Xi Chuan 西川 (penname of Liu Jun 刘军) was born in Jiangsu in 1963 but grew up in Beijing, where he still lives. One of contemporary China’s most celebrated poets, having won the Lu Xun Prize for Literature (2001) and the Zhuang Zhongwen Prize (2003), he is also one of its most hyphenated littérateurs—teacher-essayist-translator-editor-poet—and has been described by American writer Eliot Weinberger as a “polymath, equally at home discussing the latest American poetry or Shang Dynasty numismatics.” A graduate of the English dept. of Beijing University, where his thesis was on Ezra Pound’s Chinese translations, he is currently employed at the Central Academy for Fine Arts in Beijing, where he was hired as an English instructor, then taught Western literature in Chinese translation, and now teaches pre-modern Chinese literature. He has taught at New York University (2007) and University of Victoria (2009), and recently published his translations of Gary Snyder into Chinese.


Lucas Klein—a former radio DJ and union organizer—is a writer, translator, and editor of CipherJournal.com. His translations, poems, essays, and articles have appeared at Two Lines, and Drunken Boat, Jacket, Rain Taxi, and PMLA. A graduate of Middlebury College (BA) and Yale University (PhD), he is Assistant Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. With Clayton Eshleman he co-translated a collection of Bei Dao 北島 poems, published as Endure (Black Widow, 2011), and his translation Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems of Xi Chuan (New Directions, 2012) was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in poetry. He is also at work translating Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin 李商隱 and seminal contemporary poet Mang Ke 芒克.

6 thoughts on “About

  1. In addition to the links you can find from the front page of this blog, my translation of Xi Chuan’s selected poems, Notes on the Mosquito, will be out from New Directions this April.

    I’m afraid I don’t know much about his translations into French.


  2. Hello Mr. Klein, my name is Agnès Dupuis from Montréal, Canada, and I am a big fan of Xi Chuan, of your site, of your translations. I am now doing my PhD, and the subject of my research is Xi Chuan’s poetry and the challenge of his translation in French. I was wandering if it’s possible for you to help me with this: I am looking for what the young misty poets, during Cultural Revolution, were reading in the countryside. Do you know what yellow cover books are? I know that Baudelaire was translated in Chinese at that time, but who else the young misty poets were reading, maybe in clandestinity, before they began to write? Do you know where I can find this information? Thank you very much, and please forget my broken English, Agnès Dupuis

  3. Hello
    I read Notes on a Mosquito several years ago and loved it. I put a short review on my Goodreads page. I just now found your website while diving down the rabbit hole starting with the NYT review of Yu Xiuhua’s poetry, moving on to the ArtsBeiing competition and stumbling in here. I don’t have a question, but would like to be added to any feed or email list you have when new posts are added.

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