China Poetry Review 2005

Intro to Annual Reviews on DACHS

The two reviews available here (2004, 2005) are rough guides to events in the world of poetry in China for sinologists who haven’t enough time to keep up with events or have only a passing interest in poetry, for interested observers of China (including students) who cannot read Chinese, AND for those who are just plain interested in poetry (the number of whom I hope will increase to become the majority of the visitors to my material here). The guidelines for what is selected to go on the lists within the reviews are entirely subjective – what “I” think is of interest or importance. If I had time, I’d try to be more exhaustive, but I’d need feedback from readers for something like that to happen: for instance, I could do a quarterly review.

In any case, I hope these materials – and everything else here on DACHS – will prove of some value to some real body out there across the vast expanse of cyberspace.


31 May 2006

The Chinese Avant-Garde Poetry Scene in Review: 2005

Michael Day, February 2006

The most notable event on the avant-garde poetry scene in China during 2005 was the great increase in the use of Internet web logs (blogs) by poets. While Internet forums are still heavily used – and the year saw a steady increase in their number – a growing proportion of poets turned to blogs to publish poetry and engage in relatively private conversation with readers. These new bloggers include several poets who had previously seldom been seen online, such as Beijing’s Da Xian大仙 and Shanghai’s Wang Yin王寅. Many bloggers are also active on forums and websites, and apparently use the blogs to obtain more thoughtful responses from readers, as opposed to the ready partisan support easily received on the forums with which they are associated. The woman poets Yin Lichuan尹丽川 and Wu Ang巫昂 are cases in point, both still being active members of Poetry Vagabonds 诗江湖.

This phenomenon may also be recognition on the part of some poets that Internet forums – in particular those of the avant-garde – can be intimidating places for ‘readers’ as opposed to participating poets and their friends. In this sense, this development can be seen as positive and part of a ‘natural’ maturation process for Internet poets and poetry, as they learn and adapt to an environment that is still relatively new. (For more on this subject, see relevant current pages here on DACHS and a forthcoming paper on Internet Poetry in China: 1996-2006, due to appear on DACHS later this year.)

Notable New Participants:

This year’s review is something of a group of lists, this one featuring new journals – both official and unofficial – and new poetry websites or forums. So, it’s a list of newcomers to the avant-garde and old timers re-entering the fray in new guises.

1. 《诗交流》(January, unofficial journal).

2. 《玩》 (January, unofficial journal).

3. China> 《诗中国》, Taiyuan, Shanxi province (January, journal).

4. Ruoque Poetry Forum若缺诗歌论坛http://my.ziqu.com/fcgi-bin/listboard.fcgi?bookname=665930 (March).

5. 《新诗代》bimonthly journal, Beijing (March).

6. 《原生态诗刊》(April, unofficial journal).

7. The Third Road Network Site 第三条道路网站http://hk.netsh.com/bbs/6442/ (April 8).

8. 《独立*零点》website, combination of two pre-existing unofficial paper journals www.dulipoem.com (May).

9. Not-Poetry 非诗website http://cq.netsh.com/eden/bbs/744110/ (May).

10. Yan Zhao Poetry Web Forum 燕赵诗歌网论坛http://cq.netsh.com/bbs/745626/tree_index.html (June).

11. 《海上风》, periodical of the newly founded Hongkou Poetry Society 虹口诗社in Shanghai; society president: Chen Peijun陈佩君 (August).

12. The Third Road Poetry Big Market第三条道路诗歌大市场, bringing to four the number of Third Road sites (September).

13. Poetry Home Forum 诗歌家园论坛http://vcom.hnby.com.cn/dhbbs/index.asp?boardid=302 in Zhengzhou, Henan province (September).

14. 《诗歌蓝本》, in Longhai, Fujian province, edited by Lao Pi老皮 (September, unofficial).

15. <Culture Addicts> 《潜行者》, in Beijing, with work by Xichuan西川, Shucai树才, Wang Jiaxin王家新, and others. (September, unofficial journal).

16. 《一刀文学报》, published by the Blade Literature Network as a supplement to the Open-Air Bar Forum 露天吧论坛(October 1).

