Contemporary Chinese Poetry in Pangolin House

2016-02-26_1002The new issue of Pangolin House features translations of poems by Liu Wai-tong 廖偉棠 and Zhang Shuguang 张曙光, translated by Diana Shi and George O’Connell.

From Liu Wai-tong’s 讀中唐史 “Mid-Tang History”:

On the riverbank, the rebel army
passing with torches,
singing some barbaric tune.
Let them; I can’t make out a word.
Today, my white shift tattered,
I’m more like a flower.

Click the image above for the full issue.

Chinese Poetry at Epiphany

The journal Epiphany, with Nick Admussen as poetry editor, has published a suite of contemporary Chinese pieces, including the following:

  • Chun Sue 春树 (translated by Martin Winter)
  • Mu Cao 墓草 (translated by Scott E. Myers)
  • Liu Waitong 廖偉棠 (translated by Audrey Heijins)
  • Xiao Kaiyu 肖开愚 (translated by Christopher Lupke)
  • Haizi 海子 (translated by Nick Kaldis)
  • Sai Sai (Xi Xi) 西西 (translated by Jennifer Feeley)
  • Hsia Yü 夏宇 (translated by Steve Bradbury)
  • Yao Feng 姚风 (translated by Tam Hio Man and Kit Kelen)
  • Han Dong 韩东 (translated by Nicky Harman)
  • Huang Lihai 黄礼孩 (translated by Song Zijiang)

Click the image above for an online sample, including pieces by Mu Cao and Hsia Yü:

He says the world is very big
We should go outside and look around
That’s how one wards off sadness
We should go to a gay bathhouse in Beijing
And experience group sex with a hundred people
Or go to Dongdan Park, or Sanlihe, or Madian
And know a different kind of lust
If I could visit Yellow Crane Tower
I’d have new inspiration for writing poems
He says all the great artists
Were fine comrades like us

AAWW’s Four Poems for the Umbrella Movement

Photo by David HillThe Asian American Writers’ Workshop has published four poems on the Occupy Central Umbrella Movement by Hongkong poets Tang Siu Wa, Chung Kwok Keung, Dorothy Tse, and Liu Waitong, as translated by Nicolette Wong, Tammy Ho Lai-Ming, and Amy K. Bell. Edited by Louise Law and introduced by Henry Wei Leung, here’s an excerpt (from Chung Kwok Keung, translated by Ho):

Let’s put silence to a coma in the dark of night
Let’s allow our voice, clear and loud, to be heard at dawn
Occupy, so that it can be put back in place
Sit down, and then stand up, one by one
When our names are called,
Each and every one of us, say: Here.

Click on the image for the full feature.

The Translator and the Translated: A conversation on Hong Kong‘s literature

Asymptote journal makes its debut at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival with acclaimed local journal Fleurs des Lettres (字花), with an evening of bilingual readings and discussions. Local writers Hon Lai Chu 韓麗珠, Dorothy Tse 謝曉虹, and Liu Waitong 廖偉棠 will read excerpts of their work in Cantonese with accompanying English translations. Translators and Asymptote contributors Lucas Klein, Christopher Mattison, and Doug Robinson, will join them for a conversation on the possibilities and challenges of translation, especially of Hong Kong Literature. A reception and an opportunity to engage with the participants will follow the event. The event is generously supported by Yuan Yang, HKU’s journal of international and Hong Kong literature.
Date: 5 Nov 2014
Time: 6 – 8 pm
Venue: HKU Convocation Room, Main Building 429, The University of Hong Kong
Admission is free and open to the public
Please reserve FREE tickets here.

Kwame Dawes on Poetry & China

from Kwame Dawes’s blog about Poetry International Rotterdam:

There is a room in which a remarkable online conversation is going on with thinkers and poets in China. A streaming system is in place and we are having these interviews and conversations with folks in China who have read translations of our poems and while it does not feel like it, we are told that thousands are viewing the stream in China. This strikes me as uncanny. I am not sure what I have said. I read a poem by a man whose pen name is Cricket. It is a fine poem. It is a poem that reminds me of something I heard when I was in Hong Kong: that there exists a fascinating genius of transformation in China that makes ancestral worship secular and non-mystical. It must be by fiat.  It is also by faith. If we believe that they live among us, as so many in Africa and around the world do, then we are actually engaged in reality. I have not stopped thinking about this.


And here is where I can end in praise of poetry festivals like this one. When poets make their personal lists, and especially if they have had a chance to attend such festivals, their lists may not be myopic, limited by geographies and cultures, but may at last begin to engage writers from around the world. For my part, after this week, Roland Jooris, Liu Waitong, Ester Naomi Perquin, Mustafa Stitou, and Yang Lian will occupy my interest for a while. Not bad, not bad at all.

Chinese Poetry Events at Rotterdam

Chinese poetry events at Poetry International Rotterdam:

Leeszaal Rotterdam West : reading
Liu Waitong, Qin Xiaoyu, Yang Lian
 18:30 – 19:30  POETRY READING
Small Auditorium : reading
Ester Naomi Perquin, Ilya Kaminsky, Liu Waitong, Michèle Métail
Small Auditorium : active poetry
Small Auditorium : special event
Small Auditorium : reading  LIVE STREAM
Liu Waitong, Qin Xiaoyu, Yang Lian
Foyer : crossovers
Daniel Bănulescu, Ester Naomi Perquin, Qin Xiaoyu
Garden Café Floor : translation
 18:30 – 19:30  POETRY READING
Small Auditorium : reading
Daniel Bănulescu, Ken Babstock, Mustafa Stitou, Qin Xiaoyu
 21:30 – 23:00  GATEWAY: FINAL PROGRAM
Main Auditorium : special event  LIVE STREAM
Ilya Kaminsky, James Byrne, Jan Glas, Karinna Alves Gulias, Liu Waitong, Michèle Métail, Qin Xiaoyu, Roland Jooris