100 Years of New Poetry in China

Re-reading Hu Shi
11 FEBRUARY 2016 by Ming Di From 1915-1916, a group of Chinese students in the United States were engaged in heated debate on whether everyday plain speech (vernacular language) should be used in poetry writing. Hu Shi 胡适 (1891-1962), attending Columbia University then, started writing free verse, allegedly influenced by Poetry magazine in Chicago. He published ‘A preliminary proposal for literary reform’ in the prominent journal New Youth (La Jeunesse) in China in January 1917, followed by eight poems in the February issue. He returned to China in July 1917 to promote literary revolution and …

A Survey of Poets’ Favorites, Chinese & Western
11 FEBRUARY 2016 by Ming Di In 2012 I asked over 20 Chinese poets the following five questions: 1. Who do you think are the most interesting poets in contemporary China? Please give a list of top 10 names and explain briefly why you choose them; 2. Which 10 Chinese poets (from ancient to present) have influenced you most? 3. Which 10 Western poets, in your opinion, have been most influential on contemporary Chinese poetry and (briefly) why? 4. Which 10 Asian poets have been most influential on contemporary Chinese poets? 5. Which 10 living poets from all other countries (including young poets and new voices) are your …

New Poetry from China 1916-2016
11 FEBRUARY 2016 by Ming Di January 2016 marked the 100th anniversary of the New Poetry movement in China. We are joining the celebration by presenting excerpts from a new anthology edited by Poetry International’s China editor Ming Di, New Poetry from China 1916-2016 (《中国新诗精选1916-2016》节选).

Open ‘renshi’ in China
14 JANUARY 2016 by Ming Di From the Westernized renga that Octavio Paz practiced with three European poets in 1969, to the modern Japanese renshi that Makoto Ōoka has promoted since the 1980’s, this type of chained poetry has been regarded as ‘collaborative’ writing. However, I see underneath a potential ‘interference’. Each poet subconsciously resists the influence of the preceding poet and interferes with the continuous flow of the poem by shifting to a new, unexpected direction. What’s visible is the so-called responding, what’s invisible is the hidden force …


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