17. PoemLife Voice Channel 诗生活声音频道 opened for bloggers at http://blog.poemlife.com:1863/blog/ (November 9).

18. A new Low Poetry Forum 低诗歌论坛 http://www.dpoem.com , combining the old site of the same name (http://tw.netsh.com/eden/bbs/713330/ ) with the China Low Poetry Tide Forum 中国低诗潮论坛 http://hk.netsh.com/eden/bbs/2601/tree_index.html (November).

19. Not-Not Critique Forum 非非评论论坛http://my.clubhi.com/bbs/66804/. Two editions of the paper form of were published in 1986 and 1987, and featured articles by members of Sichuan’s Not-Not group and outside critics of the group’s poetry. The forum retains that tie and is part of the reorganized One Line poetry web一行网, under the management of editor-in-chief Yan Li 严力 (December).

20. Han Poetry Commune Forum 汉诗公社论坛http://bbs.ly.ha.cn/index.asp?boardid=32 (December).

21. Southland Poetry Paper Forum 南方诗报论坛http://www.sydao.net/fourm/bbs.asp?id=nf (December 6).

22. <‘White’ Poetry>《‘白’诗歌》, from the Guangdong Poets Club 广东诗人俱乐部, edited by Song Xiaoxian宋晓贤 and Dacao 大草(December, unofficial journal).

Publications of Note:

This list is a highly selective snapshot of the thousands of publications that emerged onto the poetry scene in 2005. I take upon myself all blame for leaving out the worthy and including the unworthy. This brief list includes both book and established journal publications. There are a couple of lists within the list here, which make for fascinating reading to those in the know… as I hope people who have the time to read the other material here on DACHS are now becoming. In any case, the names of China’s poets are getting out there, which is entirely the point of the publications in this list and here on DACHS.

1. Garbage Group Criticism 垃圾派批评全集, a collection of over 100 essays published by Poetry Vagabonds诗江湖 (January).

2. 《诗歌与人》, the latest edition of the unofficial journal edited by Huang Lihai黄礼孩, featuring a 18,000-character essay on Holistic Writing 完整性写作by the chief adherent of this trend and the associated group, Shi Bin世宾. There are also essays on the subject by Xie Youshun谢有顺, Geng Zhanchun耿占春, and Xia Kejun夏可君 (January).

3. Duoduo Poetry Selections 多多诗选 and Wang Yin Poetry Selections王寅诗选 published by Flower City Publishing House 花城出版社 in Guangzhou. These are the first books in the Flowers Enduring Winter poetry series忍冬花诗丛, with Lin Xianzhi林贤治 as editor-in-chief. This is the first such series to be produced by Flower City in over 10 years (January).

4. 《诗歌月刊》produces its annual issue devoted to poetry published in unofficial poetry journals 民刊专号, featuring the work of 39 poets (April).

5. Contemporary Chinese New Poetry History 中国当代新诗史 by Hong Zhicheng洪子诚 & Liu Denghan刘登翰; “New Poetry Collections” and the Happening of China’s New Poetry 新诗集与中国新诗的发生by Jiang Tao蒋涛; and The Poetical Space of the Modern Chinese Language 现代汉语的诗性空间by Zhang Taozhou张桃洲 are the first books in the New Poetry Studies 新诗研究 series put out by the Beijing University Publishing House北京大学出版社 (May).

6. On-Site: The Avant-Garde Internet Poetry Storm 现场: 网络先锋诗歌风暴, edited by Malingshu Xiongdi 马铃薯兄弟, published by the Jiangsu Literature & Arts Publishing House江苏文艺出版社(May).

7. 20 Popular Poets of Twentieth Century China 中国20 世纪民间诗人20 edited and published by >《诗家园》. The twenty are: (Zhou) Faxing ()发星, Li Qingsong李青松, Sun Wenbo孙文波, Liu Zili刘自立, Liu Yu刘禹, Wu Ruohai吴若海, Song Difei宋迪非, Yang Chunguang杨春光, Chang Yao昌耀, Zhou Lunyou周伦佑, Shizhi食指, Yamo哑默, Gangke钢克, Hai’an海岸, Huang Xiang黄翔, Cao Yefeng曹野峰, Meng Yifei梦亦非, Jiang Lan蒋蓝, Lou Zhong蝼冢, and Mu Dan穆旦 (June).

