Co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library
Award-winning Chinese poet Xue Di (雪迪) [pronounced shway-dee] will offer a multi-media bilingual poetry reading and a casual talk. Coming of age under Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution (1966-77), which suppressed all literary works, Xue Di came across forbidden poems and determined to be a poet as a young boy. His strikingly intense lyricism is deeply connected to a yearning shared by all humanity.
The poet will read his poems in the Chinese original, followed by English translations read by American poet Jonathan Wells. Xue Di will take questions from the audience and will offer comments and perspectives in English to heighten understanding about China and its people, and poetry in the East.
Refreshments will be served after the reading, and Xue Di will sign copies of his books which will be available for purchase.
Visit Xue Di’s Writers Online page on Brown University’s website for a brief biography and to access his readings of his poetry.
See Xue Di’s interview about his experiences growing up in China, his poetry, and how he first came to Brown University.
Xue Di was born in Beijing. He is the author of four volumes of collected works and one book of criticism on contemporary Chinese poetry (all in Chinese). In English translation his poetry has been published in four full length books, Across Borders, Another Kind of Tenderness, An Ordinary Day and Heart into Soil, and four chapbooks, Forgive, Cat’s Eye in a Splintered Mirror, Circumstances and Flames. His work has appeared in numerous American journals and anthologies and been translated into several languages. Xue Di is a two-time recipient of the Hellman/Hammett Award, and a recipient of the Lannan Foundation Fellowship.
Jonathan Wells has published two collections through Four Way Books, Train Dance and The Man With Many Pens. His third, Debris, is forthcoming in 2021. His poems have appeared in many poetry magazines and journals. His memoir, The Skinny, is forthcoming from Ze Books. He is also co-editor with Christopher Merrill of “The New World Translations Series,” which publishes poetry translated from languages as diverse as Yiddish, Greek and Chinese.