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Literary Treasures: Contemporary Poetry from China

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The following post is part of our From the Catbird Seat series, “Literary Treasures.” The monthly series champions the Library’s literary programming by highlighting audio and video recordings drawn from the Library’s extensive online collections, including the recently released Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature. The series, by showcasing the works and thoughts of some of the greatest poets and writers from the past 75 years, helps further the Library’s mission to “further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.”

We take pride in our annual seasons of readings, performances, lectures, conferences, and symposia here at the Poetry and Literature Center. We present each with one goal in mind: to foster and enhance the public’s appreciation of literature. And it is with this goal that we naturally explore the art of literature internationally–to do the best we can to give our global audience a way in which to experience literary programming that showcases and examines all literatures living together diversely. Plus, what literature lover would not want to relish in the exploration of texts and voices from all cultures? The sense of community that literature creates is one of its most inspiring effects! This brings me to this month’s featured webcast: “Contemporary Poetry from China,” a reading and discussion featuring poet, essayist, and translator Xi Chuan, and poet, translator, and scholar Zhuo Zan. Watch below. The poets’ poems are featured in the anthology “Push Open the Window: Contemporary Poetry from China (2011),” which, prior to its release, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass said “will give glimpses–human glimpses–at what is going on [in China today].” Enjoy!

Who is your favorite contemporary Chinese poet?