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 (PhD Yale) is a father, writer, translator, and assistant professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. His work has appeared in Comparative Literature Studies, LARB, Jacket, CLEAR, PMLA, JMLC, and from Fordham, Black Widow, Oklahoma University Press, and New Directions. His translation Notes on the Mosquito: Selected Poems of Xi Chuan won the 2013 Lucien Stryk Prize, and October Dedications, his translations of the poetry of Mang Ke 芒克, is available from Zephyr and Chinese University Press. New York Review Books has published his translations of Tang dynasty poet Li Shangyin 李商隱, and his monograph, The Organization of Distance: Poetry, Translation, Chineseness, is part of Brill’s Sinica Leidensia series.

10 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.

  4. Hello Mr. Xi Chuan, poet!
    First of all, I would like to send you the warmest congratulations from Vietnam because you won the Swedish Cikada Literature Award in 2018.
    Vietnamese Literature Newspaper wants to translate and publish your poems. So can you allow us to choose your poems to post? We want to translate poems BIRDS, ARK, HORSES OF A SOUTHERN STATE, ON THAT SIDE OF THE RIVER.
    Wish you always happy, strong creation.
    All the best,
    Mai Văn Phấn

    • That translation can be found in Tao, Naikan, and Tony Prince, eds. Eight Contemporary Chinese Poets (Sydney: Wild Peony, 2006).

      This is not one of the poems Xi Chuan and I decided to include in Notes on the Mosquito.

      I believe you can get in touch with people at the Poetry International website via the contact information on their page:

      Poetry International Foundation
      Westersingel 16
      3014 GN Rotterdam

      phone: +31 10 28 22 777
      email: info(@)poetry.nl


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