by Wang Ping
University of Georgia Press, 2018
Winner of the 2017 Award for Creative Nonficiton from the Association of Writers & Writing Programs
The Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers are the world’s third and fourth greatest. They have in common pollution, sinking deltas and cities (New Orleans and Shanghai), and pollution from agricultural and industrial runoffs. But also long histories of poets and artists inspired by them. Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi recounts the events during the author’s trips down the Yang Tze and Mississippi River as part of her Kinship of Rivers project, a public art endeavor “to build kinship among communities along the Mississippi and Yangtze, and bring awareness to the river’s ecosystem through art, literature, music, food and installations of river-flags made by river communities.” Wang writes “since 2012, we’ve traveled along the Yangtze, Mississippi, Missouri, Minnesota, St. Croix, Fraser, Amazon, Ganges, Po, and many other rivers around the world. We paddled and rowed, biked, walked and met with locals to make poetry, arts, music, food. We made friends with thousands of people, made over 3000 river flags, installed them along the rivers and on the Everest (the North Face and South Side), and spread our prayers for peace, harmony and love from the roof of the earth.”
Wang Ping is a poet, photographer, and performance and multimedia artist. She is also the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project.
edited by Ming Di
New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry – Tupelo Press, 2013
New Poetry from China: 1917–2017 – Black Square Editions, 2019
New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry showcases the achievement of Chinese poetry in the last twenty years, a time of tremendous literary ferment in the country, and focuses on a diverse group of poets, including Duo Duo and Liao Yiwu, as well as lesser-known poets such as Zang Di, Xiao Kaiyu, Jiang Tao, and Lu Yue. The anthology also includes eight interviews with the poets. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
New Poetry from China: 1917–2017 consists of poems chosen by poet and translator Ming Di, and features one hundred Chinese poems by writers of many ethnicities such as Yi, Manchu, Tibetan, Mongolian, and others. According to Ming Di, the New Poetry Movement was begun in Beijing in 1917 by Hu Shi, with the goal of changing the literary landscape in China. Ming writes: “Apparently influenced by the Modernist art in New York City and Anglo-American free verse while he was a student at Columbia University, [Hu Shi] wrote a long free verse poem in 1916 as an argument during the fierce and lengthy debate he had with his fellow Chinese students regarding free verse vs. classical poetry, and this obscure poem because the first free verse in vernacular language in the history of Chinese literature. and we are still writing in his shadow today.” Nearly a dozen translators have contributed their work. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Ming Di (pen name of Mindy Zhang) is a Chinese poet and translator who now lives in the United States. She co-founded Poetry East West journal. Some of her books in translation include River Merchant’s Wife, The Book of Cranes, and Empty Chairs—Poems by Liu Xia.
introduced and edited by Mark Bender
Victor H. Mair, University of Pennsylvania, Cambria Sinophone World Series, 2017
The Borderlands of Asia is a collection of works by poets of diverse cultural backgrounds from the borders of China and India: the Himalayas, Northeast India, Myanmar, West and Southwest China, and Mongolia. The book is the result of Mark Bender’s personal connection and research in those areas since the early 1980s. The themes include rapid environmental change, such as resource extraction; damming of rivers; loss of wildlife and habitat; population displacement; and how these changes influence traditional culture. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Mark Bender is a professor of Chinese literature and folklore at The Ohio State University.
Foreign Language Publications, The Ohio State University, 2016
Coyote Traces author Aku Wuwu, of the Yi ethnic minority in Southwest China, shares his real journey through both nations and the internconnection of cultures and languages.
In the words of author Aku Wuwu: “In these poems, I have tried to record the tangible and intangible heritages of Native Americans as I perceive them. In the process, I occassionally invoke my own Nuosu heritage. Imbibing the fresh air of other peoples’ cultures, I ponder over my personal spiritual life and the home of my soul. I wish to combine these shattered fragments into some serious ideas and thoughts. While writing these so-called cross-lingual and cross-cultural texts, I have attempted to explore the real nature of humanity, which has occassionally turned out to be a spiritual pilgramage back to my own native civilization.”
