The Dialogue between Chinese and Indian Writers is organized by Hong Kong Poetry Festival Foundation and two prominent literary magazines—Today from China and Almost Island from India. The Dialogue will be held in Hong Kong on 13-14 October 2018 at the University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong.
Today and Almost Island have been convening contemporary Chinese and Indian writers, critics, musicians and artists for international cultural exchange since 2009. Their ongoing discussions cover a wide range of topics—literature, music and art, as well as culture, politics and history, in company with poetry recitals, fiction readings and music performances.
After the events in Hong Kong, they will further their conversations in Hangzhou, Mainland China.
Date: 13-14 October 2018
Venue: University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
Address: 90 Bonham Road, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
Hong Kong Poetry Festival Foundation
University Museum and Art Gallery, The University of Hong Kong
Shuyu Coffee 舒羽咖啡
Almost Island is a space for literature that threatens, confronts, or bypasses the marketplace. The space began with an online journal, then expanded to an international writers dialogue, held every year. The seventh edition of the Almost Island Dialogues will be held at the India International Centre, New Delhi, from December 19th to 22nd, 2013.
The discussions centre on issues of craft, form, and content as well as the context of writing in different cultures. Unlike a literary festival, Almost Island likes to keep the Dialogues small, rigorous, and intimate. These conversations are concerned with process, with how things are learnt, explored, created, and created again. This year we plan to continue with some singular writers. The mornings and afternoons are kept for intense, extended, freewheeling talks and discussions; the evenings, for readings and performances.
The readings are open to all, but to attend the day discussions pre-registration is needed. For pre-registration and any other queries, please write to Rahul Soni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evening Readings / Performances on the IIC Annexe Lawns (All Are Welcome.)
Thursday, December 19, 6:30 pm
Friday, December 20, 10.30 am to 1 pm and 2.30 pm to 5 pm László Krasznahorkai / Xi Chuan
Saturday, December 21, 10.30 am to 1 pm Ashis Nandy / Baha ud-din Dagar
Sunday, December 22, 10.30 am to 1 pm and 2.30 pm to 5 pm Arvind Krishna Mehrotra / Renee Gladman
Panels and Discussion at Conference Room 1, IIC Main Centre (NB: panels are also open to all who wish to come, but
pre-registration is required. Contact Rahul Soni at
email@example.com for more details.)
Friday, December 20, 10.30 am to 1 pm and 2.30 pm to 5 pm
László Krasznahorkai / Xi Chuan
Saturday, December 21, 10.30 am to 1 pm
Ashis Nandy / Baha ud-din Dagar
Sunday, December 22, 10.30 am to 1 pm and 2.30 pm to 5pm
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra / Renee Gladman
Download the .pdf for more information.
Announcing the Ancient Asia Issue of Cha (December 2013), featuring new translations of Chinese poetry by Xi Chuan, Tao Yuanming 陶淵明, Du Fu 杜甫, He Qifang 何其芳, Xiao Kaiyu 肖开愚, Liu Yong 柳永, the Shijing 詩經, Laozi 老子, Du Mu 杜牧, and Li Shangyin 李商隱, and new work by Eliot Weinberger, Matthew Turner, Eleanor Goodman, Sharmistha Mohanty, and Jonathan Stalling. The full list of contributors:
Translation: Lucas Klein, A.K. Ramanjuan, Reid Mitchell, George Life, Canaan Morse, Michael Gray, Christopher Lupke, Dulal Al Monsur, Nicholas Francis, Michael Farman, Michael O’Hara, Eleanor Goodman, Chloe Garcia Roberts
Poetry: Eliot Weinberger, Matthew Turner, W.F. Lantry, Aditi Rao, Stuart Christie, Luca L., Xiao Pinpin, Kate Rogers, Pey Pey Oh, DeWitt Clinton, Elizabeth Schultz, Stephanie V Sears, Joshua Burns, James Shea, Sean Prentiss, Steven Schroeder, Marjorie Evasco, Arjun Rajendran, Pui Ying Wong, Julia Gordon-Bramer, June Nandy, Janice Ko Luo, Stuart Greenhouse, Barbara Boches, Cathy Bryant, Justin Hill, Eleanor Goodman
Fiction: John Givens, Xie Shi Min, Sharmistha Mohanty, Zhou Tingfeng, Khanh Ha
Articles: Jonathan Stalling, Michael Tsang
Creative non-fiction: Pavle Radonic
Photography & art: Alvin Pang (cover artist), Adam Aitken
Click the image above to access the full issue.
