By Maghiel van Crevel, Leiden University
MCLC Resource Center Publication (Copyright February 2007)
Unofficial and underground
From underground to overground: what publication means
Translations: unofficial, non-official or samizdat?
Proscription and permission
Physical quality, circulation and collections
Avant-garde: aesthetics and institutions
Official and unofficial: institutions and aesthetics
Avant-garde ≈ unofficial?
From antagonism to coexistence
Other media and genres
This research note examines so-called unofficial journals from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Strikingly, it is in these journals that just about everybody that is anybody in contemporary poetry from the PRC first published and developed their poetic voice.
The research note is followed by a bibliography of about one hundred such journals that I have collected over the years, in an inventory that is akin to earlier work by Claude Widor, I‑mu and Beiling. The Leiden University Sinological Library has graciously agreed to maintain this collection in one piece, called the Leiden University Collection of Unofficial Poetry Journals from the People’s Republic of China. Widor and I‑mu cover unofficial journals from the years 1978-1981, and most of their material is political rather than literary, even if its politics are occasionally cast in poetic form. Beiling mostly lists literary material from the 1990s. The Leiden collection focuses on literary material, and specifically on poetry, which is easily the dominant genre in the journals. The earliest specimens in the collection were published in 1978, with some of the material in them dating from the late 1960s and the early 1970s; the latest, in 2005. One of my Gegenleser suggested that I call the inventory a catalog rather than a bibliography, since it only records items held in the Leiden collection. Never mind the sophistry that might have me assert that catalogs are bibliographies too. What matters is the anticipation of expanding this list in cooperation with other collectors, or linking it to their lists, to make the result unambiguously bibliographic (see the Notice below). My aim, then, is not so much to show how many journals are here, as to contribute to an awareness of how many there are, and how much they mean.
The primary intended audience of this document is scholars of Chinese literature – and hopefully of other regional specializations or the (comparative) sociology of culture – who are based elsewhere in the world. In the PRC, or “mainland China”, the unofficial journals are better known and easier to locate. Comments and queries are most welcome, as are visits and additions to the archive and the bibliography. The nature of the material entails full copyright for anyone interested, meaning the right to copy freely.
The unofficial (非官方) is an important notion in discourse on contemporary mainland-Chinese poetry. In the following, I examine this and related notions as they occur in PRC-domestic usage, not the poetry itself. My point of departure is the relevant terminology as it is used by Chinese poets and readers, indicated by parenthesized Chinese characters at first mention in the actual discussion, which starts after the present section. Occasionally, this differs considerably from what the terms in question mean in other places. (The original titles of Chinese publications are also given in parentheses.)
In addition to some general reflections on the study of the unofficial poetry circuit, the discussion specifically serves to contextualize the bibliography below. Those looking for further reading on the history of unofficial publications and their relation to official cultural and political discourse are advised to consult
- ….scholarly and critical contributions by authors including Bonnie McDougall, Peter Chan, James Seymour, Victor Sidane, Roger Garside, David Goodman, Claude Widor, Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard, Andrew Nathan, Pan Yuan and Pan Jie, I‑mu, Michelle Yeh, Maghiel van Crevel, Geremie Barmé, Perry Link, Andrew Emerson, Zhang Zao, John Crespi, Michael Day, Jacob Edmond and Kong Shuyu (in English, French, German), Hong Xin, Qi Hao, Lin Yemu, Liu Shengji, I‑mu (Yimu), Yang Jian, Beiling, Zhong Ming, Liao Yiwu, Bai Hua, Liu He, Xie Yixing, Yang Li and Li Runxia (in Chinese). I list authors writing in Western languages first because by and large, they had the opportunity to publish their findings earlier than authors writing in Chinese, at least those in the PRC. There, unofficial publications remained a “sensitive” topic for many years, meaning that scholarship and criticism that might have wanted to investigate them suffered from (self‑)censorship. In both Chinese and Western languages, but especially the latter, there is an abundance of commentary on unofficial publications – literary and political – of the years 1978-1981, and the history that led to their proliferation as a central component of the Democracy Movement at the time; and a dearth of commentary on the many unofficial publications of the mid-1980s and after. This document hopes to help redress this imbalance.
- ….the recollections of several generations of people who feature prominently in the history of unofficial poetry. For example: Mou Dunbai and Zhang Langlang (early and mid-1960s); Zhou Lunyou (early 1970s), Huang Xiang, Ya Mo, Bei Dao, Mang Ke and Duoduo (late 1970s); Han Dong, Zhou Lunyou, He Xiaozhu, Gao Zhuang, Momo, Jingbute, Chen Dongdong (mid- and late 1980s, early 1990s); Shen Haobo and Yin Lichuan (early 2000s). Most of this material is in Chinese, and is found in the continuation of Today (今天) and the new Tendency (倾向), both outside China; in domestic, official journals like Poetry Exploration (诗探索); and in the unofficial journals themselves.
For bibliographical detail and some additional pointers, see WORKS CITED.
In contemporary China’s official (官方) poetry scene, in addition to those who write classical poetry (古诗、古代诗歌), there are those who write modern poetry that adheres to state-sanctioned literary policy. This policy ultimately retains Mao Zedong’s 1942 “Talks at the Yan’an Forum on Literature and Art” (在延安文艺座谈会上的讲话) as its fountainhead, and makes literature and art subordinate to political ideology, even if it does so less stridently than in the period of roughly the 1940s through the 1970s. Alternative English renditions of 官方 ‘official’ are orthodox and establishment.
The texts that concern us here are profoundly different from orthodox writing. They are known as avant-garde (先锋) poetry; a discussion of the mainland-Chinese meaning of avant-garde follows below. Most if not all avant-garde careers begin in an unofficial (非官方) poetry scene. By scene, I mean poets, their circumstances – including their readers – and their poetry.
Both orthodoxy and avant-garde come under new poetry (新诗), as distinct from classical poetry; and under contemporary poetry (当代诗歌), meaning that written since the founding of the PRC in 1949, as distinct from modern poetry (现代诗歌), meaning texts from the Republican period (1911-1949). Following the internationalization of scholarship and in recognition of the scope of notions like modernity (现代性) and modernism/t (现代主义), the PRC-domestic distinction of modern and contemporary has lost some of its currency. The modern is now frequently presented as incorporating the contemporary; or, the contemporary as a subset of the modern (e.g. Xiandai Hanshi 1998, Chen 2002, Xiang 2002, Chen 2003, Wang 2003, Wei 2005, Wang 2006).
The origins of the unofficial scene lie in a literary underground (地下) whose first, isolated manifestations appear to date from the late 1950s and early 1960s. On a slightly larger scale, underground networks – including salons, and the breath-taking efforts of underground collector Zhao Yifan (Van Crevel 1996: 55-58, Liao 1999: part 3) – took shape during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), when politico-ideological strictures on literature and art in modern China were at their most extreme. Until the advent of the Reform era in 1978, the metaphor of the underground denotes something very close to its literal meaning. Authors hid their manuscripts: by actual interment, under the floorboards, inside the wax of home-made candles or camouflaged between the covers of less sensitive material, etc. To be sure, the act of writing minimally implies the desire to read oneself, and usually the desire to be read by others; but in many cases, they would show their writing only to their most trusted friends, sometimes not even physcially leaving it with them afterward. One spectacular story is that of Gan Tiesheng, who burnt his underground fiction after he had read it to a small number of friends.Underground meant secret, clandestine and illegal, inasmuch as there was a functioning legal system to speak of. For both authors and readers – of newly written manuscripts, or of previously published texts outside a handful of works that constituted an aggressively promulgated Maoist canon – involvement in the literary underground could have grave consequences, if one was discovered by whoever was in a position to “prosecute”. Depending on the volatile power relationships on every level, this could be a senior Communist Party official as well as a fellow Red Guard. Notably, while some of the underground poetry written during the Cultural Revolution has a clear political agenda, automatic assumptions that this holds for all such poetry do no justice to “purely” or primarily literary developments that would soon present themselves in the unofficial journals studied here, even if we recognize easy dichotomies of the political and the literary as the simplifications that they are.
Underground writing in this near-literal sense, actively withheld from the authorities, has continued to occur in the Reform era. Occasional glimpses of this material suggest that, as before, it often expresses socio-political protest against human rights abuses and the Communist Party’s dictatorship, but that it is rarely of the primarily literary kind anymore. The Reform era has given the latter category more space than ever before in PRC history, in official and unofficial circuits alike, and unruly literary texts hardly need to go into hiding now. Some underground texts of socio-political protest have poetic form: set line and stanza lengths, meter, rhyme. This document does not consider such protest poetry, because it is often cast in traditional or orthodox molds, and it is not carried by the avant-garde journals. Incidentally, poetry or texts in other genres that address political taboos will provoke immediate, oppressive action by the PRC authorities, normally with the effect of severely restricting or terminating circulation. This makes it difficult to assess how much of it is there.
If underground had only the said near-literal, institutional meaning (‘hidden’), the underground would simply be a small subset of the overarching category of the unofficial. In the Reform era, however, underground can also point to aesthetics that are different from those of the general reader (一般读者) or the masses (大众). In that sense, in domestic discourse, it is one of several terms that are more or less interchangeable with unofficial. We return to these later on.
Since the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the unofficial scene has produced its own varieties of poetry. In the final months of 1978, around the time of the Third Plenum of the Communist Party that marked Deng Xiaoping’s political comeback, the unofficial scene moved to the overground, when it ceased to hide its activities from the authorities and, for that matter, from any other public audience. This sea change was triggered by the appearance of two journals: Enlightenment (启蒙; cover of # 1 here reproduced from Widor 1981), with its roots in Guiyang but published mostly in Beijing, and especially the Beijing-based Today (今天). Containing texts written in the underground since the late 1960s, these two journals emerged first as wall posters at significant locations in Beijing, and later in conventional, multiple-copy format. They were literary specimens – again, this holds especially for Today – amid a flurry of politically inclined, unofficial publications that mushroomed in cities throughout China, and were part of the Democracy Movement of 1978-1981. Two other early journals from those days that have often been classified as literary rather than (strictly) political are Fertile Soil (沃土) and Fruits of Autumn (秋实). In later literary history and historiography, however, they have had nothing like the impact of Today, ever since its inception, or of Enlightenment, since the latter experienced something of a literary-historiographical rehabilitation in the early 1990s, hitherto having been largely obscured from view by the overwhelming presence of Today.
Working outside the state-controlled or state-approved publishing business, the unofficial poetry scene has expanded in urban centers throughout the country since the early 1980s, in principle making its texts available to whoever is interested. In many places elsewhere in the world, the institutional notion of publication hinges on formal involvement by members of more or less official, professional communities such as publishing houses and book reviewers. In discourse on mainland-Chinese unofficial poetry, however, and in other literary scenes where writers and politicians entertain seriously conflicting visions of literature, and politicians have the power and claim the right to interfere, this notion should operate in the broadest possible sense. Publication then simply means the making public of a text, beyond inner-circle audiences hand-picked by the author: in unofficial journals, for instance. This point is illustrated by the difference between the Chinese terms 发表 ‘announce, make public’ and 出版 ‘come off the press, publish’ (cf Germanveröffentlichen ‘make public’ and herausgeben ‘publish’, meaning ‘act as publisher of’; the English publish is ambiguous in this respect). Not everything that is made public (发表) is brought out by an official publisher (出版). Especially in the early years, most avant-garde poetry was not brought out by official publishers. Yet, it definitely counted as publication in the above, broad sense.
In the first three decades after the founding of the PRC, the state exercised near-complete control over all aspects of literature, from the identification of politically correct subject matter and literary form to the selection and employment of writers, ultimate editorship of all texts and authority over their physical production and publication. In the Reform era, the state’s grip on literature has progressively weakened, even though state sponsorship of some texts and censorship of others remain very much operational. In poetry, from the early 1980s onward, unofficial publication became a widespread practice and official publication was no longer the sole prerogative of members of the government-sponsored Writers’ Association (作家协会). Official and unofficial scenes ceased being worlds apart.
Inside China, following exceptional visibility and popularity in the 1980s, unofficial poetry has continued to flourish in a high-cultural niche area, as a small but tenacious industry with a well-positioned constituency. This is in evidence from various perspectives. For example:
- Literary historiography: in Hong Zicheng and Liu Denghan’s 2005 History of China’s Contemporary New Poetry (中国当代新诗史), the significance of unofficial poetry is manifest from the book’s near-exclusive reliance on unofficial journals and the unofficial story at large, for its coverage of the years since the Cultural Revolution. Hong and Liu refer to things like the literary underground, polemics over the legacy of unofficial poetry and so on, with reference to a range of journals including Today, Not-Not (非非), Macho Men (莽汉), Them (他们), At Sea (海上),Tendency (倾向), The Southern Poetry Review (南方诗志), Against (反对), Image Puzzle (象罔), Tropic of Cancer (北回归线), Battlefront (阵地) and Discovery (发现). Something similar holds for other literary histories, including those formally sanctioned as textbooks for higher education such as Chang Li and Lu Shourong’s 2002 China’s New Poetry (中国新诗). In The Poetics of Voice (声音的诗学), Zhang Hong flatly declares that all important poetry in the contemporary period (first) appears in unofficial journals (2003: 151).
