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.