The collection of 80 poems, written in both Chinese and English translations, includes 9 full-color photo plates from the author’s journey. Paperback, 377 pages. (Publisher’s description)
by Jia Pingwa
University of Oklahoma Press, 2016
Originally published in 1993, Ruined City (Fei Du) was banned by China’s State Publishing Administration for its explicit sexual content. Since then, Jia Pingwa’s novel of contemporary China’s social and economic transformation has become a bestseller. The story of a famous contemporary writer’s sexual and legal tangles, the novel uses comedy and parody to comment on issues of intellectual seriousness, censorship, and artistic integrity in a changing Chinese society. (Adapted from publisher’s description)
Jia Pingwa (1952- ) stands with Mo Yan and Yu Hua as one of the most prominent and prolific novelists in contemporary Chinese literature. His novels, short stories and essays have a large readership in mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan. The French translation of Ruined City won the French Prix Femina in 1997.
edited and translated by David E. Pollard
The Chinese University Press, 2014
Toward the end of the eighteenth century, Ji Xiaolan, widely regarded as the most eminent scholar and foremost wit of his age, published five collections of anecdotes and discourses on the interaction between the mundane and spirit worlds, and purely earthly life stories and happenings. Settings range from the milieux of peasants, servants, and merchants to those of governors and ministers, and extend to the far reaches of the Qing empire. They include pieces comparing comedy and tragedy, cruelty and kindness, corruption and integrity, erudition and ignorance, credulity and skepticism. (adapted from publisher’s website)
David E. Pollard was Professor of Chinese in the University of London and later Professor of Translation in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. His books include The True Story of Lu Xun (2002), Zhou Zuoren: Selected Essays (2006), and The Chinese Essay (1999).
by Wena Poon
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014
Shanghai, 1936. On the eve of World War II, the Jewish, Chinese and Japanese customers of a famous Viennese café on Zhoushan Road get together for an international project: to bake the ‘king of the cakes’, the legendary German baumkuchen. Illustrated with modern and vintage photography. (Amazon.com)
American novelist Wena Poon is the author of ten books of fiction, often exploring diaspora culture, transnational identity, and gender. Her stories have been widely anthologized and translated into French, Italian, and Chinese.
edited by Ou Ning and Austin Woerner
University of Oklahoma Press, 2015
Volume 4 in the Chinese Literature Today Book Series
These stories are drawn from the pages of Chutzpah!, one of China’s most innovative literary magazines. They range in setting from the suburbs of Nanjing to the mountains of Xinjiang Province, from London’s Chinatown to a universe seemingly sprung from a video game. In them, readers encounter a sweet, lonely fabric store owner, a lesbian house cleaner, a posse of shit-talking vo-tech students, a human hive-mind, a jeep-driving swordsman who reads Borges and Nabokov, and other assortments of bizarre humans and water spirits. (adapted from the publisher’s website)
Based in rural Anhui Province, Ou Ning is author of New Sound of Beijing. He served as editor-in-chief of Chutzpah! magazine from 2011 to 2014. Austin Woerner is the translator of Doubled Shadows: Selected Poetry of Ouyang Jianghe.
edited by Ming Di
Tupelo Press, 2013
The most up-to-date anthology of contemporary Chinese poetry, translated by American poets and edited by the executive editor of the bilingual literary journal Poetry East West. Showcasing the achievement of Chinese poetry in the last twenty years, a time of tremendous literary ferment, this collection focuses on a diversity of exciting poets from the mainland, highlighting Duo Duo (laureate of the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature) and Liao Yiwu (recipient of 2012 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade organization) along with not yet well-known but brilliant poets such as Zang Di and Xiao Kaiyu and younger poets Jiang Tao and Lü Yue. The anthology includes interviews with the poets and a fascinating survey of their opinions on “Ten Favorite Chinese poets” and “Ten Best-Known Western poets in China.”
“With its carefully-selected range of poets and choice of contents, New Cathay is an up-to-date and exciting take on Chinese contemporary poetry. …it stands on its own as a literary anthology of Chinese contemporary poets, and allows us to review the diversity of Chinese contemporary poetry in terms of poetic style and subject.” — Jennifer Wong, The Asian Review of Books
by Bei Dao
Edited by Eliot Weinberger
New Directions, 2010
The Rose of Time: New & Selected Poems is the newest collection from contemporary Chinese poet Bei Dao, spanning his entire writing career. Distinguished by humanist philosophies and experimental techniques, Bei Dao creates an alternative reality that can be sullen, bitter, and violent, yet also fertile and hopeful. His work attempts to understand the nature of identity, public and private afflictions, and human problems grounded in all modern societies. This bilingual edition includes a preface form the author and an afterward by the editor, Eliot Weinberger. (Publisher’s Description)
Bei Dao (born Zhao Zhenkai, 1949 in Beijing, China) founded the literary magazine Today (Jintian) along with Mank Ke. Bei Dao’s poems have been used as political anthems and humanistic tropes, most notably in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. His work has been translated into twenty-five langauges. Bei Dao is currently a Professor of Humanities at the University of Hong Kong.