Literary events: The Face of Chinese Poetry (中国诗歌的脸), a high-profile “poetry exhibition” in Guangzhou in August 2006, organized by poets Yang Ke and Qi Guo and photographer Song Zuifa and featuring Song’s poet portraits, drew exhaustively on the unofficial poetry scene. It also positioned itself inside a genealogy of the unofficial, epitomized by Xu Jingya’s editorship of a spectacular publication called “Grand Exhibition of Modernist Poetry Groups on China’s Poetry Scene, 1986” (中国诗坛1986’ 现代诗群体大展). The Face of Chinese Poetry was an actual exhibition rather than a “mere” publication and featured a five-foot-high stack of unofficial journals from across the post-Cultural-Revolution years, protectively flanked by two fire extinguishers, to impress upon its visitors the pivotal role these publications have played in the development of contemporary Chinese poetry as we know it (image by Luo Jingyao, reproduced from Tian & Yang 2006 with permission).
- International impact: ever since it became visible in the overground, unofficial poetry has been the focal point of foreign attention to contemporary mainland-Chinese poetry.
The issue of significance prompts a general observation, with reference to the above discussion of the notion of publication. While there are powerful PRC-specific factors to consider, it is of course by no means the case that unofficial poetry journals and related phenomena are unique to China, or that their significance is the exclusive – if unintended – product of political dictatorship. Witness the homepage of the Little Magazine Collection in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Memorial Library, which holds English-language journals from the United States of America, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean area and other places, and focuses on poetry: “Little magazines have long provided an important key to the understanding of modern literature. Characterized by their non-commercial attitudes and their penchant for the avant-garde and experimental, little magazines have continuously rebelled against established literary expression and theory, demonstrating an aggressive receptivity to new authors, new ideas, and new styles. Such publications usually have very small circulations, and are frequently short-lived; many die after publishing only one or two issues….” This is a perfectly apt description of unofficial journals in the PRC.
In English texts, 非官方 ‘unofficial’ has also been rendered as nonofficial or non-official, and as (Chinese) samizdat. In Chinese scholarly discourse, I know of one description of the early 1980s unofficial scene as “samizdat”-like (类似于“萨米兹达特”), with an explanatory footnote (Zhang 2003: 137).
The term samizdat (a Roman-alphabetic transcription of Russian самиздат, from самсебяиздат, ‘publish oneself’) was coined in the Soviet Union by poet Nikolai Glazkov as early as the mid-1940s, but the samizdat scene held the greatest significance from the 1960s through the 1980s: not just in poetry or literature, but also in socio-political writings, religious texts, etc. In the 1970s and the 1980s, there appear to have existed occasional, tacit agreements between the Soviet authorities and poets “publishing themselves” that the latter would be left alone as long as they kept a low profile and limited themselves to strictly literary, non-political experiment. Yet, a real measure of secrecy remained key to many samizdat texts for decades during which their open circulation – that is, their unofficial publication, in the aforesaid, broad sense, without permission from the Writers’ Union – could entail criminal penalties. At the same time, official publication was out of the question for most samizdat authors. The specific association of samizdat and related notions with Soviet and Eastern Bloc literary history is reinforced by the phenomenon of tamizdat (тамиздат ‘publishing there’), meaning the out-of-country publication of samizdat texts, in many cases leading to surreptitious re-importation into their native land.
In PRC discourse, the closest to an equivalent for samizdat would be underground in the early, narrow sense, but the Soviet samizdat scene was much more developed and influential, during a much longer period of time, than the Chinese underground. After 1978, especially for the floodwaves of journals that followed journals such as Enlightenment and Today from the mid-1980s onward, samizdat is by and large an inappropriate term for mainland-Chinese unofficial poetry. Not only did this poetry’s editors, contributors and fans drop erstwhile measures to prevent exposure to the authorities, some actually sought publicity and press coverage, even availing themselves of official publication channels. Xu Jingya’s “Grand Exhibition” is an early example. Even if the late Soviet samizdat era (1985-1991) can be seen to have had some similar features, wholesale transplantation of the Russian term seems questionable. (Terras 1985: 383-384, Gillespie 2001, Smith 2001, Popov 2005, Jerofejev 2005: 265-313, Link 2000: 188.)
As for non-official as a translation of 非官方, this brings out the explicit contrast with official literature and art more sharply than unofficial, thus reinforcing reductionist visions of the texts under scrutiny as primarily not being something else. Then there is the translator’s lucky break: in everyday English usage, unofficial can mean something like ‘real’, i.e. of actual significance or impact, in contradistinction to official, which then comes to mean ‘in name only’. For both points, see the section on the mainland-Chinese notion of the avant-garde, below.
Hence, my preference for unofficial in English. Independent would be a worthy alternative, but in China, while 独立 ‘independent’ is received terminology in film-making discourse, this usage does not currently extend to poetry.
Depending on context, various Chinese terms are used more or less interchangeably with 非官方 ‘unofficial’, roughly overlapping with it or functioning as large subsets. Unofficial retains the widest scope, if we take into account both aesthetic and institutional dimensions. The first six terms in the enumeration below assert less of an opposition-by-negation to 官方 ‘official’. Numbers 7 and 8 contain the negational prefix 非 ‘not’, but they negate other terms.
- (1) 民办 ‘run by (local, ordinary) people [as opposed to officials]’ is usually an institutional classification of journals, as in 民办刊物 or 民刊‘journals run by (local, ordinary) people’ or (conventionally) ‘people-run journals’.
- (2) 民间 ‘(from) among the people, popular, non-governmental’ has been claimed to describe everything from the institutional affiliations of a poetry troupe or a publication to a particular poetics that is by no means representative for all of unofficial poetry. Frequency of the the latter usage has risen sharply ever since the outbreak of a major polemic in poetry in 1998-2000, between so-called Intellectual (知识分子) and Popular (民间) writing (Li [Dian] 2007, Van Crevel 2007c).
- (3) 地下 ‘underground’ is similar in usage to 非官方 ‘unofficial’, but more complex because of its pre-Reform history. Up to 1978, its meaning was near-literal (‘hidden’) and, by implication, institutional. Since then, when used in an institutional sense, underground has been an assertion of independence from the official publishing business, retaining the metaphorical thrust of being underground, now that this is no longer near-literally true. At the same time, the term can point to aesthetics such as those represented by terms 4-5-6-7, below. Underground is often proudly self-assigned, with moralizing overtones.
- (4) 实验 ‘experimental’,
- (5) 前卫 ‘vanguard’,
- (6) 先锋 ‘avant-garde’ and
- (7) 非主流 ‘non-mainstream’ primarily point not to institutional features, but to aesthetic ambitions other than those sanctioned by Marxist-Leninist-Maoist, orthodox cultural discourse. Conversely, the products of orthodox discourse are sometimes called 主流 ‘mainstream’. Caution is in order here, for mainstream also occurs as a label indicating little more than fame, accommodating authors as different as orthodox stalwart Zang Kejia and avant-garde star Bei Dao (Yang [Siping] 2004).
- (8) 非正式 ‘informal’ is an institutional rather than an aesthetic term, often encountered in the phrase 非正式出版物 ‘informal publication’.
- (9) 半官方 ‘semi-official’ is sometimes used for publications that may carry avant-garde texts, but are associated with official institutions such as universities and provincial or municipal branches of the China Literary and Arts Federation (文联). They avail themselves of facilities provided by these institutions, including symbolic, protective endorsement by famous professors and poets, who are sometimes explicitly invoked as advisors (顾问). From these (relatively) safe havens, semi-official journals are (relatively) well positioned to test the limits of official discourse, by publishing what is often referred to as Campus Poetry (校园诗歌): that is, poetry by university students. Especially in the 1980s, they were physically very similar to unofficial journals.
Of the terms that can have institutional as well as aesthetic meanings, experimental and especially avant-garde are more common than popular,underground, vanguard and non-mainstream. Notably, during the Maoist era and into the early 1980s, vanguard and avant-garde also frequently occur in orthodox discourse, to describe texts that are anything but unofficial in whatever sense, with positive connotations of orthodox, politically correct activism.
Further to the discussion of what publication means, the notion of unofficial publication merits special attention. For one thing, it has no self-evident place in discourse on literature in national or regional contexts where the authorities’ political interest in literature is less intense than in China, and where getting “officially” published depends on the credible potential to generate financial or cultural capital, rather than one’s politics or its perceived reflection in writing.
Unofficial poetry publications in China include journals, individual and multiple-author books, and websites. The journals are normally not registered with the authorities, and may therefore not be sold through official channels such as bookstores and post offices. Out of self-protection, many explicitly state that they are not for sale, with very few asking for a modest reimbursement of specified production costs per copy (工本费、成本费). There are several famous cases – and probably many more unknown ones – of journals applying to the relevant bureau in a municipal government to register, but being stonewalled or fobbed off and then closed down by local police on account of…. their failure to register, held against them as a breach of regulations. As is true for many aspects of public life in contemporary China, there are grey areas of activity between proscription and permission that shrink and expand to follow alternating trends of “tightening” (收) and “releasing” (放) in national and local politics and sensitivities, and occasionally to spur or influence such trends. A journal may not be registered but still obtain a printing permit (准印证), and yet carry the standard disclaimer saying that it contains only material for internal exchange (内部交流资料, in some cases not as colophon information but as part of the journal’s very name) – which is demonstrably untrue, for the journals make no attempt to control their readership. In fact, they would love to see it grow uncontrollably.
As part of a bigger picture of rapid and radical socio-political change in China from the late 1970s to the present, the avant-garde has appropriated an infinitely larger space in areas outside orthodoxy than that which continues to be off limits, with explicit political dissent and pornography as examples of the latter. From a primarily literary point of view and with some historical perspective, one is more struck by the avant-garde’s freedom than by the lack thereof. Yet, in the People’s Republic, culture and its practitioners have continued to have regular run-ins with political authority throughout the Reform era. Reports abound of journals being effectively banned, even if they formally make the decision to terminate publication themselves – following informal intimidation by the police, that is, as one may read between the lines in Chen Dongdong’s memories of editing Tendency, to name but one example. Also, there are many poets and critics who, over the years, have got in trouble over their writings, even if they never came close to explicit political dissent or pornography. For example: Xu Jingya, Yang Lian and Bei Dao, who were high-profile targets of the 1983-1984 campaign to Eliminate Spiritual Corruption, culminating in an excruciating self-criticism in The People’s Daily (人民日报) by Xu – that is, forced on him – and publication bans for Yang and Bei Dao. Or Liao Yiwu, left with a handful out of the 2000 copies of Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu (巴蜀现代诗群), after the journal was confiscated by the police. Or Zhou Lunyou, who spent three years in a labor camp on a charge of incendiary behavior toward counter-revolutionary propaganda soon after the government’s violent suppression of the 1989 Protest Movement in Beijing and other cities, remembered as June Fourth (六·四); his detention was connected with if not exclusively based on his involvement in Not-Not. Or other Sichuan poets and unofficial poetry activists such as Wan Xia, Li Yawei, Liu Taiheng, Batie and Liao Yiwu again, who were given prison and labor camp sentences of up to seven years around the same time, for what may be termed a politico-literary response to the massacre (Xu 1992, Day 2005: chapter 11). Or the 443 authors in a 1500-page critical anthology of twentieth-century Chinese poetry edited by Wang Bin, set to appear in the summer of 1991 but withdrawn on its way to the bookstores: their work never reached its readers, because Wang’s tour de force contained six early poems by Bei Dao, all previously anthologized any number of times but now subjected to censorship, on account of their exiled author being persona non grata. Or Shanghai poets Meng Lang and Momo, jailed for several weeks in April 1992 for possessing, producing or distributing what the authorities deemed to be illegal publications (非法出版物); their poetry collections were confiscated, just as had happened to Zhao Yifan in 1975. Or poets – they shall remain unnamed, but there are many – who are wary of making unofficial journals because such activity might one day put them in danger: of losing regular jobs in ideologically sensitive environments like the media, for example.
All this is not just about spectacular cases such as the above – and, as noted, there are many more examples – but also about pedestrian inconveniences of working beyond the pale, not to mention the artistic frustration that can arise from having to reckon with the continuous possibility of palpable repression. So, while tired Cold War visions of the avant-garde as artistically inclined guerrilla warfare are grossly inaccurate – many avant-garde poets are highly educated, socially privileged people who generally have a good time – it is certainly not the case that anything goes. As for censorship in the PRC, the combination of vague, abstract and multi-interpretable formulas on cultural policy with the threat of harsh sanctions is highly effective in generating self-censorship, more so than in the former Soviet Union (McDougall 1993, Link 2000: chapter 2).
The early journals had “amateur” or “primitive” physical quality and formats, reflecting their limited access to means of production: low-quality paper, crude (mimeograph) printing, manual stapling. See, for instance, the cover and table of contents of Today # 2, from 1979. These things later increased their status as collectors’ items.
From the mid- and late 1980s onward, as resources became increasingly available to private users, the physical appearance of unofficial publications grew more sophisticated. See, for instance, the cover of the 1986 opening issue of Not-Not, and some typographically adventurous pages containing the first six “steps” of a poem by Zhou Lunyou. After several years of re-intensified ideological and cultural repression following June Fourth, this trend continued in the early 1990s.
Many unofficial journals have since been indistinguishable from official ones in this respect, and surpassed them in aspects such as innovative formatting and illustrations. See, for instance, the 2001 # 17-18 double issue of Poetry Reference (诗参考), but also journals like Tumult (大骚动) and Poetry and People (诗歌与人). The illustrations, here reproduced at approximately one fifth of their original height, are worth blowing up; for the Today ToC scan, this will convey a sense of the semi-handwritten feel of characters manually carved in wax, in the “primitive” mimeograph technique used in the journal’s first two issues.
