Susan Schultz’s Tinfish Press is now announcing the publication of Long River, poems by Yang Jian 杨键 translated by Ye Chun, Paul B. Roth, and Gillian Parrish.
Longtime factory-worker and Buddhist practitioner, Yang Jian is considered by Chinese poets and public alike to be one of China’s most influential contemporary poets. This sustained recognition reflects his work’s power in communicating the loss and confusion felt by many Chinese living through a time of breakneck change. With haunting, plain-spoken lines and resonant images, Yang Jian’s poems skillfully combine simplicity and fullness—an aesthetic formed by a Taoist-Confucian commitment to balance as well as his Buddhist practices of awareness. This contemplative stance shapes a clear-eyed poetry with the depth of vision needed to articulate the personal suffering implicit in ideas of progress driving immense cultural and ecological devastations.
Click here to see what David Hinton, Steve Bradbury, and David Perry have to say about the book–and to order.
Susan Schultz’s Tinfish Press has a beautiful new website, including a new page for Yours Truly & Other Poems, the chapbook of my translations of six Xi Chuan poems. Follow the link for purchase or .pdf download information.
The website of the Short Takes on Long Poems conference, which I attended at University of Auckland in March, is now live, featuring a video of our “world’s longest poem” and the presentations of Jacob Edmond, Susan Schultz, John Tranter, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis, along with others. My presentation on Xi Chuan and Yang Lian 杨炼 is not up [yet], but if / when it appears, I’ll post to it here.
Tomorrow afternoon and Monday evening I’ll be moderating events for Gary Snyder‘s visit to Hong Kong as part of the International Poets in Hong Kong 2012 events. Click the image above for the full schedule.
Snyder’s visit corresponds with the release from Oxford University Press Hong Kong of Ripples on the Surface 水面波紋, a collection of Snyder’s work translated into Chinese by Xi Chuan.
And for Susan Schultz’s take on Snyder visiting her classroom in Hawaii, click here.
The Short Takes on Long Poems conference, from which I just returned on Monday, was one of the better short academic conferences I’ve attended–in part because it wasn’t entirely academic, but a mixture of explications of long poems and recitations or performances of long poetry as well. I showed up late, so unfortunately had to miss seeing my friend Jacob Edmond‘s presentation (which was very funny, according to all reports), but I met his father Murray Edmond, as well as Hilary Chung, and had great run-ins with John Tranter, Pam Brown, Robert Sullivan, Susan Schultz, and Rachel Blau DuPlessis, all of whom, I’m happy to say, were not only enthusiastic about my presentation on Yang Lian 杨炼 and Xi Chuan, but also looking forward to the release of Notes on the Mosquito. In the afternoon of the second day, we spent the afternoon on Waiheke island–a forty-minute ferry ride from Auckland–writing a physically long poem on the beach. Given that Chinese poet Gu Cheng 顾城 had lived and committed suicide on the island, I commemorated him in my section of the poem with his most famous lines, 黑夜给了我黑色的眼睛 / 我却用它寻找光明.
Talk about “world” poetry. Xi Chuan arrives in Hongkong tomorrow morning to take part of this spring’s International Poets in Hong Kong event at Chinese University, leading workshops on American poetry and introducing his translations of Gary Snyder (Snyder will be here at the end of April; I’ll be moderating a couple of his programs). Given inopportune scheduling, though, I’m flying to New Zealand tomorrow evening to attend the Short Takes on Long Poems conference with Rachel Blau DuPlessis (and Jacob Edmond, Susan Schultz, and others), where I’ll be presenting on Xi Chuan and contemporary Chinese poetry. Unfortunately, Xi Chuan leaves Hongkong the day I get back from Auckland! At least I’ll be able to have a quick lunch with him tomorrow before I leave.
At the end of the month I’ll be traveling to New Zealand for a conference, where I’ll be presenting on what happens to Ezra Pound’s notion of the “ideogrammic method” when it shows up in Chinese “epic” poetry, specifically the works of Yang Lian 楊煉 and Xi Chuan. Jacob Edmond has written up some of the details and participants on his Common Strangeness blog: