The Persistence of Poetry

I have just returned from the 2015 AWP Conference, along with the other 12,999 writers, publishers and editors who likewise attended the 3-day event in Minneapolis.  In my shady past, I have visited neuroscience conventions that had maybe twice that number of attendees, drawing as they did on a world-wide community of neuroscientists. But 13,000 people from the continental US conjoined around one loosely defined discipline was impressive. Hotels city-wide were totally booked. Restaurants everywhere were packed. And given the bacchanal nature of writers, the pubs were over-flowing.

So in the spirit of revelry and celebration, I am offering here six poems in their original Chinese, with their respective translations into English. The poets are contemporary in China: Lan Lan, Mo Fei, and Yang Jian. The translations are a lovely collaboration between Li Yongyi and Stephen Haven.  These are each published in the Spring 2015 edition of North American Review.

I am also happy to include Stephen’s perceptions on poetry in Chinese culture, from which I have taken the title of this post. Stephen’s prose piece is likewise published in the current edition of North American Review.

Lan LanMo Fei

Mo Fei

The Persistence of Poetry

Author: Brad Crenshaw

I am a poet and literary critic. I have written two books of poetry: 'Genealogies' was published in April 2016. My first book of poetry is titled 'My Gargantuan Desire'. I also have two chapbooks: 'Propagandas', and 'Limits of Resurrection'. I am working on a manuscript titled 'Medical Life’, which is book of creative non-fiction. I have worked as a neuropsychologist for many years in a New England tertiary care medical center, and in the Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services. 'Medical Life' reflects my encounters with people who have had neurological insults of various sorts, and the problems that result. When I am not writing, or working, I'll be out in my ocean kayak in either the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans. The unconstructed world.

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