8. Macho Man * Coquette: Li Yawei * Mo Mo Poetry Selections 莽汉 * 撒娇: 李亚伟 * 默默 诗选集 , published by the Contemporary Chinese Language Poetry Research Center当代汉语诗歌研究中心 in Shanghai (July).

9. The first Razor Blade Series 剃须刀丛书: consisting of collections of poetry by Zhang Shuguang张曙光, Sang Ke桑克, Zhu Yongliang朱永良, and Wen Qianyi文乾义 (July).

10. China Poetry Selection 中国诗歌选edited by Luo Hui罗晖, Zhao Lihua赵丽华, and Yi Sha 伊沙, published in Guilin by the Sea Wind Publishing House海风出版社 (August).

11. The Rose of Time 时间的玫瑰 by Bei Dao北岛 is a collection of essays previously published in the periodical <Harvest> 《收获》in his column Gold Chain of the Century 世纪金链, consisting of close readings of translated poetry by Lorca, Mandelstam, Rilke, etc, with a preface from Bai Hua柏桦. The book was published in Beijing by the China Literature & History Publishing House中国文史出版社(August 24).

12. Internet Poetry Research网络诗歌研究 is one of the first book-length studies on the subject. It’s author is Prof. Zhang Deming张德明 and the book is published by the China Literature and History Publishing House中国文史出版社 in Beijing (September).

13. Grassroots Poetry Special Collection草根诗歌特辑, the first in a planned annual series of poetry of anthologies under the title of 21 Century Poetry Choice Selections 21世纪诗歌精选 with Li Shaojun李少君as editor-in-chief, featuring the work of Wang Xiaoni王小妮, Yang Jian杨键, Huang Canran黄灿然, Lei Pingyang雷平阳, Ling Yue凌越, Sang Ke桑克, Pan Huai潘淮, Lan Lan蓝蓝, Chen Xianfa陈先发, Hu Xudong胡续冬, Jiang Fei江非, Lu Weiping卢卫平, Mo Mo默默, and Tan Kexiu谭克修. The seres is published by the Changjiang Literature & Arts Publishing House 长江文艺出版社(December).

14. “Great Exhibition of the Age Special Issue 年代大展特别专号” in 《诗选刊》combined 11-12 issue, 192 pages in length, with representative poems of 92 poets of New Poetry from each era, including pictures, brief introductions, views on poetry, criticism, and personal essays. (December).

15. The #6 2005 edition of the bi-monthly periodical of Guangzhou features a collection of the work of the Post-Not-Not 后非非 group poets, the first time this journal has so featured a poetry group. The poets selected are Zhou Lunyou周伦佑 (editor-in-chief of the paper journal since 1986), Chen Xiaofan陈小蘩, Yuan Yong袁勇, Dong Ji董辑, Gong Gaixiong龚盖雄, Jiang Xiaoyun蒋晓韵, Jiang Lan蒋蓝, Yu Tian雨田, and Chen Yaping陈亚平 (December). Earlier in the year, the work of the reformulated Not-Not group has also featured in periodicals such as 《上海文学》, 《星星》, 《诗歌月刊》, 《十月》, 《草原》, 《关东文学》, 《红豆》, and 《新大陆》.

Prizes & Happenings:

This is the killer list holding many more lists, all pregnant with meaning. I’ve included a couple just for curiosity’s sake, like the last of the entries here. This list also seems to demonstrate an increase in funding from both the private and government sectors for various avant-garde poetry activities.

1. The first 《一行》Internet Prize for 2004 was awarded to Yu Huaiyu于怀玉, creator of the Poetry Press Net 诗歌报网, and the Poetry Prize to Xiaolan 小兰 (February).