Especially in the early years, most unofficial publications traveled privately if not (semi‑)secretly through informal, personal networks: they were circulated by hand, so to speak. Such networks have continued to provide the main avenues for distribution throughout the journals’ thirty-year history, but with a steadily decreasing need for caution or secrecy, except for the years immediately after June Fourth. Still, circulation by mail entails the risk of journals being confiscated, especially if they are sent to foreign countries, with more or less sensitive individual content as an obvious co-determinant. Average print runs are a few hundred copies, with some of the most successful journals reaching editions of several thousands. Individual copies, however, invariably have several or indeed dozens of different readers, which radically enlarges their audience. Yet, they enjoy nothing like the sustainable availability made possible by official publishing operations, bookstores and libraries. Individual collecting efforts are of paramount importance: e.g. Zhao Yifan and Lao E (= E Fuming) in Beijing and Ya Mo in Guiyang, and in later years Liu Fuchun and Tang Xiaodu in Beijing, and Li Runxia in Wuhan and Tianjin. In recent years, unofficial journals have sporadically been for sale in (high-brow) bookstores, taken there by their makers, not official suppliers. Reportedly, this has sometimes led to hefty fines for the stores.
The Internet has added an entire new dimension, with shifting definitional and practical parameters. This lies outside the scope of the present endeavor. (For unofficial poetry on the web, see the work of Michael Day and others in the DACHS poetry chapter and Day 2007; for online poetry scenes at large, see Hockx 2004 and 2005).
In this particular literary-historical framework – and without substantive reference to, say, the European interbellum, modern Western literatures or modernism at large – what goes by the name of avant-garde in mainland-Chinese discourse is a mixed bag of texts. Especially in the early years, its poetics was clearly defined ex negativo: by active dissociation from and exclusion of the thematics, imagery, poetic form and linguistic register that appear in the products of state-sanctioned orthodoxy. Since the mid-1980s, however, the avant-garde has outshone orthodoxy in the eyes of audiences in China and elsewhere, and it has tremendously diversified. This has rendered orthodox poetics largely irrelevant as a point of reference. It enables the study of various trends in contemporary mainland-Chinese poetry in their own right, or with the simple qualification that orthodoxy is not among them, rather than stressing that every single one of them is different from orthodoxy.
Complex if not problematic relations between aesthetic and institutional realms have occupied practitioners and students of avant-garde movements the world over, and mainland China is no exception. On the face of it, such as in book titles, the notion of the avant-garde appears to operate in the aesthetic dimension rather than the institutional. Since, on closer inspection, it turns out to be a catchall for different and indeed divergent poetics, it must at the same time be fundamentally institutional.
As for aesthetics, if the reader will excuse a clichéd comparison, observations ex positivo would be attractive because defining blue as the color of the sky on a clear day tells us more than defining blue as not the color of grass, or not the color of the sun, or not the color of blood. If by now, a good three decades into the avant-garde’s history, we can in fact make observations of this nature, one might be that an opposition of two general orientations or “camps” in poetry summed up as the Elevated and the Earthly is of particular relevance in mainland China (Van Crevel 2005: 646-647), more so than in poetry scenes of other times and places. Another might be mainland-Chinese avant-garde poets’ rich – and contested – employment of metaphor. Here, however, we are up against a difficult side of studying a phenomenon from our own time, i.e. its closeness; and this research note is concerned with notions of poetry, not with poetry itself.
Some journals or multiple-author books consciously cast their net wide, across geographical and poetical divides (e.g. Modern Han Poetry 现代汉诗). Others are regionally defined (e.g. Hot City 萨克城) or champion a particular poetics, whether explicitly through manifestos and theorizing (e.g. Wings翼, The Lower Body 下半身) or implicitly through their selection of poetry (e.g. The Nineties九十年代). These are often referred to as journals of kindred spirits or soulmate journals (同仁刊物 / 同人刊物). Soulmate constellations may also have regional hues (e.g. several authors from Sichuan and several from Harbin coming together in Razor 剃须刀 in 2004, almost as an expansion of the 1990 meeting of Narrative 叙事 poets Sun Wenbo and Xiao Kaiyu from Sichuan, and Zhang Shuguang from Harbin, in The Nineties and Against). Regional definition, in its turn, does not preclude openness to contributors from elsewhere. Especially in the mid-1980s, near-completely local line-ups are often complemented by a small number of poets from other places, with Xi Chuan (Beijing) and Chen Dongdong (Shanghai) as two examples of regular crosser-overs between notions of North and South – which, notably, are prone to transcend the strictly geographical to begin with.
Just like avant-garde, then, official and unofficial are ambiguous terms too, in that they can refer to both aesthetic and institutional matters. This ambiguity has been put to clever use in poetical debates within the avant-garde – most of all in the aforesaid 1998-2000 polemic – and more generally applies in various stakeholders’ claims to various types of cultural capital. No self-respecting avant-garde poet will accept being called official in the aesthetic sense, meaning that their work reflects orthodox preferences in thematics and so on, as above. In addition to publishing through unofficial channels, however, just about every such poet sets great store by appearing in journals and books that are official in the institutional sense. That is: these books are formally registered publications, with a colophon containing library catalogue data (图书再版编目数据、版本图书馆号), a fixed price and so on. One can publish in institutionally official journals and books, or hold membership of official institutions such as the national and local Writers’ Associations, and yet enjoy recognition as an aesthetically unofficial poet.
Yu Jian and Xi Chuan are two powerful examples, in that they have been the two most prominent contemporary poets in China and built up international renown since the mid-1990s. While they are aesthetically of undisputed unofficial provenance, and formative stages of their career unfolded through institutionally unofficial channels, both have published collections with major official presses. In addition, Yu Jian has been employed by the Yunnan Province Federation of Literary and Art Circles as editor of the Yunnan Literature & Art Review (云南文艺评论), for the full length of his parallel career as an unofficial poet. Xi Chuan, who teaches at the Central Institute for Fine Arts in Beijing, was one of five poets who received the eminently official, four-yearly Lu Xun Award for Literature (鲁迅文学奖) for the period 1997-2000. Rather than letting these things influence any assessment of, say, the artistic integrity of these or other poets vis-à-vis caricatures of an orthodoxy that continues to ideologize literature, Yu Jian’s and Xi Chuan’s literary output raises the question whether this is perhaps a sign of the unofficial scene changing the official scene.
Even if we bear in mind that the dividing line between official and unofficial aesthetics can be fuzzy (cf Yeh 1996), the opposite situation hardly occurs: aesthetically official poets who publish in institutionally unofficial journals and books.
To a large extent, then, avant-garde overlaps with unofficial, but there are differences. First, for all the ambiguity of both terms, the primary associations of avant-garde and unofficial are aesthetic (e.g. private symbolism) and institutional (e.g. private publishing), respectively. Second, this is borne out by their idiomatic distribution. Unofficial journal (非官方刊物) is much more common than avant-garde journal (先锋刊物). Also, there is no notion of being semi-avant-garde to match the above-mentioned notion of being semi-official. Conversely, it is hard to imagine replacing avant-garde by unofficialin Shen Haobo’s (2001) battlecry “Avant-Garde unto Death!” (先锋到死！), or in a hip phrase like poetric avant-garde (诗先锋, with the noun 诗‘poetry’ turned into an adjective). Third, while the notion of the avant-garde often functions as a catchall for everything but orthodoxy, the rejection of orthodoxy is no part of its surface designation. The term itself does not negate another.
Cultural life in China displays increasing pluriformity, with commercialization playing a complex and fascinating role, by no means simply “marginalizing” high art if we look at more than just the size of its audiences. This pluriformity and the said ambiguities clarify how, in spite of a chasm of aesthetic difference that continues to separate official and unofficial poetry scenes, their institutional distinctions have become blurred. Little remains of the antagonism that made them incompatible and indeed mutually exclusive in the early years, up to the mid-1980s. Nowadays, they coexist in parallel worlds that occasionally brush past one another and indeed interact, even if such interaction is rarely explicitly recognized. It occurs, for instance, in institutionally official book and journal publications whose aesthetics sit squarely in the unofficial realm. These are often contracted and produced by aesthetically unofficial poets that have “gone to sea” (下海) – that is, into business – as book brokers (书商). While some have ISBN or book license numbers (书号), this has long ceased to indicate any compatibility with orthodox aesthetics. There is a lively trade in these numbers, involving public institutions and private individuals and everything in between, and niceties such as the procurement of a single number for a multiple-author series of individual collections, for cost effectiveness.
Just like the institutions of the official scene, those of the unofficial scene include events such as organized gatherings of poets, widely advertised recitals, exhibitions and cooperative projects with other arts like theater and music; and of course, most importantly, publications. Many of the latter carry literary criticism in addition to the poetry itself – and, occasionally, short fiction – as well as foreign poetry in Chinese translation. In spite of the fitful relaxation of government cultural policy from 1978 onward, the unofficial poetry scene retains its significance to this day. It does so not only because political repression continues at fluctuating levels, or only if set off against the official “art of the state”, whose quality hinges on being embedded in its own, particular, orthodox discourse. In its own right, the unofficial scene lies at the core of a lively poetry climate that is crucial to the development of individual poets as well as the poetry scene as a whole.
Distinctions of orthodoxy and avant-garde, and of official, unofficial, underground and so on, also operate in other media and genres of literature and art in China: theater and performance, music, film, painting, sculpture. They do so in similar or comparable fashion, from utter incompatibility to fluid interaction. As part of a society that has been transformed in the past three decades and continues to be in flux, these distinctions are anything but static. At a given point in time, they reflect a multi-dimensional dynamic constituted by forces ranging from government ideology and cultural policy to personal initiative, the market, and the politics of place, from the local to the global.
In 1986-1987, as a student at Peking University, at an exhilarating time when literature and the arts in China enjoyed unprecedented diversity and there was much room for experimentation, I made the acquaintance of several Chinese poets, scholars and critics. Correspondence over the next few years enabled fruitful work together in the summer of 1991, when the cultural purge that had started in mid-1989 had once again raised the significance of the unofficial scene, and demonstrated its resilience. My PhD research thus started with a trip in every sense of the word, during a good two breathless months of interviews with poets and other stakeholders in Beijing, Chengdu, Shanghai and Hangzhou, and of collecting poetry publications and criticism, making audio and video recordings of recitals and taking photographs. These things laid the foundations of what has since grown into an archive of avant-garde poetry from China, including that written by authors in exile. Sometimes through correspondence, but mostly during regular research trips that have taken me to other cities in addition to the above – Kunming, Xi’an, Guangzhou, Harbin, Tianjin, Nanjing – I have continued collecting: unofficial journals as well as books, the latter including both individual collections and multiple-author anthologies. This would have been impossible without the active help of Chinese poets, scholars and critics. In addition to informing me of new publications, they helped me identify and locate material from the 1980s and indeed the late 1970s.
Building the archive has been like many other research efforts, in that gradually getting a sense of what is out there and what questions it raises leaves one with a paradoxical feeling. When I had just started, it felt like I had a pretty good idea of what was going on. A decade-and-a-half and many new bookshelves later, I am rather more conscious of the limitations of the collection, especially as new names are flooding the Internet, but also as poets and readers of all kinds continue to hold print journals in high regard, and to produce new ones: witness their appearance in literary histories, and events such as the 2006 poetry exhibition in Guangzhou. Calling the journal collection recorded in the bibliography below the tip of the iceberg would do it no justice, but the list cannot lay claim to being exhaustive by any stretch of the imagination. There is consolation in the thought that the pursuit of exhaustion is perhaps an academic disorder.
Truisms on the nature of scholarship aside, there is at least one objectifiable reason for the above paradox. If we take a long-term view, there is a gradual relaxation of ideological and cultural repression in China; new technologies such as desktop publishing have been widely available for many years now; and there is a capricious but rising interest in sponsoring the avant-garde among wealthy individuals, named and unnamed, privately or through dedicated funding agencies. Hence, it is practically impossible to keep up with all new publications, let alone organize the information according to aesthetic or institutional patterns, relative impact and so on.
So, dare I call the archive representative? In a sense, yes, for books (Van Crevel 2007a) as well as for the unofficial journals that have now entered the purview of our Library. For the journals, it is representative because it includes many of the truly groundbreaking and influential specimens from the late 1970s through to present, even if by no means all are complete sets; and the overground emergence of unofficial poetry was nothing less than a watershed in Chinese literary history. Furthermore, the data for the later years of the period covered, incomplete and fragmentary as they may be, still present important avenues into poetry in contemporary China. There is a third point, intended as neither cleverness nor apology, but perhaps I should rephrase and say that, here, I ask for the reader’s leniency: this bibliography is relatively representative in the sense that, from elsewhere in the world, the material is hard to get. All the more reason to hope for cooperation with other collectors.
