YA Hsien 瘂弦

  • Asia
  • Eastern Asia
  • Taiwan

Ya Hsien 瘂弦, pen name of Wang Ching-lin 王慶麟 (Taiwan, IWP '67), one of the key Sinophone poets of the late 20th century, began publishing in the early 1950s; a member of the Taiwanese Modernist movement, he also co-founded the journal Epoch Poetry Quarterly. His Abyss was first published in 1968 and expanded in 1971; in 2017 a long-awaited English translation won John Balcom a finalist placement for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. In 2013 Ya Hsien was awarded the Zhongkun International Poetry Prize. A documentary about him, A Life That Sings, was released in 2015.

Happening Now

  • Over on  Asymptote, in English and Cantonese, the long poem " The Man Who Lost HIs Shadow,"  by Hong Kong poet and editor Stuart LAU (IWP '17).

  • On fish-paste English and cheddar-English: a long interview at LARB (Los Angeles Review of Books) about language, politics, and language politics with Burmese poet and worker KO KO THETT (IWP '16).

  • Behind the 2018+ 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature given to novelists Peter Handke  and Olga Tokarczuk are translators--one key among them Jennifer CROFT, novelist as well as translator from the Polish, Ukrainian, and  Spanish. Congratulations!

  • "Resisting English": at NYRB, Adam Kirsch reviews three decades of the translated work of the Japanese novelist and essayist Minae MIZUMURA (IWP '03).

  • Just out in Beirut, the intriguingly titled ['Laughter as Destructive History'] by the Iraqi poet, translator, and editor Soheil NAJM (IWP '07).

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