2. The Xi’an poet Yi Sha伊沙 was banned from the Yangtse Crocodile Forum扬子鳄论坛for crude language and behaviour by the forum’s mediator Liu Chun 刘春 (February).

3. The 《诗选刊》 2004 Poetry Prizes were awarded to Yan Li严力, Su Qian苏浅, and Wang Yin 王寅(March).

4. The Rougang柔刚 Prize 2004 was jointly awarded to Cao Wumu曹五木 and Geshi格式; the other short-listed poets were Yang Senjun杨森君, Ma Yongbo马永波, and Motou Beibei 魔头贝贝(March).

5. The Third Chinese Language Literature Media Prize 华语文学传媒大奖was awarded to Duoduo 多多(April 18).

6. The Shanghai Coquettery Poetry Institute 上海撒娇诗院organized a poetry reading and drinks party, “A Thousand Li in One Day” 千里一日, featuring readings by Li Yawei李亚伟, Zhao Ye赵野, and Zhang Xiaobo张小波 (April 29).

7. Wang Xiaoni王小妮 and Xu Jingya徐敬亚 were both hired as professors at the Poetry Studies Center in the Literature Institute of Hainan University 海南大学文学院诗学中心 (April), following in the footsteps of Duoduo, who returned from Europe to take up a post in the same location in 2003. Similarly, further marking this new trend, other poets also took up academic posts during the year: Zhou Lunyou周伦佑 at the Southwest Teachers’ University 西南师范大学in Beipei, a suburb of Chongqing in Sichuan province; Xiao Kaiyu肖开愚 returned from Germany to work at Henan University河南大学; and the woman poet Lu Ye路也 was taken on as poet-in-residence at Capital Teachers’ University 首都师大in Beijing.

8. The Second Chinese Women’s Poetry Conference 中国第二届女性诗歌研讨会was convened in Qingyuan in Guangdong province. The first conference was held in Beijing in 1993 and organized by The Woman’s Poetry Paper 女子诗报and the China Poetry Association 中国诗歌协会. This time the organizers were The Woman’s Poetry Paper, the Guangdong May Poetry Society 广东五月诗社, and the Qingxin County Propaganda Department 清新县委宣传部, with added funding from Hongkong’s Mingyuan铭源 Foundation. Among the conference’s 60-plus attendees were Shu Ting舒婷, Tang Yaping唐亚平, Shi Yu施雨, Xiaoyin晓音, Tang Guo唐果, Zhao Lihua赵丽华, Xiye西叶, An Qi安琪, Wang Xiaoni王小妮, Baidi白地, Li Qingsong李轻松, Qiyuede Hai七月的海, Jin Xiaojing靳晓静, Hanxin寒馨, and Li Xiaoyu李小雨, and the male critics Zhao Siyun赵思运, Xu Jingya徐敬亚, Wang Yuechuan王岳川, Xie Mian谢冕, Chen Zhongyi陈仲义, and Geshi 格式 (May 20-23).

9. 《诗选刊》 and the Internet website Sohu 搜狐released the results of a nationwide survey to elect the most influential poets of New Poetry. Conducted in late 2004, over 680,000 votes were collected. The editors of felt moved to publicly disassociate the journal from the results: 1) Hu Shi胡适, 2) Guo Moruo郭沫若, 3) Ai Qing艾青, 4) Zang Kejia臧克家, 5) Mu Dan穆旦, 6) Xu Zhimo徐志摩, 7) Tian Jian田间, 8) Niu Han牛汉, 9) Shu Ting舒婷, 10) Bei Dao北岛 (May).

10. The Second 或者 Poetry Prizes were awarded to Fei Ya非亚 of Guangxi as Poet of the Year and Xie Junrong谢君荣 of Zhejiang as New Talent of the Year (May).

11. The Internet Love Poetry & Lyrics Conference 网络情歌研讨会was held on Mount Huangshan and featured the first public attacks by avant-garde poets on the poor quality of popular poetry and lyrics. The conference was attended by the avant-garde poets Zhai Yongming翟永明, Li Yawei李亚伟, Zhang Xiaobo张小波, Mo Mo默默, Yin Lichuan尹丽川, Ma Song马松, Zhao Ye赵野, and the poetry critics Zhu Dake朱大可, Wang Xiaofeng王小峰, and Bei Cun 北村 (May).

