A Century of Modern Chinese Poetry

Happy National Poetry Month! This week's review presents an anthology of Chinese poetry dating from the 1910s through the 2010s.

A Century of Modern Chinese Poetry: An Anthology

ed. by Michelle Yeh, Zhangbin Li, and Frank Stewart Washington, 2023
394p bibl index, 9780295751146 $105.00, 9780295751160 $32.00, 9780295751153

A Century of Modern Chinese Poetry: An Anthology book cover.

University of Washington Press announces this volume as “a completely overhauled and updated version of Yeh’s Modern Chinese Poetry” (CH, Sep’91, 29-0207)and it is without doubt a splendid addition to poetry collections worldwide. Written between the 1910s and the 2010s, the volume’s 280-some poems are the work of 85 poets hailing from Mainland China, Taiwan, Kong Kang, Malaysia, and Singapore. Among the volume’s distinguished contributors are Amang (pen name of Hong Liqing, born in 1964 in Taiwan), whose work includes the bilingual Raised by Wolves (2020), translated from Chinese into English by Steve Bradbury, which won the 2021 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. Amang also makes documentary films and video poems. Also noteworthy is Walis Nokan (born in 1961 in Mihu Tribe), who cofounded Aboriginal Post—the first newspaper devoted to the news, literature, and oral history of Indigenous peoples in Taiwan—and in 2019 was invited to the International Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa. Adding some 140 pages to the previous edition, this anthology reveals the punch of modern Chinese poetry.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals; general readers.
Reviewer
: J. G. Holland, emeritus, Davidson College
Interdisciplinary Subject: Asian and Asian American Studies
Subject: Humanities – Language & Literature – Asian & Oceanian
Choice Issue: Apr 2024


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