Translator Denis Mair reviews Liang Yujing’s Zero Distance: New Poetry from China (Tinfish) for the International Examiner:
In the late 90s and early years of the new millennium, a polemical battle between “intellectual writing” and “populist writing” unfolded on Chinese websites … The populist camp was interested in developing China’s own native modernism; the intellectual writing camp seemed committed to working through Western modernist currents that had been interrupted during China’s period of leftist isolationism … we can hear reverberations of that clash in this concise anthology ably edited and translated by Liang Yujing. This svelte volume indeed gives English readers “a glimpse of what is being written in China now.” However, a random sampling would be confusing in a country where “good poetry can be found anytime anywhere…and good unknown poets can be seen at every corner of the land.”
This collection hangs together because the translator mines an authentic vein of native modernism. It also earns the title Zero Distance by affording glimpses into the life-experience of inquiring young minds since the new millennium.
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Announcing Zero Distance | New Poetry from China, edited and translated By Liang Yujing–newly published by Tinfish Press.
“Another anthology?” you’re probably thinking–“Just what we need! Put it on the shelf next to the other dozen or so anthologies of modern and contemporary Chinese poetry that have been published in English since 1990. But look at the names this anthology includes:
Ba Ling 八零 Xidu Heshang 西毒何殇 Song Yu 宋雨 Wang Youwei 王有尾 Li Suo 里所 Mie Ren 乜人 Zuo You 左右 Ma Fei 马非 Ai Hao 艾蒿 You Ruoxin 游若昕 Wu Yulun 吴雨伦 Li Xunyang 李勋阳 Qin Bazi 秦巴子 Dong Yue 东岳 Xi Wa 西娃 Zhu Jian 朱剑 Li Yi 李异 Ya Zi 芽子 Jiang Tao 蒋涛 Xiao Zhao 小招 Han Jingyuan 韩敬源 Tu Ya 图雅 Ouyang Yu 欧阳昱 Chun Sue 春树 Yu Youyou 余幼幼 Huang Haixi 黄海兮 Shen Haobo 沈浩波 Wei Huan 苇欢 Yi Sha 伊沙
I’ve barely seen any of these poets in an anthology before! Zero Distance, then, should be something new.
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