The information contained in the bibliography below comes from a variety of sources. They include the journals themselves, previous scholarship and commentary at large, and fieldwork notes I have taken since 1991. The latter contain documentation of formal interviews as well as countless snippets of information gleaned from informal conversations and correspondence conducted with poets and other parties concerned over the years. Full citation would make the bibliography unreadable. Conversely, limiting the use of anecdotal information and personal communications to what can be corroborated in public records would impoverish it (say, disregarding Yu Jian’s explanation that he published under the name Dawei in the early 1980s, or that theHighland Poetry Compilation featuring Dawei’s poetry was produced in Kunming). Consequently, and further to the disclaimers made in the preceding pages, the list of journals is offered as raw material, with question marks indicating conjecture or estimation (e.g. that Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China commenced publication in the late 1980s), brought on by the fact that many journals provide minimal colophon information and have little editorial-institutional presence. In sum, it is a relatively crude record, and there are many details that I have not had the opportunity to check, where I may be off target. As noted, the list lays no claim to being exhaustive; nor can it hope to be perfect in what it does contain. Its primary aim is to flag the material, in order to provide a rough impression of a fascinating chapter in the history of Chinese literature.
While I am at it, I might add that especially the comments sections are uneven in what they contain and how much of it. For one thing, there is more to say about some journals than about others. About some, more has in fact been said: in English-language scholarship, most of all Today, but alsoEnlightenment and, since Michael Day’s China’s Second World of Poetry (2005), many journals out of Sichuan province in the 1980s and early 1990s. In such cases, rather than repeating earlier scholarship beyond the briefest of summaries, I have offered suggestions for further reading. One thing I have tried to highlight where it conspicuously presents itself is individual journals’ demonstrable affiliation – whether self-assigned or otherwise, and to varying degrees – with the aforementioned Elevated and Earthly orientations, and, more or less by extension, with the Intellectual or the Popular sides in the 1998-2000 polemic. Even as I was adding these impressions to the comments, a correlation materialized between the Elevated and the Intellectual on the one hand, and individual journals’ publication of foreign poetry in translation on the other, reaffirming explicit-poetical positions taken by both sides in the polemic; this is a typical example of the rewarding experience of browsing through the material on its various levels. Another feature I have identified for many journals is that of regional identity, as distinct from or complementary to national inclusiveness. National inclusiveness is especially notable in the early years, when mobility and telecommunications were much less developed than in the 1990s and after.
Obviously, the unevenness of the comments sections also reflects the limits of my vision, and the limits of my ability to redress the imbalance noted in the opening paragraphs of this document. The early journals and the people that made them have simply had more time to establish their presence in literary history than the later ones. Also, the comments may occasionally strike the reader as repetitive (e.g. on semi-official journals and their relation to university environments, or on one-time publications as distinct from serial ones), because it has been my aim to enable the reader to consider individual journals against the backdrop of this research note, rather than having to read through the entire bibliography. Individual entries do not, however, repeat parenthesized citation of Chinese terms beyond first mention of their English equivalent in this document – search functions will come in handy here – or provide Chinese originals for ubiquitous permutations of the phrase material for internal exchange, as long as they contain no more than any or all of the three elements material, internal and exchange. Finally, I have not refrained from remarking on whatever happened to catch my eye while I revisited the journals this time around (e.g. that Destination’s allusion to T S Eliot may serve as an example of fruitful mis-understanding; or that, among the many Chinese translations of foreign poetry carried by unofficial journals, Daozi’s renditions of Sylvia Plath and Allen Ginsberg in Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange and Contemporary Chinese Experimental Poetry were hugely influential), even if I have not gone through all the journals from cover to cover, and knowing full well that doing so would doubtless yield many more such incidental remarks.
On that note, producing the bibliography and fleshing it out has made me realize anew how an exercise like this inevitably entails the act of canonization. Canonization, of course, is rarely objective or systematic, whether by design or with hindsight. It is at best intersubjective, and usually subjective on individual and collective levels; and it can indeed be coincidental and arbitrary. The latter holds especially for material whose very availability to the researcher is anything but self-evident and in some ways a matter of chance, as is the case for the journals studied here.
The bibliography is limited to print journals produced inside China, with a very few working through Hong Kong publishers or print facilities. It does not list individual collections associated with particular journals, e.g. those by Bei Dao and Mang Ke in the Today Series (今天丛书) or by Li Yawei under the aegis of Macho Men, or those produced privately by scores of mainland-Chinese poets ever since the late 1970s. (These do appear in Van Crevel 2007a, the said bibliography of books of avant-garde poetry from China, as distinct from journals). Unofficial, multiple-author anthologies in book formare included, in the light of the way they function on the poetry scene (e.g. Born-Again Forest, Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems, April, Hot City, Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouse, etc). As long as they are limited in scope (unlike, for instance, Lao Mu’s 1985New Tide Poetry), this is journal-like in that they showcase multiple authors often presented as belonging together in one way or another, regionally or in soulmate constellations, albeit without the continuity of serial publications. Where the colophon of individual journals that appear to have produced just one issue does not contain information such as “Founding Issue” (创刊号) or “Issue # 1” (第一期), it is difficult to determine whether they were intended as one-timers, or as serials but discontinued; regardless, there is ample reason to include them in the bibliography. On a general note, many unofficial journals are short-lived and display fitful publication patterns. Dependence on personal initiative and the absence of institutional frameworks to sustain them are among their defining features.
The bibliography does not extend to the Internet, whether for online-only journals or for websites associated with print journals. Nor does it include print or online journals that have (re)emerged in the United States, Europe, Australia or Japan, such as First Line (一行, since 1987), the continuation ofToday (since 1990), the new Tendency (1993-2000), Olive Tree (橄榄树, since 1995), the Chinese-language parts of Otherland (原乡, since 1995), and Blue (蓝, since 2000).
The left column lists each journal’s name, place of origin and approximate dates, preceded by numbers such as 197811, meaning ‘November 1978’, and198513, meaning ‘1985, month unspecified’, used for automatic chronological sorting. It also identifies general and one-issue editors (编辑) – *starred if formally designated or generally recognized as such, sometimes called producers (策划人) – and prominent contributors and associates. Those named in the left column are almost exclusively poets, but occasionally include critics who are especially active in the avant-garde’s (unofficial) publications (e.g.Not-Not). The left column also specifies the holdings in the Leiden collection. Some journals sporadically feature works by Chinese-language poets from other Chinas than the mainland, but in principle the identification of contributors and associates is limited to mainland authors, with the exception of Liao Weitang, who hails from Hong Kong but is definitely part of early 2000s Beijing scenes. After the editors, the order in which contributors appear more or less reflects that in which they feature in the actual publications, this being a definite indicator of cultural capital. At the same time, for soulmate journals and especially for regionally defined journals that seem to become more inclusive in later issues, I have wanted to give those involved in the original conceptualization and establishment of the journal in question pride of place over those who joined them later. The right column provides comments and occasional suggestions for further reading, and cross-references between individual journals that are fruitfully studied in conjunction in one respect or another.
The said prominence of contributors and associates usually means a degree of primarily domestic canonization at the time or in later years; or, bearing in mind the above disclaimers on objectivity and systematicity, this reader’s recollection of encountering journal contributors in other contexts such as individual or multiple-author book publications, or across a range of unofficial journals. Inevitably, then, especially for the early years, there are journals for which just about every single contributor is listed, and conversely, for later and recent years, there are those for which only a numerical minority fall prey to this imperfect labeling. This issue is complicated by the fact that, starting in the late 1980s and certainly from the early 1990s on, there are numerous journals that contain works by too many poets to list, often carrying a small number of works by each poet, rather than a substantial selection from their oeuvres. Yet, patterns of systematic co-occurrence do suggest themselves. These are of interest from literary-historical and sociological as well as literary-critical angles, with added significance if we bear in mind how the phenomenon of ties of allegiance (关系) operates in Chinese literature, whether geographically or institutionally determined (e.g. through a proud regional identity, as in Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu; or, through alumni of the same university department, as in Sunflower 葵).
While the avant-garde is a glaringly male-dominated scene – this is, for instance, overwhelmingly in evidence in (polemical) commentarial discourse – Women’s Poetry (女性诗歌) has been an important, dynamic critical category ever since the early 1980s (Zhang [Jeanne Hong] 2004). More generally, the identification of women poets is of obvious relevance from the aforesaid various angles. Hence, in the bibliography, their names are followed by the character ♀. Needless to say, this is not intended to essentialize their (literary) identities. Also, with the exception of Jiang Tao ♂, whose name-in-transcription is identical to that of woman poet Jiang Tao, the alternative of marking male poets as male seemed less advisable, precisely because the great majority of the poets are men, or, from a slightly different angle, the great majority of published poems are male-authored – my guesstimate would lie closer to 90 than to 80%. Moreover, women’s literature is an established critical category, but men’s literature is not. The identification of women poets is probably accurate in most if not all cases, but there might be a small number of false negatives, and an even smaller number of false positives. If so, this is likely in the category of those named as (one-time) editors or otherwise involved in journal production who are lesser known as poets or editors beyond that particular bit of information. It is additionally explained by the suitability of some names for female as well as male designation, and by poets’ proclivity for creating their own names, whose conventional connotations need not be in accordance with the sex of their bearers.
For authors who contribute to literary discourse under more than one name, the bibliography adds their best-known names-as-poets to lesser-known ones, not the other way around (e.g. Gudai = Jingbute, but not Jingbute = Gudai; Shizhi / Guo Lusheng is a special case in that he is equally well known by both of his names). It does not, however, list names they have only used for other genres than poetry (e.g. fiction writer Shi Mo, who is the same person as poet Bei Dao), or “real” or “original” names (原名、本名) that the author in question has to my knowledge not used in their capacity as published poets. There is, in this particular context, nothing particularly real or original about the name Jiang Shiwei, even if the person who is the poet Mang Ke was probably registered as Jiang Shiwei when he went to high school, applied for a passport, etc.
For transcription, I have stuck to literary-historical convention – meaning previous transcription in Western-language publications – where it exists, even if it flouts the rules for Chinese (family) names (e.g. Shu Ting and Xi Chuan rather than Shuting and Xichuan), and otherwise gone by those rules (e.g. Fansi and Zhongdao rather than Fan Si and Zhong Dao). The glossary proper is followed by a brief section that contains other predictable and attested spellings, so as to increase findability of this document. In the case of Beiling / Bei Ling, Duoduo / Duo Duo and Haizi / Hai Zi – the names of all three have previously been transcribed in both ways – I have opted for Beiling, Duoduo and Haizi (on the basis of some “real” biographical information after all: the “original” name of the first is Huang Beiling, the second named himself after his daughter Li Duoduo; as for the third, in the light of his “original” name [Zha Haisheng], the Hai in Haizi does not appear to function as the family name that it can normally be).
The list is in chronological order, by approximate founding date, thus roughly tracing the journals’ development through time. Founding dates are generally easier to estimate than termination dates. Journals that were effectively closed down by the authorities (e.g. Enlightenment, Today, the early Not-Not, Tendency) have unambiguous termination dates, but many others are like the old soldiers in the famous song: they never die, but just fade away. For these, termination dates are hard to pinpoint, if one can be sure that one knows of their latest issues to begin with. For practical reasons ranging from censorship to financial problems, many of the unofficial journals appear irregularly (不定期), some announcing as much in print, and there are journals that resume publication or are revived (复刊) after hibernating for years on end. In some cases, their dormancy coincides with June Fourth and the subsequent cultural purge (e.g. Them).
Journal titles appear between double arrowed brackets 《 》 . A forward slash / followed by an italicized foreign title indicates that the original publication has both Chinese and foreign captions, and a pipeline character | lists foreign captions if there are more than one, for instance in different issues. English translations based on the original Chinese title, and occasionally informed by knowledge of the journal’s background, appear in square brackets [ ]. For example: 《终点 / Lastline Poetry》 Zhongdian [Destination]. Where I know of various English translations used to date, I have included them. For example: 《非非》 Feifei [Not-Not], alternatively translated as [Nay-Nay].
Chinese titles are also provided in italicized, Hanyu pinyin alphabetic transcription, without tone marks, to facilitate search functions. As regards syllable aggregation, Jintian, Tamen, Zhongguo dangdai shiyan shige, Feifei and Pengyoumen are self-evident cases. Aggregates like Zheyang,Xiangwang, Cishenglin, Nanshizixing and Shoujie wenxueyishujie zhuanji are slightly more debatable, but more or less go by the Basic Rules for Hanyu Pinyin Orthography (see, for example, DeFrancis 1996: 835-845). Finally, shi ‘poetry’ stands alone in journal names such as Shi cankao ‘Poetry Reference’ and Shi jianghu ‘Poetry Vagabonds’, but appears as part of compound words in shiqun ‘poetry group’, shitan ‘poetry scene’, shixuan ‘poetry anthology’, shiren ‘poet’, shikan ‘poetry journal’, xinshi ‘New Poetry’, Hanshi ‘Han poetry’ or ‘poetry in Chinese’, xiaoyuanshi ‘Campus poetry’,xiandaishi ‘modern poetry’, zhongjiandaishi ‘Poetry of the Middle Generation’ – and in shiti (诗体) ‘poetry (sub)genre’, whose evocation of the othershiti (尸体) ‘corpse’ in Xin siwang shiti 新死亡诗体 is hard to miss. I have opted for these conventions instead of disaggregation throughout, again: to increase online findability of this document, on the assumption that more or less intuitive aggregation is commonly used, and informed by word formation in Chinese (e.g. Jintian) and familiarity with literary historiography (e.g. Feifei rather than Fei fei, Xue Di rather than Xuedi, etc).
