One Hundred Years of Chinese Poetry

Wednesday, 16 July 2014


10344819_783926418295393_2149074389406211670_n On 18 June, the Poetry Society, in association with Oxford Brookes University’s Poetry Centre, organizedan event at the Poetry Café in London, at which three Chinese poets read and delivered a refreshing discussion on current contemporary Chinese poetry. Jiang Tao, a leading poet and poetry critic based in Beijing, who teaches Chinese literature at Peking University, read his work featured in New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry edited by Ming Di, with the English versions read by Steve Fowler, a leading UK avant-garde poet and artist. Ming Di, A Chinese poet, translator and editor who divides her time between the US and China, read from her poetry collection A River Merchant's Wife and discussed her interest in exploringthe layered meanings of Chinese words. Jennifer Wong, a PhD student at Oxford Brookes, talked about the hybrid mix of traditions inherent in Hong Kong poetry, where classical Chinese poetry is taught, and where both English and Chinese language literatures co-exist. She read poems that reinterpret the idea of homelands from her recent collection, Goldfish. In the Q&A session moderated by Judith Palmer, director of the Poetry Society, there was much dialogue with the audience on the spontaneity of literary influences among contemporary Chinese poets, leading to the experimental nature of the works.