Break Out S2 (7): Zhai Yongming (China) , He Xiaozhu (China) and Zhou Zan (China)







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February 26, 2022 (Saturday), 8p.m. (GMT + 8)

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Zhai Yongming is a distinguished poet, essayist, and screenwriter in China, widely regarded as the most important feminist voice of her generation. Her twenty-poem cycle, Woman, published in the mid-1980s, introduced a profoundly original and impactful subject and style in contemporary poetry. She has since published many collections of poetry, including Above All Roses, Call It All, Plain Songs in the Dark Night, and Fourteen Plain Songs. Her work has been translated into several languages, including a volume in English, The Changing Room: Selected Poetry by Zhai Yongming, translated by Andrea Lingenfelter. After living in the US for about two years in the 1990s, Zhai Yongming returned to her native Chengdu and opened a bar and cultural salon called White Night, which has become a celebrated venue for cultural and artistic events in southwest China. Among the many literary prizes that Zhai has received are the Zhongkun International Poetry Prize (2007), the Ceppo Pistoia International Literary Prize of Italy (2012), and the Golden Magnolia Poetry Award of the Shanghai International Poetry Festival (2019).

He Xiaozhu began publishing poetry in the 1980s and was a key member of the “Not-Not-ism” school of poetry that emerged in the mid-1980s in southwest China. He is recognized as a representative poet of the “Third Generation” avant-garde poetry movement. His poetry collections include Ann Dreaming of Apples and Fish, Six Verbs or Apples, and Timeline. In the 1990s he began writing fiction and has published collections of short stories as well as novels, including Town of Witches, The Zoo, Memoirs of Pan Jinlian and Daydreaming in Tibet. He has been the editor of the yearbook of Chinese poetry since 1999. He is the recipient of many literary awards and recognitions.

Zhou Zan is a poet, translator, playwright and literary scholar. She received her Ph.D. from Peking University and is now a researcher at the Research Institute of Chinese Literature that is part of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In 1998, she and Zhai Yongming founded Wings: A Literary Journal for Women’s Poetry in China. Her first poetry collection, Dreaming, or Self-observations, came out in 1999. Since then, she has published several collections of poetry and critical essays, including, most recently, A History of Criticism on Contemporary Chinese Poetry (2020). In 2006-2007, Zhou Zan was a visiting scholar at Columbia University in the US. Her poetry translations include Nina Cassian’s Cheerleader for a Funeral and Margaret Atwood’s Eating Fire: Selected Poetry 1965-1995.