Just a quick reminder the 5th Bai Meigui translation competition is live and the closing date is 12 midnight (GMT) 25th February. This year’s piece is a (very) short story by Hong Kong crime writer Chan Ho-kei. As ever, the competition is open to anyone, whether an established translator or a first-timer. See our website for further details.
As a footnote to this, can I also promote the publication of the winning entry of last year’s competition, which was exclusively open to high school students of Chinese. Jasmine Alexander’s translation of the Meng Yanan picture book, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival is now available to purchase, as a bilingual edition, from Balestier Press. Jasmine has been learning Chinese for 5 years and, as part of her prize, was mentored by the translator, and Marsh Award holder, Helen Wang, who helped her bring her version to print. It’s a lovely book both as a story for preschoolers and as an inspiration for older Chinese learners (and Jasmine in fact is coming to Leeds tomorrow to talk about her experience to 140 Year 7 pupils who have just started learning Chinese!).
Yang Hengjun in San Diego in 2012. Credit: Weican Meng
SYDNEY, Australia — A well-known writer and former Chinese official with Australian citizenship flew from New York to China on Friday despite warnings from friends who told him it was too dangerous.
Now, he is missing and appears to have been detained by the Chinese authorities.
The writer, Yang Hengjun, did not answer his Chinese cellphone despite repeated attempts to reach him on Tuesday and Wednesday. Nor did he answer messages on WeChat, the popular Chinese social media service. Continue reading →
ESSAY COMPETITION: Contemporary Chinese Theatre CRITICAL REFLECTIONS ON CONTEMPORARY CHINESE THEATRE:
The Chinese section of the International Association of Theatre Critics (IATC-China) announces an international contest for a text related to contemporary Chinese theatre – a theatre or performance review, a feature article on a theatre phenomenon, or an academic essay exploring an aspect of the subject matter. To be eligible, the piece must have been published in the English language during the last three years—that is, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2018.
Reviews should be between 1500 and 2500 words, and features and academic essays between 3500 and 6500 words.
Along with the articles, the authors are expected to provide a PDF or a photo copy of the publication where the articles were published. Continue reading →
Newman Award for English Jueju/Writing Chinese Regulated Verse in English
Dear MCLC Literati,
Greetings from the University of Oklahoma! Now in its 8th year, the Newman Prize for English Jueju is again open for submissions. The window will remain open until March 1, 2019. The $500 prize is awarded in four categories: Three within the state of Oklahoma (elementary, middle, and high school) and one category for adult poets (college and adult) submitting poems from any location. For over 22 years, I have taught this form of poetry both within creative writing classes as well as in courses on Chinese literature and poetics in the belief that the best way (if not the only way) to learn about regulated verse is to learn to write it. Please keep in mind that the teaching video and game materials are a part of an evolving project, and one that has been created primarily for the purpose of general public education (elementary-high school teachers) and not for Classical Chinese poetics or phonology scholars. Still I have found this approach to teaching Chinese poetics exceptionally useful on a number of levels and hope that you and your students will find this project equally engaging and potentially enriching. The competition aspect of the project is meant to connect regulated verse culture, the rime table tradition, and the examination system so that poetics can be explored within the nexus of aesthetics, phonology/linguistics, cosmology/poetics and social/ideological forces. Therefore, I would encourage you and/or your students to participate in the competition for its full pedagogical potential, but the materials will remain in place as a teaching resource. College-age and adult poets must submit their poems to email@example.com by the deadline (March 1) along with the following information: Name, School, and Contact information. All entries are judged blindly and winners are contacted by March 3, 2019.
For winners not in the state, you will receive your prize money and certificate by mail. Your winning poem will be read at the Newman Prize Ceremony from 6-9pm on March 8, 2019 alongside the celebration of this year’s Newman Prize for Chinese Literature winner, Xi Xi! To learn how to write the English Jueju, please visit the website below:
Elites from the world of literature and fans nationwide have been paying tribute to novelist Ling Jiefang, better known by his pen name Eryue He, who died on Saturday morning at age 73.
Ling, who was dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Zhengzhou University in Henan province, was best known for his Emperor series, which was released between 1989 and 1996, and consists of 5 million characters.
After his death, fans shared a couplet－a traditional form of two-line poetry－that includes the line, “Er yue he kai ling jie fang”, which translates as “The Yellow River’s frozen surface breaks in February, the ice is liberated.”
The poem, which quickly went viral, cleverly combines the author’s birth name and pen name. Continue reading →
NEW YORK—PEN America mourns the loss of poet Meng Lang, who died last week in Hong Kong of lung cancer.