12. There was a radical restructuring of 《诗探索》. There will now only be four issues per year, two devoted to theory and two to poetry – a first for the periodical that had previously been devoted to theory and criticism only. The editors-in-chief are Xie Mian谢冕, Yang Kuang杨匡, and Wu Sijing吴思敬, with Wu Sijing as theory editor and Lin Mang林莽 and Zhang Hongbo张洪波 as poetry editors (July).

13. Local authorities cancelled the Chengdu International Poetry Festival, organized by Zhai Yongming翟永明, three days prior to its scheduled start. Only four foreign poets were scheduled to attend (July).

14. The China-England Poets Big Internet Conversation took place between Yang Lian杨炼, Xi Chuan西川, Tang Xiaodu唐晓渡, Zhang Wei张炜, and Zhou Zan周瓒, and Bill Herbert, Polly Clark, and Antony Dunn (September 29).

15. The First China Internet Poetry Conference was held in Shanghai. It was attended by over 40 poets, including Yan Li严力, Xiaohai小海, Liang Xiaoming梁晓明, Mu Ye牧野, and Lin Xi林溪 (October 2-4)

16. The Second Contemporary Chinese Language Poetry Conference was convened in Changshou, Jiangsu province. It was attended by Duoduo多多, Li Yawei李亚伟, Yang Jian杨健, Mo Mo默默, Zhao Ye赵野, Che Qianzi车前子, Chen Dongdong陈东东, Pang Pei庞培, Xiaohai小海, Shen Wei沈苇, Zhu Zhu朱朱, Jiang Hao蒋浩, and any others (October).

17. 《人民文学》 in Beijing awarded the 2004-2005 poetry prizes to Lei Pingyang雷平阳 and Liu Chuan刘川 (November 15).

18. Huang Nubo黄怒波, Chairman of the Board of Beijing’s Zhongkun Investment Group中坤投资集团, announced that the corporation will give 30 million Yuan to poetry activities: 10 million Yuan to the Beijing University New Poetry Research Institute 北大新诗研究所; 10 million Yuan to the China Poetry Studies Association 中国诗歌协会; and 10 million Yuan to establish a China Poetry Foundation 中国诗歌基金会 (November 17).

19. Yang Lian杨炼 went live online for three hours for a poetry criticism session on the Wansong Pu Library Website’s poetry forum (万松浦 * 青末了) (November 30).

20. Chongqing’s 《世界诗人》, 《文艺报》, and 《诗歌报》 selected China’s 10 Exceptional Contemporary Young Poets 中国当代十大杰出青年诗人as Zhang Zao张枣, Zang Di臧棣, Li Yawei李亚伟, Shen Wei沈苇, Yang Li杨黎, Xidu西渡, Tang Shi唐诗, Lu Yimin陆忆敏, Xu Jiang徐江, and Mo Mo默默; and then also selected China’s 10 Outstanding Contemporary Young Poets中国当代十大优秀青年诗人 as Huang Lihai黄礼孩, Hai Nan海男, Li Qingsong李轻松, Liang Xiaoming梁晓明, Shucai树才, Zhu Wen朱文, Cai Lishuang蔡丽双, Zhong Dao中岛, Zhu Likun朱立坤, and Ma Fei马非 (November).

21. 《沫若 * 女神》, a series of poems written by Guo Moruo郭沫若 in 1921 was set to music, song and dance, and was broadcast as part of the Sichuan Television Festival 四川电视节 (December).

22. The First Bogger Chinese Language Poetry Contest博客汉语诗歌大奖 revealed its prize winners: First Prize to Zhou Sese周瑟瑟, Second to Zheng Xiaoqiong郑小琼 and Xie Ying谢颖, and Third to An Qi安琪, Afei阿斐, and He Buyan何不言 (December 22).

23. On Indissoluble Poetry Forum 不解诗歌论坛 the poet Yu Nu余怒 offered lifetime publication rights for 300,000 Yuan to his 《守夜人》 or 《余怒诗选集》(December 29).