Almost Island editor Sharmistha Mohanty sent me the following pictures from the India-China Writers Dialogues. In the first is, from the top left, Xi Chuan, Li Tuo 李陀, Lydia Liu 刘禾, Zhong Yurou 钟雨柔, Kabir Mohanty, Ge Fei 格非, with Sharmistha Mohanty, Bei Dao 北岛, Ashwini Bhat, and Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河 in the bottom row.
The pictures were taken by Samimitra Das.
The Winter 2012 issue of Almost Island is finally here, featuring an essay Xi Chuan wrote in English titled “Style Comes as a Reward,” his prose poem “What the Tang Did Not Have” 唐朝所沒有的 in my translation, and my translation of “The Original Way” 原道 by Tang Dynasty man of letters Han Yu 韓愈 (768 – 824), which should be provocative on its own but also provides some historical context for Xi Chuan’s prose poem.
While I expect it will be some time until the participants of the India-China Writers Dialogues publish anything about the event–these writers want to be thorough and accurate to both reality and emotion–I did come across another press report, from Express India. It begins discussing the germ of the idea with Sharmistha Mohanty and Bei Dao, and moving on toward the following detail:
Since the beginning of the dialogue two years ago, the participants have been the same group of writers, and Mohanty believes this has been a very important aspect. “With the same group of writers meeting each time, we have become good friends and learnt a lot from each other,” she says. Besides the speakers for the panel discussion, the participants include Allan Sealy, Rukmini Bhaya Nair, Adil Jussawalla, Vivek Narayanan and K Satchidanandan from India and Ge Fei, Xi Chuan, Zhai Yongming and Ouyang Jianghe from China.
These discussions are not limited to analysing writing styles and such. In the course of these two years, the participants have exchanged a great deal about their histories and cultures, too. “We talk about a variety of things,” says Mohanty. “For instance, what does tradition mean to us? How is it represented in our lives and works? Or how a writer wrestles with his past when he is writing. We discuss whether he rejects that long past or embraces it, and so on.”
See also the Almost Island publication of Mohanty’s essay on her experiences in China, “Mountains and Rivers“; Xi Chuan only gets the briefest of mentions (Bei Dao 北岛, Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河, and Li Tuo 李陀 get fuller discussions), but it’s a grand take on one writer’s considerations of China and its contrasts with India. Also the prose poem “Editorial Sutras,” which offers Mohanty’s impressions of the first Chinese – Indian Writers’ Dialogue, in 2009.
Xi Chuan will be traveling to Mumbai soon for the India-China Writers Dialogues. Here is a press release along with a schedule of speakers:
The online literature journal Almost Island, founded and edited by novelist Sharmistha Mohanty along with poet Vivek Narayanan, has begun a dialogue with mainland Chinese writers. The first such dialogue, led on the Chinese side by the great contemporary poet Bei Dao and the seminal journal Jintian (Today), was held in 2009 in New Delhi. This was possibly the first unofficial dialogue between Indian and Chinese writers in recent times. The second was held in China, in Beijing and Shanghai. This Mumbai meet is the third chapter of the dialogues. It brings together some of China’s and India’s leading writers. Ashis Nandy who has been part of these dialogues, has called it “historical”. He has said, “This is not a meeting between two countries, but an encounter between two civilisations.” The two evenings of readings will be rich with poets and novelists from both countries reading from their exceptional works.
Zhai Yongming 翟永明
Xi Chuan 西川
Rukmini Bhaya Nair
Ge Fei 格非
Ouyang Jianghe 欧阳江河
Han Shanogong 韩少功
Bei Dao 北岛