Meng Lang had a renowned decades-long career as a poet, writer, and editor, and was a major influential figure in several Chinese poetic movements and in poetry from the Chinese diaspora. Meng Lang was also a founding member of the Independent Chinese PEN Center, and was a champion for dissident Chinese writers and editors. Earlier this year, Meng Lang edited a poetry anthology commemorating the death of writer, dissident, and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo, who died in 2017 from liver cancer after years of imprisonment.
Meng Lang’s death was confirmed by Connecticut College professor Yibing Huang and by poet and Vice-President of PEN Hong Kong, Tammy Ho. Continue reading →
I myself first knew Meng Lang in the 1980s when I was also very much into literature and poetry (and translations), and worked in Beijing; Meng Lang and I rejoined contact again in recent years, over the Chinese state kidnapping in late 2015 of our fellow friend, Gui Minhai, the Swedish citizen and HK publisher who was also part of the same poetry and literary circles in China in the 1980s onwards. In exile, Meng Lang devoted much time and energy to the Independent Chinese PEN club he co-directed, and especially to defending and helping imprisoned fellow writers, including Gui Minhai, and I much admire him for it.
I wrote on Twitter, that I will always remember him as the kind, warm, fundamentally decent human being that he was. Brave, which you used, is another most suitable word for Meng Lang. I think there will be many more tributes to Meng Lang and his life’s work. Continue reading →
I’m sad to share the news that Meng Lang passed away on Dec. 12 from lung cancer. I’m grateful that I had the chance to meet him in 2016 and to work with him on translating some of his poetry that he wrote in tribute to Liu Xiaobo. Just this February he published an anthology of poetry in Liu Xiaobo’s memory, The Contemporary (同时代人：刘晓波纪念诗集). He did brilliant, brave work as long as he was able.
Colleagues interested in Taiwanese literature may wish to know that the renowned stalwart of Taiwan literary scholarship Lin Ruiming 林瑞明 also known by his penname Lin Fan 林梵 passed away on Monday. Lin was probably best known for being the founding director of the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (國立台灣文學館), which he headed up in its early planning days of 2003-2005. Lin was ever present at the Museum. His other major achievement was his work on the doyen of early Taiwan literature, Lai He 賴和, whose complete works he edited. He also compiled a collection of Lai He’s original manuscripts.
Lin Ruiming wrote poetry under his penname Lin Fan. He studied history at National Chenggong University 國立成功大學 and received an MA in history from National Taiwan University. He lived most of his life in his hometown of Tainan, where the Museum is located. He had an effervescent personality and a convivial way of welcoming people to Taiwan. For years, he battled kidney disease and was regularly tethered to dialysis, but he never spoke of it and he never let it slow him down. He championed the culture of Taiwan as few others have and his presence will be missed but not forgotten.
Members might be keen on the series of lectures Jon Kowallis, Chair Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Sydney, is delivering in China. He has just given three lectures for the Zhifang Distinguished Professorial Lecture Series at Fudan University’s Department of Chinese Language and Literature. Sorry this announcement came so late. Details can be found here:
Tomorrow (23 Nov) at Zhejiang University Professor Kowallis will deliver the keynote address “Lu Xun’s Classical-style Poetry and Me.” The following day Saturday (24 Nov) at Hangzhou Normal University he will present on the topic titled “A Great Discovery.” This will be followed by another lecture next Tuesday (27 Nov) at the Communication University of China, Beijing, on “Understanding Wild Grass by Talking to Oneself: Lu Xun’s Yecaothrough the Lens of Ziyan Ziyu and the Prism of the Past.”
Louis Cha, China’s famed wuxia (martial arts) novelist who wrote under the name Jīn Yōng 金庸 — and was one of the most recognized writers in modern Chinese history — passed away in Hong Kong on Tuesday at the age of 94 after battling a long-term illness.
Born in 1924 in Zhejiang Province, Cha moved to Hong Kong in 1948 and started his career as a journalist. Subsequently, he co-founded the Hong Kong daily newspaper Ming Pao 明报 in 1959 and served as its first editor-in-chief. The paper now has four North American branches, in Toronto, Vancouver, San Francisco, and New York. Continue reading →
The National Art Museum of China recently opened an exhibition of Feng Zikai’s paintings to honor the 120th anniversary of his birth. Having achieved a unique style in painting, writing and translation, Feng is a prestigious literatus of the 20th century China.
Three collections of his works are on display. Feng’s unpretentious tone and strokes indicate his reflection about the social reality and also his friendship with Master Hong Yi, a Chinese Buddhism monk and an artist.
The exhibit runs through Nov 4.
If you go: 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays). National Art Museum, 1 Wusi Avenue, Dongcheng district, Beijing. 010-6400-1476.