24. The Poetry Press Website 诗歌报网站announced the 10 best poetry websites of the year as: 1) PoemLife 诗生活, 2) Spirit Stone Island 灵石岛, 3) The Poetry Press 诗歌报, 4) China Poet 中国诗人, 5) Limit Poem 界限, 6) Yangtse Crocodile 扬子鳄, 7) Poetry Vagabonds 诗江湖, 8) One Line 一行, 9) Indissoluble 不解, 10) Them 他们 (December 31).

25. Zheng Min郑敏 hosted <2006:> 2006: 新年新诗会》, initially broadcast on the CTV Children’s Channel on New Year’s Eve, and then rebroadcast on Channels 1, 3, 4, 7, and 10 between January 1 and Chinese New Year’s.

26. The China Urban Poetry & Arts Research Institute 中国城市诗歌艺术研究所, the Beijing Bole Literature & Arts Research Institute 北京伯乐文艺研究所, and the China Western Gorges Poetry Summit中国西峡诗歌峰会jointly chose 36 Heavenly Kings天王 or Queens天王后 of Poetry: 1) Misty Poetry King: Liang Xiaobin梁小斌; 2) Third Generation: Zhao Ye赵野; 3) Coquette: Mo Mo默默; 4) Macho Man: Ma Song马松; 5) Absurdity: Yuan Cun远村; 6) Not-Not: Jimu Langge吉木狼格; 7) Them: Xiaohai小海; 8) One Line: Yan Li严力; 9) Intellectual: Zhang Shuguang张曙光; 10) The Third Road: Shucai树才; 11) Popular: Yin Longlong殷龙龙; 12) Sun: Shao Ye邵椰; 13) Death: Dao Hui道辉; 14) Garbage: Fansi凡斯; 15) Trash Talk: Yang Li杨黎; 16) Lower Body: Li Hongqi李红旗; 17) Middle Generation: An Qi安琪; 18) Institute: Zang Di臧棣; 19) Indissoluble: Yu Nu余怒; 20) Post-70s: Ajiao阿角; 21) Post-80s: An An黯黯; 22) New Classicism: Luofu洛夫; 23) Lyricism: Wang Yunhua王韵华; 24) Colloquial Language: Wang Xiaolong王小龙; 25) Southern China: Pan Huai潘淮; 26) Overseas: Meng Lang孟浪; 27) Poetry & Wine: Liang Jian梁健; 28) Poetry History: Shi Zhongren世中人; 29) Poetry Criticism: Liao Yuan燎原; 30) Poetics: Chen Chao陈超; 31) Unofficial Journals: Huang Lihai黄礼孩; 32) Third Generation: Zhai Yonging翟永明; 33) Internet: Yi Sha伊沙; 34) Loneliness: Yuan Jie袁杰; 35) Happiness: Qi Guo祁国; 36) The City: Ye Kuangzheng叶匡正 (October).


1) Tang Shi唐湜 on 28 January, age 86. A member of the Nine Leaves Grouping 九叶派, a graduate of the Zhejiang University Foreign Languages Department in 1948, and during the 1940s worked as an editor of Poetry Creation诗创作 and China New Poetry中国新诗. Wrote and published more poetry than other members of the grouping – especially during the 1980s, and was well known as a critic, writing on other members of the grouping and Feng Zhi冯至.

2) Yang Chunguang杨春光 on 19 September, age 49. Yang was active as a poet and critic since the 1980s. In recent years he was also very active on the Internet, taking part in the Low Poetry Movement低诗歌运动 until incapacitated by illness. Yang was one of the few active avant-garde poets to take an active interest in politics and current affairs, and make an effort to include such issues among the subjects of his poetry. The portion of the avant-garde, who consider themselves “serious” poets, signally ignored Yang’s death.

3) Chen Suoju陈所巨on 24 September, age 59. Chen was much published during 1979-1984 and his poetry describing and praising economic reform in the countryside acquired a certain popularity.

1 comment:

fourth aly said...

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