A Conversation with Che Qianzi

March 2011 IssueOver at Chinese Literature Today‘s web presence is an interview with Chinese poet & painter Che Qianzi 车前子 conducted by my friend the American poet Glenn Mott. It’s a fascinating and involved look at the ways in which ancient China and the contemporary world of internationalized influence flow through the work of cultural workers today. Full of many riches, it’s hard to excerpt, but here’s a passage I liked:

CQ: I am, or I might be, someone who has certain tendencies of mysticism but I am not a mystic. In my opinion, once the mystery becomes a doctrine, it becomes a research object, and when it becomes a research object, especially when it considers itself as the main body of research, mysticism is not mysterious any more. That’s why I think mysticism is not mysterious at all, and that’s also why I feel myself to be someone who has certain tendency of mystery, only this tendency is a more open view of nature and life.

For the full interview, click here.

Publication of Shi Zhi’s Winter Sun

OUPress.Data.Entities.ImageAlso in other contemporary Chinese poetry news, Winter Sun, the selected poems of Shi Zhi 食指, translated by Jonathan Stalling, is now available from Oklahoma University Press–the first book in the Chinese Literature Today Book Series.

Shi Zhi was one of the first poets in the PRC to enact a conscious break with orthodox Maoist style, and as such was a precursor not only to the so-called Obscure Poets 朦胧诗人, but to Xi Chuan and his generation of writers as well. The publication of this book in English represents a big step in introducing English-language readers to the intricacies of contemporary Chinese poetry and the literary history of modern China.