words are the air to our relationships. It helps our relationships breathe and live. 


What is the path of love?

I'll let you know when I find out. 


What is the path of fear? 

Those stink clouds around Pig Pen.


Can you remember the first poem, story, or song lyrics you remember falling in love with?

Richard Brautigan's "If I Should Die Before You Do"


If I Should Die Before You Do


you wake up

from death,

you will find yourself

in my arms,


I will be

kissing you,



will be crying


Do you think can you describe your earliest memories of writing?

I wrote a song when I was 4 years old. I really loved Madonna's "Like a Prayer" and was really inspired with how gutsy she was. I wrote a handful of lyrics:

"Oh God, Oh God, 
Help me, I think I'm in love.
You probably think I'm stupid but I'm not.
Oh God, Oh God,
I'm falling. I'm in love.

After I wrote these lyrics, I ran downstairs, and rewarded myself by eating huge handfuls of Chocolate Nesquik. But when I returned to my masterpiece, my family had found my lyrics and made fun of me. I cried and cried, and didn't write another song till I was 15. It  was about accidentally killing a snail while walking in the rain.  


9. Where do your poems come from?

A shaky place inside me. 


10. What is your dream for the world?

That the Earth fights back and wins back the streets. Every time I see a tree's roots bursting from the uneven sidewalks I feel a little better.


11. Who would you like to see interviewed on We The Tender Hearted?

Angelo De Augustine

Photographs by Dani Fine