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US-China Poetry Dialogue

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US-China Poetry Dialogue

“The Newman US-China Poetry Dialogue was created in the belief that US-China relations cannot be built upon business and policy transactions alone. Rather, we must draw on our shared experiences of what matters most to us, and be cognizant of what could be lost. Literature, especially poetry, can give us insight into the future of our relationship, one that flickers into view in the partial light of our hopes and fears. Poetry has been and remains a vibrant force in both China and the US and provides both nations with a shared cultural space, a public square within which people can share and contest ideas but also find the quiet, personal moments that form the foundation of human flourishing.” 

– US-China Poetry Dialogue Director Jonathan Stalling

The US-China Poetry Dialogue, sponsored by the Institute for US-China Issues at the University of Oklahoma and the Poetry Institute of China, brings international, national and regional poets and scholars together for a week of travel, public conversation, readings and workshops across different regions in the United States and in China. The focus of the dialogue is to discuss the state of poetry, literature and art in the US and China, while also exploring the role of arts in cross-cultural communication and understanding. 

During odd-numbered years, the Dialogue is hosted by the University of Oklahoma, and during even-numbered years it is hosted by Beijing University in China. 

Partners:

The Poetry Institute of China

Beijing University Center for the Study of Chinese Poetry 

Beijing Capital University Center for Chinese Poetry 

Jin Hua City 

Fayetteville Public Library

University of Arkansas Press

The King Fahd Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Arkansas

Ozarks Poets and Writers Collective 

Open Mouth Poetry Series

University of Missouri Kansas City

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art 

Edgar Snow Foundation

Diastoles Scholar Center 

Kansas City Institute of Art 

The City of Eureka Springs

Dairy Hollow Writers Colony

News & Events

4-15-20

In October 2019, the Third US-China Poetry Dialogue, the Mark Allen Everett Poetry Series and China’s China’s Poetry Institute, brought five famous Chinese and American poets together for public readings across three states, culminating in a ceremony that connected historic cities: Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a town renowned for its arts and letters, and the millennium-old city of Lanxi in Zhejiang, the hometown of Li Yu, a famous poet and dramatist in Qing dynasty. The cities were named the first “Poetry Cities of Friendship” in a ceremony that included a signing ceremony with public officials. 

Earlier this spring, when the students at Clear Spring School in Eureka Springs heard about the difficult time children in Lanxi City were having during school closures due to COVID-19, they decided to write poems and notes of encouragement. A week after their tender letters of support reached their destination in China, they found out that their own classes were to be canceled for the foreseeable future for the same reason.  

When the children's works reached China, they were published widely across China by China’s Poetry Society, and even featured in the national newspaper People’s Daily. A few days later, the children in the Shiyan kindergarten and Jiaogong kindergarten of Lanxi City wrote their own poems and painted posters to encourage their new friends across the globe and relay lessons they had learned from their months of quarantine experience.

Read more and see images from the children's poetry exchange