Largely unknown during his lifetime, 海子 / Hai Zi (1964-1989) has attained posthumous recognition as one of the most important figures in Chinese contemporary poetry. Born and raised in a farming village in Anhui Providence, he passed the entrance exam to Beijing University at fifteen. At twenty, he started teaching philosophy and art theory at China University of Political Science and Law. During the last five or six years of his life, he wrote over two hundred haunting and memorable lyric poems and several epics. He committed suicide in 1989 by laying himself on a railroad track at Beijing Shanhaiguan. More than a dozen books of his work have been published posthumously. This bilingual edition, selected and translated by Ye Chun, gathers seventy of Hai Zi's best lyrical poems.
Considered one of the most influential living poets in Chinese language today, Yang Jian was born in Anhui Province, China in 1967 and began writing poetry during the mid-80s. Since the 90s, he has won numerous literary awards, including Yiu Li’an Poetry Award (1995), Rougang Poetry Award (2000), Yulong Poetry Award (2006), and the prestigious Chinese Media Literature Award (2008). A practicing Buddhist and scholar of Chinese traditional culture, Yang Jian also paints with ink and brush. This bilingual edition, co-translated by Ye Chun, Paul B. Roth, and Gillian Parrish, for the first time brings a collection of Yang Jian's poems to the English reader.