As for the uses to which the bibliography might be put, for all its imperfections, the data should be able to yield some interesting information, especially if facilitated by electronic search functions. It can, for instance, indicate degrees of activism and popularity for individual poets, as well as the patterns of co-occurrence noted above. Also, scrolling through the left column at whatever pace, on screen or paper, will provide a rough impression of where and when the unofficial journals circuit has been at its most or least intense, with the overview just prior to the full record offering a bird’s-eye view. For example: there was a lot of activity in Shanghai and various cities in Sichuan in the mid-1980s, but a relative decline in Shanghai and a bustling continuation in Sichuan in the early 1990s; and the early 1990s cultural purge after June Fourth appears to have spurred unofficial journal activism in various places throughout the country. The comments in the right column of the full record can hardly be called analytically ambitious, and are eminently fit for diagonal reading. Yet, for all their occasional repetitiveness, together – whether for ten journals or for fifty or a hundred – they may serve to convey a sense of how the unofficial journals work, complementary to the analysis in the preceding pages. Finally, the bibliography’s chronological order may help to make visible how particular aspects of the avant-garde poetry discourse have taken shape over the last thirty years. And so on – but what to do with the bibliography and its annotations is of course entirely up to the reader.
The full record below is preceded by an abbreviated list of the journals’ names and their place of origin or production. This list is in the same order as the full record, and may come in handy if you are working with a hard copy of this document. In the HTML version you are currently using, rather than linking every single item in the abbreviated list to the corresponding entry in the full record, we advise the reader yet again to use the search function to jump from the one to the other. Note, however, that in the full record, journal titles occur not only in their own entries (in the left column, which is where your jump should take you), but also as cross-references to other journals (in the right column).
《启蒙》 [Enlightenment] Guiyang & Beijing
《今天》 [Today] Beijing
《我们》 [We] Lanzhou
《犁》 [Plough] Kunming
《启明星》 [Venus] Beijing
《MИ / Mourner》 [Mourner] Shanghai
《次生林》 [Born-Again Forest] Chengdu
《高原诗辑》 [Highland Poetry Compilation] Kunming
《这样》 [This Way] Beijing?
《莽汉》 [Macho Men] Nanchong (Sichuan) & Chengdu
《同代》 [Same Generation] Lanzhou
《当代中国诗三十八首》 [Thirty-Eight Contemporary Chinese Poems] Beijing
《南方》 [The South] Shanghai
《现代诗内部交流资料》 [Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange] Chengdu
《他们》 [Them] Nanjing
《海上》 [At Sea] Shanghai
《日日新》 [Day by Day Make It New] Chongqing
《南十字星诗刊》 [Southern Cross Poetry Journal] Fuzhou
《中国当代实验诗歌》 [Contemporary Chinese Experimental Poetry] Fuling (Sichuan)
《大陆》 [Continent] Shanghai
《十种感觉或语言库展览》 [Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouse] Hangzhou
《当代中国诗歌七十五首》 [Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems] Beijing & Shanghai
《撒娇诗刊》 [The Coquetry Poetry Journal] Shanghai
《现代评论》 [The Modern Review] Beijing
《非非》 [Not-Not] Xichang (Sichuan) & Chengdu & Beijing
《汉诗：二十世纪编年史》 [Han Poetry: A Chronicle of the Twentieth Century] Chengdu
《首届文学艺术节专集》 [Special Collections for the First (Peking University) Literature & Art Festival] Beijing
《星期五》 [Friday] Fuzhou?
《四月》 [April] Zhejiang (Hangzhou?) & Beijing
《银杏》 [Ginkgo] Kunming
《萨克城》 [Hot City] Hangzhou
《巴蜀现代诗群》 [Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu] Fuling (Sichuan)
《红旗》 [Red Flag] Chongqing
《天目诗刊》 [Sky Eyes Poetry Journal] Hangzhou
《面影诗刊》 [The Face Poetry Journal] Guangzhou
《中国·上海诗歌前浪》 [Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China] Shanghai
《倾向》 [Tendency] Beijing & Shanghai
《五人集》 [Five Poets] Kunming
《幸存者》 [The Survivors] Beijing
《和平之夜：中国当代诗人朗诵会》 [Night of Peace: A Recital by Contemporary Chinese Poets] Beijing
《黑洞：新浪漫主义诗歌艺术丛刊》 [Black Hole: A Journal of Neo-Romantic Poetry and Art] Beijing
《北回归线：中国当代先锋诗人》 [Tropic of Cancer: Contemporary Chinese Avant-Garde Poets] Hangzhou
《喂》 Wei [Hello] Shanghai
《九十年代》 [The Nineties] Chengdu
《反对》 [Against] Chengdu
《象岡》 [Image Puzzle] Chengdu
《异乡人》 [Stranger] Shanghai
《边缘》 [The Margins] Chengdu
《发现》 [Discovery] Beijing
《写作间》 [Writers’ Workshop] Chongqing
《边缘》 [The Margins] Beijing
《过渡诗刊》 [Transition Poetry Journal] Harbin
《长诗与组诗》 [Long Poems and Poem Series] Shanghai?
《诗参考》 [Poetry Reference] Beijing
《三角帆》 [Three-Master] Wenling (Zhejiang)
《尺度：诗歌内部交流资料》 [Yardstick: Poetry Material for Internal Exchange] Beijing
《巴别塔》 [The Tower of Babel] Beijing
《大骚动》 [Tumult] Beijing
《现代汉诗》 [Modern Han Poetry] Beijing
《南方评论》 [The Southern Review] Chengdu
《倾斜诗刊》 [Slant Poetry Journal] Hangzhou
《原样》 [Original State] Nanjing
《阵地》 [Battlefront] Pingdingshan (Henan)
《组成：夸父研究》 [Put Together: Braggadocio Studies] Beijing
《声音》 [Voice] Shenzhen & Guangzhou
《中国第三代诗人诗丛编委会通报材料》 [China’s Third Generation Poets’ Poetry Series: Notice from the Editorial Committee] Panjin (Liaoning)
《新死亡诗体》 [New Death Poetry Genre] Fujian?
《南方诗志》 [The Southern Poetry Review] Shanghai?
《阿波利奈尔》 [Apollinaire] Hangzhou
《我说》 [I Say] Ningbo
《北门杂志》 [North Gate Magazine] Jiangyin = Zhangjiagang (Jiangsu)
《东北亚诗刊》 [Northeast Asia Poetry Journal] Heilongjiang (unspecified; Huanfen?)
《偏移》 [Deviation] Beijing
《刘丽安诗歌奖》 [The Liu Li’an Poetry Award] Beijing
《标准》 [Criterion] Beijing
《黑蓝》 [Black & Blue] Nanjing
《诗歌通讯》 [Poetry Bulletin] Dalian
《小杂志》 [The Little Magazine] Beijing
《北京大学研究生学刊：文学增刊》 [Graduate Students’ Journal of Peking University: Literary Supplement] Beijing
《终点》 [Destination] Chengdu & Mianyang (Sichuan) & Beijing
《四人诗选》 [Works by Four Poets] Beijing
《翼》 [Wings] Beijing
《新诗人》 [New Poets] Beijing?
《葵：诗歌作品集》 [Sunflower: Collected Poems] Tianjin
《诗中国》 [Poetric China] Beijing
《幸福剧团》 [The Happiness Theater Band] Chengdu
《诗文本》 [Poetry Text] Guangzhou
《朋友们》 [Friends] Beijing
《手稿》 [Manuscript] Beijing
《诗歌与人》 [Poetry and People] Guangzhou
《下半身》 [The Lower Body] Beijing
《原创性写作》 [Original Writing] Shantou (Guangdong)
《书》 [Writing] Beijing
《第三说：中间代诗论》 [Third Word: On Poetry by the Middle Generation] Zhangzhou (Fujian)
《寄身虫》 [Parasite] Shenzhen
《此岸》 [This Shore] Beijing
《诗江湖》 [Poetry Vagabonds] Zhongshan (Guangdong)
《21世纪：中国诗歌民刊》 [The 21st Century: A Popular Poetry Journal] Guangzhou
《新青年写作手册》 [New Youth Writing Manual] Beijing
《方位》 [Position] Beijing
《新诗》 [New Poetry] Beijing & Hainan
《大雅》 [The Greater Odes] Sichuan (unspecified)
《枕草子：中文诗刊》 [The Pillow Book: A Journal of Poetry in Chinese] Beijing
《低岸》 [The Lower Shore] Beijing
《新汉诗》 [New Han Poetry] Wuhan?
《剃须刀》 [Razor] Harbin
|Date code《Name》Transcription of name[Translation of name]
|Comments and references to WORKS CITED|
|The Enlightenment Society (启蒙社) and its journal had their roots in Guiyang, and centered around poet Huang Xiang, who began writing underground protest poetry against Mao Zedong and the terror of the Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s. Enlightenment poetry was deeply embedded in a politico-philosophical discourse, manifest in essays on human rights among other things. Witness the mission statement on the cover of # 1, reproduced in the section called “From underground to overground….”, above. The statement reads: “Dedicated to the Socialist New Enlightenment Movement and Using Poetry to Criticize the Reactionary Thought System of Lin Biao and the ‘Gang of Four’”.Huang had a history of conflict with the authorities, manifest in several prison sentences among other things, but the pathos in his work and that of other Enlightenment contributors is similar to that found in orthodox poetry. It is also of decidedly Elevated affiliation. Similarities and indeed a certain aesthetic and ideological complicity of orthodox and early avant-garde discourse have been noted in scholarship (e.g. Yeh 1996). Inclusion of Enlightenment in this bibliography is warranted by the fact that, together with Shizhi (= Guo Lusheng), Huang Xiang is widely seen as belonging to the avant-garde, if only as a precursor, or one that helped pave the way. Shizhi was less explicitly political and wrote in an altogether different style, but played a similar and probably more influential role, through the nationwide circulation of his late 1960s and early 1970s poetry among the rusticated urban youth known as Young Intellectuals (知青): a generation that would spawn many of the early avant-garde poets. Since the poetry contributions to Fertile Soil (沃土) and Fruits of Autumn (秋实) – mentioned above, and both held by the Leiden University Sinological Library, among other places – have not been similarly presented as contributing to the avant-garde, this bibliography contains no entries for the latter two journals.Enlightenment activities included poster publications in Beijing on 11 October and 24 November 1978 (which count as # 1-2) and three more journal issues in the months thereafter, during the Beijing Spring. The journal’s history is complicated because of its dual locations in Guiyang and Beijing, and because of factional conflict, which resulted in the establishment of a Beijing Branch Society (启蒙社北京分社) in January 1979, and of the Thaw Society (解冻社), led by Li Jiahua, in February 1979. Both new Societies published two issues of their own journals. The Beijing Branch Society also reprinted two of the “original” issues, of which Li Jiahua claimed substantial co-authorship or co-editorship.Especially in the early years, Enlightenment’s exposure was limited, due to the overwhelming presence of Today. This would soon feed into the development of a Southern consciousness in contemporary poetry, to resist what was perceived as the (Northern) hegemony of Beijing and the Todaylegacy. See, for instance, Born-Again Forest and several journals withSouth in their names: The South, Southern Cross Poetry Journal, The Southern Review and The Southern Poetry Review; for Southern identity in less explicitly named journals, search for South.On Enlightenment, see McDougall 1979a, Sidane 1980, Widor 1981 & 1987, Garside 1981, Liu 1985, Nathan 1985, Zhu 1985, Huang Xiang 1997, Ya Mo 1997, Emerson 2001 & 2004 and Li (Runxia) 2004 & 2007. For English translations of # 1-2-3, see Qimeng in WORKS CITED.|
|197812《今天 / The Moment | Today!》Jintian[Today]
||Today has gone down in history as a watershed in Chinese literary history and the starting point of post-Cultural Revolution mainland-Chinese literature. Within the avant-garde, it counts as the fountainhead of Obscure Poetry (朦胧诗), and more generally of the Elevated orientation that was soon to be counterbalanced and indeed challenged by various Earthly voices.In addition to poets Bei Dao and Mang Ke, the founders of Today included painter Huang Rui.After the journal proper, following police orders to cease publication, the Today Society for the Study of Literature (今天文学研究会) produced three sets of what it first called Literary Material (文学资料, set # 1), and later Material for Internal Exchange (sets # 2-3). In addition to the journal, several unofficial individual collections of poetry appeared under its flag.This collection includes near-complete photocopies of the original # 1, with a different cover design and English caption (The Moment) than those by which Today is generally known (Today!). The latter design and English caption were used starting from # 2; more sophisticated printing than the visibly manual mimeographing technique, from # 3. Most extant copies of # 1 are October 1979 reprints, similar in format to issue # 3 and up. Bound, facsimile reproductions of all issues including the Material…. were republished in 1997 by Chūgoku Bungei Kenkyūkai, Kokusai Gengo Bunka Kenkyūjo, Ritsumeikan Daigaku, Japan. Issue # 1 in this edition is the October 1979 reprint.In December 1988, many original Today associates gathered in Beijing in commemoration of the journal’s founding, ten years earlier, and of recently deceased underground collector Zhao Yifan. They published a thin booklet containing some groundbreaking texts of the earliest avant-garde, a chronology of the journal’s history and a farewell to Zhao, in one of the well-known Today covers. This retrospective moment included the conferral of the first Today Poetry Award on Duoduo, embodied in the publication of a major – unofficial – survey collection of his poetry in spring 1989. After June Fourth, Today became a thing of not just the past but the future, when Bei Dao and others reestablished it outside China – and, especially in the first few years, with an appreciable if contested measure of literary-exilic identity. Operating outside China, the new Today(since 1990) no longer counts as an unofficial journal.On Today, from a plethora of commentary, see Sidane 1980, Widor 1981, Goodman 1981, Liu 1985, Nathan 1985, Pan & Pan 1985, Patton 1994: chapter 1, Van Crevel 1996: chapter 2, Mang Ke & Tang 1997, Bei Dao 1999, Liao 1999: sections 5 and 6, and Liu 2001.|
|197813《我们 / We》Women[We]
|Produced by the Northwest Normal University (NNU) Poetry Study Group (西北师大诗歌学会), We calls itself “Campus Poetry Material for Exchange” (校园诗歌交流资料). Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications. The fact that the journal lists an official on-campus address reaffirms the impression that it should count as semi-official. It has a remarkably early founding date, and one suspects that its semi-official status may have provided a degree of institutionalization that made it less dependent on particular individuals and their unofficial activism, thus enabling it to exist for such a long time. The preface to the (1992) issue in this collection, for instance, is by Yan Jun, then a student at NNU, now a famous unofficial music critic, artist and poet based in Beijing. Yan would have been a mere eight years old when We was founded. See Venus and Three-Master.|
|198013《犁 / Plough》Li[Plough]
|Plough was produced by the Plough Literary Society (犁文学社) at the Yunnan University Chinese Department. Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.An editor’s note welcomes contributions from everywhere, and stresses that Plough is privately funded and operates under dire financial constraints.In addition to Yu Jian himself and Wu Wenguang, Fei Jia and Li Bo are two of the characters who feature in Yu Jian’s famous «No. 6 Shangyi Street». See Highland Poetry Compilation.|
