Running His Race in the "Ninth Lane" by Heather Inwood
The Ins and Outs of Modern Chinese Fictional Characters by Li Er
Five poems by Jidi Majia
Coexistence in Diversity and Cross-Cultural Dialogues: An Interview with Yue Daiyun by Ji Jin
Just as it is difficult to imagine capturing all the genres, subgenres and sub-subgenres of music being listened to today, so, too, is it impossible to capture all the diversity among contemporary poetry. Yet the heterogeneity within Chinese poetry emanates not only from recent fragmentation of literary tastes (as exemplified by the split between the schools of upper- and lower-body writing), and the regional and dialectal differences among Han poets, but also the new voices of contemporary writers arising from within the ancient literary (oral and written) traditions of China's officially recognized ethnic minorities. In his essay "Cry of the Silver Pheasant," Mark Bender, a sinologist specializing in traditional Han (Chinese) and ethnic minority performance-oriented literature, explores the incredibly diverse and lively poetry world(s) thriving in the ethnic minority communities of southwest China and beyond. Bender points out that Yunnan Province alone has approximately twenty-five official ethnic groups, including the Yi, Wa, Hani, Dai, Jingpo, and Zhuang, among others, and he reveals the diverse poetry being written within these groups today by highlighting the work of poets from different ethnic groups. He offers an extended exploration of the poetry and poetics of one group in particular—the Liangshan School of Nuosu Yi poets based in Sichuan....
When compared to Yi Sha's manifesto-like essay "I Have Something to Say," which so clearly illustrates the radical public persona of this controversial figure, his poetry may feel somewhat subdued. Yet each of his poems signals a forceful shift from a meditation on abstract, intellectual concerns to a focus on the gritty textures of society's "lower body." Yi Sha captures a political call to witness the full spectrum of life in modern China, but connects these lives to a fertility capable of rebirth. By way of the stories of others or his own confessional lyrics, Yi Sha creates apertures through which readers can glimpse...