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

  • To mark PEN International’s centennial, Words Without Borders has published a sampler of works by writers committed to freedom of expression. Algerian novelist and scholar Med MAGANI is among them.

  • A fall harvest of book reviews coming in: of The Others by Sarah BLAU (translated from the Hebrew by Daniella Zamir); of LO Yi-Chin’s Farewell, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy TIANG; of Véronique TADJO’s In the Company of Men

  • A fascinating interview with IWP’s Senior Advisor, professor Peter Nazareth, retired from UI’s English Department in spring 2021, after nearly five decades of teaching.

  • Word reaches us that poet HU Xudong  胡续冬, who also taught comparative and world literatures at Peking University (Beida), specializing in Latin American literatures, passed away unexpectedly. RIP, Hu Xudong…

  • We note with sadness the passing of Hiroshi SAKAGAMI 坂上 弘, whose long novelistic career garnered him major literary and cultural honors. A former president of the Japan Writers’ Association, he was until his retirement also the director of Keio University Press.

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