|Venus was produced by the General Youth League Branch and the Student Association of the Peking University Chinese Department (北大中文系团总支、北大中文系学生会). Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.The issue in this collection celebrates the journal’s tenth anniversary; its long history was likely made possible by its semi-official status. See Weand Three-Master.|
|198113《MИ / Mourner》 [sic][no Chinese title, hence no transcription][Mourner]
|Mourner # 5 lists back issues starting from 1981, three of four carrying poetry and one prose essays (散文). This journal is an early example of regionally identifiable journal activism in 1980s Shanghai, home to most of the journal’s contributors.|
|198204《次生林》Cishenglin[Born-Again Forest], alternatively translated as [Forest Regrown] and [Second-Growth Forest]
|Born-Again Forest appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography. There are indications that there had in fact been plans for follow-up publications, but that these were discarded when this early unofficial production came under investigation by the authorities, and some material was confiscated.Editor Zhong Ming presents Born-Again Forest as early evidence of a shift in avant-garde poetry’s center of gravity from the North: Beijing andToday, to the South: Sichuan, but also Guizhou, i.e. what Zhong defensibly presented as overdue recognition of Enlightenment poet Huang Xiang as an important precursor of the contemporary scene.See Image Puzzle.|
|198206《高原诗辑》Gaoyuan shiji[Highland Poetry Compilation]
|Two issues of the Highland Poetry Compilation have identical covers identifying both as “# 2” (dated 15 October 1982), but different contents. One, dated January 1983 on the last page, is likely # 3 (the use of “old” covers for later issues als occurs in Modern Han Poetry). # 4 is dated 1 March 1983, but contains poetry dated 10 and 15 April 1983.Highland Poetry Compilation contains work by Dawei, better known as Yu Jian, now one of China’s most prominent poets; by Wu Wenguang, now one of China’s most prominent documentary makers; and by Fei Jia, Li Bo and Zhu Xiaoyang, who feature in Yu Jian’s famous poem «No. 6 Shangyi Street» (June 1985). Notably, Wu Wenguang’s «Highland Poets» (April 1983, published in Highland Poetry Compilation # 4) may count as a precursor to and possibly inspiration of the latter, helping to sow the seeds of the Earthly orientation of which Yu Jian was to become a major champion and representative. Regional identity is visible in the Highlandin the journal’s name, which may well be a reference to the local natural environment of the Yunnan(‑Guizhou) Plateau. See Plough.|
|This Way contributors include many poets associated with Today and the Beijing scene, but also (younger) authors based elsewhere, e.g. Lü De’ an, a native of Fujian province who would later be associated with the Nanjing-based Them.|
|The cover of Macho Men # 1 proclaims that “this is how real men write poetry” (男子汉的诗是这样写的, or ‘real men-poetry-is-thus-written’, in a word-by-word rendition); in the PRC context, this phrase ironically echoes the well-known Chinese title of Soviet writer Nicolai Ostrovsky’s 1934 socialist-realist novel How the Steel Was Tempered (钢铁是怎么炼成的, or ‘steel-is-how-tempered’). Most of the Macho Men contributors are from Sichuan.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Earthly.The colophon cites the Sichuan Province Young Poets Association (四川省青年诗人协会) as the producer of this “draft poetry manuscript” (未定诗稿), and notes that it is “material for internal exchange”. In addition to the journal, several unofficial individual collections of poetry appeared under its flag.The journal produced one issue.On Macho Men, see Day 2005: chapter 4.|
|Especially for such an early journal – editorial work was already completed in 1983, but the journal was apparently not published until the summer of 1984 – Same Generation contains the work of a large number of major voices in contemporary Chinese poetry, notably: of various persuasions across what would later become the spectrum from Elevated to Earthly, and across geographical and institutional provenance. Among other gems, issue # 1 carries an early version of Han Dong’s most famous poem, «Of the Wild Goose Pagoda» (有关大雁塔). It is substantially different from the canonized text, and shows Han entering the development that would make him the renowned poet who firmly established himself in the pages of Them.|
|198413《当代中国诗三十八首 / 38 Chinese Contemporary Poems》Dangdai Zhongguo shi sanshiba shou[Thirty-Eight Contemporary Chinese Poems]
|Thirty-Eight Contemporary Chinese Poems appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.Editor Beiling notes that the anthology brings together twenty-some young poets – as distinct, presumably, from the older Today group, although Lin Mang and Yan Li did publish in Today – from the North and the South, speaking in terms of a dichotomy that continues to be mobilized in avant-garde discourse to this day (see Enlightenment). Thirty-Eight Contemporary Chinese Poems is a predecessor to Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems.|
|The issue in this collection contains several items of “poetry news”, including a brief report on Shanghai poets Meng Lang, Yuyu and Bing Shizhi traveling West (specified as Xi’an, Qinghai, Xinjiang, Sichuan) to spur exchange between young Popular poets in China’s “East” and “West”: popular in the broad sense, as roughly interchangeable withunofficial, not as the narrower notion it would become in the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.|
|198501《现代诗内部交流资料 / Modernists Federation》Xiandaishi neibu jiaoliu ziliao[Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange], alternatively translated as [Modernists Federation] and [Modern Poetry Internal Exchange Materials]
|Produced by the Sichuan Province Oriental Culture Study Group (四川省东方文化研究学会) and the Sichuan Province Wholism Study Group (四川省整体主义研究学会), Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchangeis a landmark publication, not least because of its (national) inclusiveness. Two of its sections are named after famous poems by Bei Dao («End or Beginning» 结局或开始) and Haizi («Asia Bronze» 亚洲铜); a third centers on Third Generation (第三代) poets, a notion that emerged in Sichuan, quickly gained in scope, and is influential on a national level to this day; a fourth is devoted to “Women Poets” (女诗人); and a fifth to Sylvia Plath (translated and introduced by Daozi), who has been a major foreign influence on the PRC avant-garde.In addition to the editors, all of whom hail from Sichuan, contributors include a wide range of poets from elsewhere in China, many of whom would later secure prominent places in literary history.Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange produced one issue. It is unclear whether it was intended as a serial or one-time publication.On Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange, see Day 2005: chapters 5 and 6.|
|198503《他们 / They》Tamen[Them]
|Them, published by the Them Literary Society (他们文学社) calls itself “material for exchange” in issues # 1, 2 and 4, and “material for internal exchange” in issue # 5.Issues # 1-2 mention Fu Li as the journal’s editor. By all accounts, however, Han Dong was its driving force.Some issues have They as additional, English caption. The received translation is Them. The journal’s name was inspired by Joyce Carol Oates’ eponymous novel, translated into Chinese as 《他们》 .Them is the fountainhead of what has become known as Colloquial (口语) poetry. While this status emerged in emphatic dissociation from the Todaylegacy, pigeonholing Them as such does no justice to the journal’s significance. Notably, it established a network of poets in various places across the country (Nanjing, Kunming, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Chengdu….), expressly advanced by listing contributors’ contact details. The diversity of its contributors further increased in the 1990s issues.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Earthly.Issues # 1-5 appeared between March 1985 and November 1988; # 6-9, between 1993 and 1995. The journal’s five-year hibernation coincides with the government’s suppression of the 1989 Protest Movement (June Fourth) and the subsequent cultural purge (1989-1992). Them has continued as an online forum since 2002.On Them, see Han 1992, Twitchell-Waas & Huang 1997 and Van Crevel 2006 or 2007c.|
|198503《海上》Hai shang[At Sea]
|At Sea’s name – in Chinese, that is – echoes its place of production, Shanghai 上海. Most of the journal’s contributors are from Shanghai. Issue # 1 is subtitled The At Sea Club: Work no. 1 (海上俱乐部：作品第一号). The cover of the final issue has “Protect Poetry” (保卫诗歌) in large type. An editorial afterword cites the increasing divergence of the original contributors’ individual styles as the reason for terminating the journal.On At Sea, see Gao 1997 and Jingbute 1998.|
|198504《日日新》Ri ri xin[Day by Day Make It New], alternatively translated as [Make It New]
|Day by Day Make It New cites the Chongqing Youth Federation for Culture & Art (重庆市青年文化艺术协会) as the journal’s producer, and notes that it is “for internal exchange”. Most of the journal’s contributors are from Sichuan. The journal’s name alludes to what is originally a passage from chapter II of The Great Learning (大学), one of the Four Books of the (Neo‑)Confucianist canon. In James Legge’s translation: “If you can one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day. Yea, let there be daily renovation” (苟日新，日日新，又日新). As part of a mainland-Chinese avant-garde discourse that actively looks toward foreign literatures, however, Ezra Pound’s Imagist appropriation of these words is equally important: “As the sun makes it new / Day by day make it new / Yet again make it new”. Hence, this bibliography’s rendition of the journal’s name as Day by Day Make It New.The journal produced one issue.On Day by Day Make It New, see Day 2005: chapter 7 and Bai 2001: chapter 3.|
|198505《南十字星诗刊》Nanshizixing shikan[Southern Cross Poetry Journal]
|Southern Cross Poetry Journal was produced by the Fujian Province University Students’ Poetry Association (福建省大学生诗歌学会) at the Fujian Normal University Foreign Languages Department. Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.While the journal explicitly recognizes Communist Party officials’ authority, its history lies in the unofficial realm: it makes reference to a more loosely organized precursor called South Wind 《南风》 . South Wind and Southern Cross count as examples of a Southern consciousness (see Enlightenment). Contributors include critic Sun Shaozhen (champion of tolerance in the controversy over Obscure Poetry, others being Xie Mian and Xu Jingya), who appears in the journal’s pages as a patron-like-figure to fledgling poets testing the limits of orthodox discourse.|
|198507《中国当代实验诗歌 / Experiencing Poems of Nowaday Chinese》Zhongguo dangdai shiyan shige[Contemporary Chinese Experimental Poetry]
|Produced by the Fuling Branch of the Sichuan Province Association for the Development of Intellect (四川省智力开发者协会涪陵分会) and the Fuling Correspondence Center of the Sichuan Province Correspondence University (四川省函授大学涪陵函授中心), Contemporary Chinese Experimental Poetry is keenly reminiscent of Modern Material for Internal Exchange, as regards its composition and visual presentation as well as its ambitious feel, palpable in things like its (national) inclusiveness and its attention to foreign poetry: in this case, Allen Ginsberg’s «Howl» – again, in Daozi’s translation and, like Plath’s work, a major foreign influence on the PRC avant-garde.The journal calls itself “for internal exchange”. It produced one issue, unnumbered. It is unclear whether it was intended as a serial or a one-time publication.On Contemporary Chinese Experimental Poetry, see Day 2005: chapter 7 (Day calls it Experimental Poetry).|
|While identifying itself as from “Shanghai, China”, Continent aspires to national inclusiveness. With the exception of Xi Chuan and Beiling, both from Beijing, # 1 carries the work of Shanghai poets only, but # 2 includes scores of poets from all over the country. It is divided into four thematically named sections, the one called “Dream of Hands” (手之梦幻) containing the works of women poets.The journal appears to have produced a total of three issues.|
|198513《十种感觉或语言库展览》Shi zhong ganjue huo yuyanku zhanlan[Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouse]
|The cover of Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouse has an alphabetic caption that is illegible in this collection’s photocopies of the original. The journal is one of several examples of joint poetic activity in Shanghai and Hangzhou in the 1980s, this time with some room for the North. The two editors are from Hangzhou, and five of the other contributors from Shanghai; contributions by Xi Chuan and Beiling, both from Beijing, reaffirm their ability to cross over the North-South dichotomy, with A Hai as a third Northerner. See April.Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouseappears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|198513《当代中国诗歌七十五首 / 75 Chinese Contemporary Poems》Dangdai Zhongguo shige qishiwu shou[Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems]
|Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems has as its motto what is probably the best-known passage in the work of John Donne: “No man is an island, entire of itself . . . any man’s death diminishes me, for I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee,” in Chinese translation.This publication appears to be a sequel to Beiling’s Thirty-Eight Contemporary Chinese Poems, now explicitly distinguishing the younger poets selected for this anthology from “Bei Dao and so on” (北岛等), arguing that the works of the latter have already been published in other, “better” forms – with a contestable degree of generalization, just like in late 1980s fashionable phrases like “the Bei Dao’s” (北岛们). Contributors include many poets from Beijing and Shanghai, and a few from Hangzhou, Sichuan and elsewhere. Zhai Yongming ♀ features with excerpts from her groundbreaking poem series «Woman» (published as an unofficial individual collection in 1984).Seventy-Five Contemporary Chinese Poems appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|198513《撒娇诗刊》Sajiao shikan[The Coquetry Poetry Journal]
