Xi Chuan & Helen Wing: Poetry as Fire
Moderated by Simon Elegant
RMB 75, includes a drink
Poets Helen Wing and Xi Chuan come together to explore the idea of poetry as fire, from the fire imagery in their poems to their views on how the poetic imagination spreads, like fire, beyond borders. Writing in English (Helen) and Chinese (Xi Chuan), their work suggests that (with apologies to Robert Frost) poetry is not, after all, lost in translation.
Helen Wing is a poet and a fiction writer who lives variously in Beijing, Cairo and London. Currently she is Writer-in-Residence at Harrow International School, Beijing and works part-time at Renmin Da Xue. At Harrow, she promotes poetry writing with the students and publishes an annual poetry book project, done jointly with Harrow students and the students at Project Hope Vocational School, a migrant children’s charity school based in Wangjing. Her poetic work, Archangel, rose to number four on Amazon’s e-kindle poetry list last year. Other poems have been published in a recent Middle Eastern anthology, Nowhere Near a Damned Rainbow: Unsanctioned Writing of the Middle East. Her stories have been published in the Mississippi Prize Review, the Southern Cross Review, in the Tale of Four Cities and Sukoon. She is currently working on a novel called I swore I’d set that donkey free before I left Beijing.
Born in London, Helen studied Spanish and French at Cambridge University and holds a PhD in Spanish poetry.
Xi Chuan is a poet, essayist and translator, and one of the most influential poets in China today. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Lu Xun Prize and the Modern Chinese Poetry Prize. Now one of the two chief-editors of the magazine Dangdai Gouji Shitan (Contemporary World Poetry), he has published five collections of poems. His poems have been adapted into a play performed at the 35thFestival Internacional Cervantino, Mexico, 2007; incorporated into an installation at the Venice Biennale (Poetry Island, by Italian visual artist Marco Mereo Rotelli), and turned into a piece of music by the composer Guo Wenjing and by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a prolific translator, mainly of poetry. He has attended numerous Festivals, including the 1995 Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, the 1997 Biennale Internationale des Poètes en Val-de-Marne in Paris, the 2002 Chicago Humanities Festival, USA, and the 2004 and 2008 Berlin International Literature Festival, Germany. He was the Curator for Chinese Poetry Posters Exhibition of the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair. Born in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, Xi Chuan studied English literature at Peking University and now lives in Beijing.
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