|What is generally known as the Coquetry school (撒娇派) originated in Shanghai in 1985, with Jingbute and Momo among the members of the Coquetry Poetry Society (撒娇诗社). Almost two decades on, in 2004, two book-like, professional-looking issues of The Coquetry Poetry Journal are presented as revival issues, featuring photographs of the Coquetry Poetry Academy (撒娇诗院) recently established in Shanghai by editor Momo. The first contains Momo’s recollections of the Coquetry movement, and a reprint of the first issue of the original journal (not a facsimile, unfortunately), which includes a letter to the editor from Teresa Teng that Momo recalls was “cooked up in five minutes” by its would-be recipients. The revival issues combine a nostalgic, playful and provocative appeal to the notion of Coquetry in old photographs of the 1980s crowd – with an obvious present-day (i.e. 2004) contextualization in the avant-garde. The latter point is visible in the publication of works by currently active authors of varying persuasion and geographical provenance. This includes, for instance, a selection of the recent phenomenon of Trash Poetry (垃圾诗歌), with a central (editorial) role for Fansi and Lan Hudie Zi Dingxiang.The Coquetry crowd stand out by their liking for good clean fun and literary pranks. In the 2004 first revival issue, one section on “Famous Works of Coquetry” (撒娇名作) contains texts by Lu Xun and Mao Zedong. One wonders if this helped trigger the imposition of large fines (reportedly of RMB 50’000) on bookstores that sold the journal, classified by the authorities as an illegal publication.Both issues in this collection are institutionally official in that they appeared with recognized publishers in Hong Kong and Beijing (时尚周刊and 中国文联, respectively).|
|198602《现代评论》Xiandai pinglun[The Modern Review]
|The Modern Review was produced by the ‘86 Society for Literary Criticism (八六文学批评社, once apparently miswritten as八六文学评论社). Notably, two thirds of the journal are dedicated to criticism, with occasional citations of poetry; the final third consists of poetry. As regards regional identity, the great majority of contributors are from Beijing.|
|198605《非非 / Fei Fei Poetical Works and Poetics》Feifei[Not-Not],alternatively translated as [Nay-Nay]
|Not-Not originated in Chengdu in 1986, but early 1990s issues also cite Beijing as their home base – over the years, many poets from Sichuan have moved to Beijing – and several 2000s issues whose physical appearance strikes one as official appeared with a Hong Kong publisher (新时代).Not-Not publications include a variety of things: journal-like and newspaper-like issues containing poetry or criticism or both, some called yearbooks (年鉴); and book-like anthologies printed in Hong Kong. Not-Not is strong on criticism. The 1993 issue, for instance, carries essays by a formidable line-up of critics: Xie Mian, Zhang Yiwu, Xu Jingya, Tang Xiaodu, Chen Chao, Chen Xuguang, Li Zhen, Geng Zhanchun and Chen Zhongyi, among others.Issue # 1 calls itself “Not-Not-ism Poetry Movement: Material for Internal Exchange” (非非主义诗歌运动内部交流资料), and carries a Not-Not-ism Manifesto (非非主义宣言); # 2 simply has “Not-Not-ism Poetry Material” (非非主义诗歌资料). The highly varied colophon information for all issues exceeds the scope of these comments.The journal’s history appears to have three stages: (1) the original enterprise in 1986-1989 (with a strong Sichuan identity, and likely cut short by June Fourth and the subsequent cultural purge), (2) a first revival in 1991-1993 (ever more inclusive – roughly starting from Ouyang Jianghe in the left column, contributors are not part of what might be called the original Not-Not crowd), and (3) a second revival in 2000-2002. Not-Nothistory is notoriously complicated, because of factional conflict and because of above-average interest on the part of the authorities. Fortunately, it has generated abundant commentary, not least because throughout the journal’s history, its makers have actively pursued publicity.On Not-Not, see Zhou 1994, He 1998, Bai 2001: chapter 4, Yang (Li) 2004: chapter 2 and Day 2005: chapters 10 and 12.|
|198605《汉诗：二十世纪编年史 / POETRY OF HAN: A Chronicle of the 20th Century | POESIE DE HAN: Chronique du 20e siecle | HAN POESIEN: die chronik der 20 ahrhunderts | POESIA DE HAN: La cronica de 20 siglo》 [sic]Hanshi: ershi shiji biannianshi[Han Poetry: A Chronicle of the Twentieth Century]
|Han Poetry: A Chronicle of the Twentieth Century was produced by the Research Unit for Chinese Situationism Literature (中国状态文学研究机构, rendered inside the 1986 issue’s back cover as the Academy of Chinese Situationism Literature) and the Sichuan Province Association of Young Poets (四川省青年诗人协会). The various foreign captions appear on the issue’s back cover; the back cover of the 1988 issue only has the English caption. They contain several typos, here “corrected” for findability:POÉSIE DE HAN: Chronique du 20e siècle | HAN POESIE: Chronik des 20. Jahrhunderts | POESÍA DE HAN: Crónica del siglo 20.While Han in the journal’s title is not a racial classification of its contributors, its connotation is more powerfully cultural – as distinct from linguistic – than in the case of Modern Han Poetry, Northeast Asia Poetry Journal, The Lower Shore or New Han Poetry.Like some of the other Sichuan journals in the mid-1980s, Han Poetry….has an ambitious feel to it.On Han Poetry…., see Bai 2001: chapter 4 and Day 2005: chapter 9.|
|198612《首届文学艺术节专集》Shoujie wenxueyishujie zhuanji[Special Collections for the First (Peking University) Literature & Art Festival]
|Issues # 1-4 of the Special Collections for the First [Peking University] Literature & Art Festival have individual titles: 《漂泊的太阳》[Wandering Sun]、 《格林威治村》 [Greenwich Village]、 《风眼》[Eye of the Wind]、 《没有风的季节》 [Windless Season].Produced by the First Peking University Literature & Art Festival Editorial Committee (北京大学首届文学艺术节委员会), this publication should probably count as semi-official. Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.Issue # 4 includes Haizi’s «Asia Bronze» (亚洲铜), an early poem that was already famous at the time. See Modern Poetry Material for Internal Exchange.|
|Notes on the issue in this collection suggest Fuzhou as Friday’s place of origin, and 1986 or 1987 as its date. It is unclear whether it was (intended as) a serial or one-time publication.|
|In its prefatory pages, April alludes explicitly to T S Eliot’s The Waste Land (“April is the cruelest month….”).Most of its contributors come from Hangzhou and Shanghai (or, the South), with the citation of “Zhejiang” as an indicator or a province-level sense of regional identity (see Red Flag and Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China); Xi Chuan, Beiling and A Hai come from Beijing (or, the North). See Ten Kinds of Feelings or an Exhibition of the Language Storehouse.April appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|Ginkgo was produced by the Yunnan University Ginkgo Literary Society (云南大学银杏文学社, class of 1984) at the Yunnan University Chinese Department. Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.Ginkgo lists well-known orthodox poets as members of its advisory board (Xiaoxue, as honorary president; Zhou Liangpei).|
|The translation of this publication’s title as Hot City – this could have beenCool City, as long as the metaphors do not get in the way of message that Hangzhou is a Hip City – is based on an explanation by the editors. Hot City calls itself a supplement (增刊) to the Hangzhou Youth Poetry Society (杭州青年诗社).Hot City is typographically adventurous and contains interesting illustrations: “primitive” drawings and calligraphy (of poetry citations, e.g. “Death is far away from me but I hear its breath”), glued into individual issues.It is unclear whether Hot City was the first issue of a (discontinued) journal, or a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form; probably the latter. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|198713《巴蜀现代诗群 / Basu Morden Poems》Bashu xiandai shiqun[Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu]
|Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu is one of several important publications out of Sichuan. The journal ostentatively positions itself within a Sichuan tradition, through the reference to ancient local kingdoms in its name, but also by reproducing (downsized) front covers of other Sichuan journals on its front and back covers; see Red Flag. Accordingly, it is less (nationally) inclusive than some of the other major journals from Sichuan (e.g. Modern Material for Internal Exchange and Contemporary Experimental Poetry). It contains a special section on editor Liao Yiwu’s poetry.The English caption contains one and arguably two typos, here “corrected” for findability: Bashu Modern Poems.The journal produced one issue, unnumbered. It is unclear whether it was intended as a serial or a one-time publication.On Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and Shu, see Day 2005: chapter 8.|
|The front cover of Red Flag presents the journal as from “Sichuan, China”. Notions of (national) Chineseness aside, this reflects a sense of regional identity through what might be called a province-level poetic consciousness (as distinct from city-level: Beijing, Shanghai, etc). Notably, in 1980s Sichuan, there were several urban centers and sites of acitivism in avant-garde poetry (Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuling, Nanchong, Xichang). On this and related points, see April, Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China, The Margins (Beijing), Long Poems and Poem Series; and Modern Poetry Groups of Ba and ShuWriters’ Workshop has been cited as a continuation of Red Flag.On Red Flag, see Bai 2001: chapter 4 and Day 2005: chapter 9.|
|198713《天目诗刊 / Blue Eyes in the Black Sky》Tianmu shikan[Sky Eyes Poetry Journal]
|Sky Eyes in Sky Eyes Poetry Journal evokes the homonymous天幕‘canopy of the heavens’. The executive editor’s name, Tian Mutong, looks like an extension of the journal’s name. One of the first pages identifies the journal as representing “Poetical Works and Poetics of Falling Apartism or Extremism”, in English. The origin of this phrase appears to be 四五分列·极端, printed at the top of the page. The facing and following pages carry an “Extremist Manifesto” (极端主义宣言).|
|198713《面影诗刊》Mianying shikan[The Face Poetry Journal]
|Issue # 18 of The Face Poetry Journal celebrates the journal’s ten-year existence. Well-organized, it has sections dedicated to poem series (组诗), the poetry scene (诗坛) and women poets (女诗人). The journal appears to welcome contributors from all over the country, and of various poetic persuasions. It appears that, after local and small-scale beginnings, The Face Poetry Journal was most active in the 1990s, with Jiang Cheng and Yang Ke among its central organizers, the latter successfully soliciting contributions by poets from all over China. After publication had ceased in 1998, Song Xiaoxian and A Pei brought out a revival issue in 2002.|
|198713《中国·上海诗歌前浪 / Poetic Front Tide in Shanghai China》Zhongguo Shanghai shige qianlang[Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China]
|Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China Calls itself “contemporary poetry exchange material” (当代诗歌交流资料). It was produced by the Shanghai Center for the Creation and Study of Modern Poetry (上海现代诗歌创研中心).The editors explain that they have wanted to bring together lots of good poetry from Shanghai that has for inexplicable reasons been scattered about the city since 1985-1986 or even earlier. Its self-designation as from “Shanghai, China”, reflects a city-level sense of regional identity, aside from notions of “Chineseness”. On this and related points, see April, Red Flag, The Margins (Beijing) and Long Poems and Poem Series.This publication appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|198803《倾向 / Tendency》Qingxiang[Tendency]
|Tendency’s affiliation is with the Elevated, and the journal is closely associated with the origins of an Intellectual trend within the avant-garde that was to feed into the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic. The editors recall how, in the late 1980s, they consciously set out to counterbalance colloquializing and vulgarizing developments visible in, for instance, Them and Macho Men.Issue # 2 is in commemoration of poets Haizi (1964-1989) and Luo Yihe (1961-1989), a year after their deaths in March and May 1989.Outside China, Beiling edited a new journal called Tendency in the years 1993-2000, with something of an exilic identity and much broader in scope than its predecessor. To be sure, there is a connection with the oldTendency, if only through the name and the person of the editor (who contributed to the old Tendency and generally displayed much activism on 1980s the unofficial scene), but the new Tendency does not emphatically present itself as a revival of the old. Operating outside China, it does not count as an unofficial journal.On Tendency, see Chen 1995.|
|Five Poets is a one-time publication (as distinct from serial publications) whose inclusion in this bibliography is warranted by the way it would have functioned on the poetry scene. The contributors are students from various departments of Yunnan University – notably, they are physical or social scientists, not students of (Chinese) literature.|
|198807《幸存者 / Survivor》 Xingcunzhe[The Survivors]
|Produced by The Survivors Poetry Club (幸存者诗歌俱乐部), The Survivors is part of the Today legacy, embodied in participation by Mang Ke, Yang Lian (until he left for Australia in August 1988), Duoduo and Lin Mang, and by the organization, late in 1988, of a ten-year anniversary commemorative meeting for Today. Accordingly, its affiliation is with the Elevated.This collection has a copy of issue # 1 with an entirely black cover, but also contains a photocopy of an alternative cover, listing the journal’s name and the issue number in white. Following the two regular issues, a third issue appeared on the occasion of the First Survivors Poetry Festival held in April 1989 (首届幸存者诗歌艺术节), during the turbulent months prior to June Fourth. Like Night of Peace, whose organizers had reportedly dissociated themselves from the Survivors Poetry Club, the Survivorsfestival issue contains portrait photographs and soundbites by contributing poets; unlike Night of Peace, it also contains actual poetry.On The Survivors, see Van Crevel 1996: chapter 3.|
|198809《和平之夜：中国当代诗人朗诵会》Heping zhi ye: Zhongguo dangdai shiren langsong hui[Night of Peace: A Recital by Contemporary Chinese Poets]
|Night of Peace is a one-time publication on the occasion of a September 1988 poetry recital. Reportedly, Ma Gaoming and Huang Guoshu’s initiative was an offshoot of activities by the Survivors Poetry Club, motivated by discontent with what they felt was the Survivors’ claim to the right to assess who had made true “contributions to modern Chinese poetry”, as a requirement for Survivors membership. Night of Peace is notable in that it is an early example of (unofficial) poetry publications securing sponsorship by commercial institutions, viz the Beijing Peace Business Tower (和平 ‘peace’ is also part of the name of the Hepingli 和平里 neighborhood in Beijing), advertised on the booklet’s back cover and with its general manager as figurehead of the editorial committee. Somehow related to this point is the booklet’s inclusion of portrait photographs of the contributors – poet advertising, so to speak, which would increasingly happen in later years – as well as a few patron saints, including Peking University professor Xie Mian, renowned veteran poet Niu Han (part of the more or less orthodox establishment, but famously sympathetic to the avant-garde) and Poetry Monthly editor Liu Zhanqiu.Night of Peace should probably count as semi-official.|
|198812《黑洞：新浪漫主义诗歌艺术丛刊》Heidong: xin langmanzhuyi shige yishu congkan[Black Hole: A Journal of Neo-Romantic Poetry and Art]
|A small, beautifully produced journal, Black Hole’s Neo-Romanticism (新浪漫主义) is manifest in its insistence on the importance of recital. Shizhi (= Guo Lusheng), revered precursor of the avant-garde, is known for his ability to recite his entire oeuvre from memory; so is Hei Dachun, also known as the Drunkard of the Old Summer Palace, who has in recent years performed his poetry accompanied by (rock) musicians.|
|198812《北回归线：中国当代先锋诗人》Beihuiguixian: Zhongguo dangdai xianfeng shiren[Tropic of Cancer: Contemporary Chinese Avant-Garde Poets]
|Tropic of Cancer: Contemporary Chinese Avant-Garde Poets describes itself as “for internal exchange”. The journal identifies itself as from Hangzhou, but is nationally inclusive.|
|198813《喂 / Hello》Wei[Hello]
|Hello calls itself “popular poetry material for exchange” (民间诗歌交流资料). This would have to be popular in the broad sense, as roughly interchangeable with unofficial, not as the narrower notion it would become in the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic. Hello is a Shanghai production, but appears very internationally oriented. See Art Stranger.|
|198912《九十年代》Jiushi niandai[The Nineties]
|The Nineties – not to be confused with its Hong Kong namesake – was produced at about the same time as Against, by the same productive pair of editors: Xiao Kaiyu and Sun Wenbo (see The Little Magazine). An editorial statement in # 1 refers to the need for “resistance againsttraditional refinement” (italics added).The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated, and an attitude of national inclusiveness. There appears to be a Sichuan-Harbin connection here that brings to mind Against and Razor.Aside from a straightforward reading of the journal’s name as a simple act of situating it in time, The Nineties alludes to Robert Bly’s journal calledThe Eighties (and previously, The Fifties, The Sixties, The Seventies). The editors had planned to continue beyond 2000, when they would be able to rename the journal, but this did not materialize.On The Nineties, see Bai 2001: chapter 4, and Day 2005: chapters 11 and 12.|
|198913《反对 / Against》Fandui[Against]
|Against is another sizable co-production by Sun Wenbo and Xiao Kaiyu (see The Nineties, The Little Magazine). Its name could alternatively be rendered in English as Opposition. Especially in the first few years after June Fourth, connotations of 反对 ‘be against, oppose’ would have been politically sensitive, meaning potentially dangerous for its makers, even though the journal features an eloquent disclaimer explaining that what its makers were “against” is, basically, laziness and easy satisfaction in poetry, in their ongoing struggle to pursue Paul Valéry’s ideal of “pure poetry”. This may help explain why Against has an entirely white cover. Its potentially controversial title only appears on the first (inside) page, accompanied by the English caption in two of the latest (and probably last) issues. See Tumult.After a first issue in February 1989, an astonishing 10 issues appeared on an almost monthly basis throughout 1990, followed by a few more in 1991 and 1992. At the time – that is, during the cultural purge after June Fourth – Sun and Xiao saw their active involvement in unofficial journals (seeThe Nineties) as their bounden duty, in order to keep the avant-garde alive. Issues # 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are specials on Xiao Kaiyu, Ouyang Jianghe, Rainer Maria Rilke (in Zhang Shuguang’s translation), Sun Wenbo, Chen Dongdong, Xi Chuan and Ezra Pound (in Xi Chuan’s translation), respectively. The journal’s above-average attention to foreign poetry is also visible in its inclusion of translations of Tomas Tranströmer (by Zhang Shuguang) and John Ashbery (by Shen Rui ♀), as well as more Pound (now by Xiao Kaiyu).The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated. There appears to be a Sichuan-Harbin connection here that brings to mindThe Nineties and Razor.On Against, see Bai 2001: chapter 4 and Day 2005: chapters 11 and 12.|
|198913《象岡 / Invisible Men | Der Unsehbare | Persona Invisible | Homo Invisus》Xiangwang[Image Puzzle], alternatively translated as [Appearance Deception]
|Image Puzzle, with Zhong Ming as its driving force, stands out by its attention to foreign literature, in frequent quotations in the original languages as well as dedicated contributions in Chinese (e.g. an Ezra Pound issue). Different issues have foreign captions in different languages. This tallies with Zhong’s reputation as widely read and inclined to the grand gesture in cosmopolitan, “high” culture. The foreign-languages captions also call for reflection on English renditions to date (Appearance Deception and Image Puzzle), but it is difficult if not impossible to justify a fairly literal translation as Invisible Person, which the foreign-language captions suggest was on the minds of the journal’s makers.Most contributors are from Sichuan or Shanghai. See Born-Again Forest, also edited by Zhong Ming, and Enlightenment for avant-garde notions of the South.Issues # 1 and 5 and two unnumbered issues (apparently from 1990 and 1991) contain works by various poets. There are special issues on Lu Yimin ♀, Bai Hua, Zhong Ming (one on his short prose [随笔], and one on his epic poetry), Ezra Pound, Zhao Ye, and Wang Yin; and, in two parts, on the work of photographer Xiao Quan, who specializes in portraits of artists and writers, with “O, This Our Generation!” (我们这一代阿！/ We, the Generation!) as subtitle. Fifteen years on, several of Xiao’s famous portraits would be reproduced in an exquisitely produced official book of the same name, minus the exclamatory particle and the exclamation mark (Xiao 2006), but with ample space for Xiao’s recollections of his encounters with each portrayee. Poets portrayed in the Image Puzzleunofficial publication include Bai Hua, Fu Wei, Zhao Ye, Ouyang Jianghe, Chen Zihong, Wan Xia, Bei Dao, Zhong Ming, Zhai Yongming ♀, Zhang Zao, Xiang Yixian, Wang Yin & Lu Yimin ♀, Xi Chuan and Chen Dongdong, alongside many of China’s most famous fiction writers and visual artists.On Image Puzzle, see Day 2005: chapters 11 and 12.|
|199003《异乡人 / Art Stranger》Yixiangren[Stranger]
|Art Stranger presents itself as “strictly for internal exchange among artists” (仅属于艺术家内部交流). It includes photographic reproductions of visual art. The journal’s English caption Art Stranger suggests that its makers wish to evoke the homophony of 异 ‘strange, other, foreign’ and艺 ‘art’.Issue # 1 opens with a motto that appears to be a citation of Jorge Luis Borges, in English translation, also loosely rendered in Chinese: “And strangers to the processes of art, / Indeciperably they form a part / Of time, of earth, and of oblivion”, and “技术的异乡人，他们不可言传地生成 /属于时间、大地、还有湮没无闻”.The preface to the issue explains that in a globalizing world, all of us can be strangers (异乡人, literally ‘person from foreign lands’), regardless of our geographical, linguistic etc whereabouts. While many of its contributors are from Shanghai, Art Stranger is international in outlook. See Hello.Notably, the entire first issue is in full-form characters (繁体字). Issue # 2 has full-form characters for the journal’s name (異鄉人, here added for findability) on the front cover only. Issues # 1-2 have English-language and French-language tables of contents on their back covers, respectively. The latter is remarkable in that foreign language used in the journals – near-exclusively for captions, mottos and tables of contents – is almost exclusively English. The French connection may be explained by editor Nanfang’s training in French language and literature.|
|199012《边缘 / Brink》Bianyuan[The Margins]
|A different journal from its Beijing namesake, The Margins was apparently produced by students of the Sichuan University Chinese Department (seeThe Happiness Theater Band) among other universities, with rotating editorship (see Poetry Bulletin). The issue in this collection highlights Campus Poetry. While these things hint at semi-official status – universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications – the journal’s cover design is rather more daring than semi-officialdom would normally allow. Something similar holds for the central image of slightly maudit marginality that it cultivates. On an otherwise entirely black cover, below the Chinese caption, the English caption is large to the point of being loud; and it is crossed by several strings of barbed wire. The preface starts thus: “We have voluntarily been banished” (我们自甘被放逐).|
|199012《发现 / Discovery》Faxian[Discovery]
|Discovery is a typical example of a kindred spirits or soulmate journal. Issue # 4 identifies Xi Du as executive editor (the other issues in this collection contain no such information) but it seems likely that Discoverywas a small-group, collective undertaking, so he should perhaps not automatically count as the journal’s central editor. All of the journal’s well-known contributors studied at Peking University.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199013《写作间 / Writers’ Workshop》Xiezuojian[Writers’ Workshop]
|Writers’ Workshop is akin to Image Puzzle in its selection of contributors and its international outlook, manifest in prominent citation of foreign literatures. The editorial line-up suggests that it may count as a continuation of Red Flag.On Writers’ Workshop, see Bai 2001: chapter 4 and Day 2005: chapter 12.|
|199013《边缘 / Brink》Bianyuan[The Margins]
|A different journal from its Sichuan namesake, The Margins contains little in the way of editorial statements, etc. While on its back cover, the journal expressly identifies itself with Beijing, the list of contributors shows a measure of national inclusiveness. The said identification is in English only (“China – Beijing”), which suggests that notions of “Chineseness” mostly come into play vis-à-vis non-Chinese readers amid its intended audience. See Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China, Red Flag,Long Poems and Poem Series.|
|199013《过渡诗刊 / Transition Poetry》Guodu shikan[Transition Poetry Journal]
|Transition Poetry Journal calls itself “material for internal exchange”.The issue in this collection contains poetry dated September 1986 – February 1993.|
|199013《长诗与组诗》Changshi yu zushi[Long Poems and Poem Series]
|Long Poems and Poem Series appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.Long Poems and Poem Series has an entirely white cover, with the title and other information only appearing on the first inside page. It identifies itself as from “1990, China” (see Red Flag, Front Wave of Poetry from Shanghai, China, The Margins [Beijing]), and may have been produced in Shanghai, home to Chen Dongdong, who is listed as executive editor.Its selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199013《诗参考 / Poem Reference》Shi cankao[Poetry Reference]
|Poetry Reference calls itself “internal material”. It is one of the longest-standing unofficial poetry journals, exquisitely produced and providing a wealth of material. Over the years, Poetry Reference has had many more well-known contributors than can be listed here.Poetry Reference is clearly affiliated with the Earthly, and positioned on the Popular side – in the narrow sense – since the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic, although one issue pays lip service to the need to give the Intellectual side a chance to make itself heard.The journal occasionally has the feel of news media to it, announcing special features on its cover, e.g. “The Row between Shen [Haobo] and Han [Dong], and What People Have to Say About It” (沈韩之争及相关说法; see the Poetry Reference cover reproduced in the research note, above). This may be to do with editor Zhongdao’s experience in the newspaper business.|
|The issue of Three-Master in this collection contains the work of poets closely if not exclusively associated with the unofficial circuit. Also, its physcial production and composition is typical of unofficial journals: e.g. the type of paper used, and minimal colophon information and editorial-institutional presence. Remarkably, however, it lists what appears to be the Chinese Federation of Literary and Art Circles Wenling City Branch (温岭市文联) as its publisher. This may provide a clue to the journal’s remarkably long history, visible in the sheer number of issues. See We andVenus.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Earthly.|
|199101《尺度：诗歌内部交流资料》Chidu: shige neibu jiaoliu ziliao[Yardstick: Poetry Material for Internal Exchange]
|Yardstick: Poetry Material for Internal Exchange is in professional-looking broadsheet newspaper format. The front page of # 1 carries a short piece describing “how a poetry society took shape” (presumably called the Yardstick Poetry Society尺度诗社) during several preparatory meetings for Yardstick,in Beijing in 1990, with 20 to 30 of poets from different generations participating. Tian Xiaoqing, for instance, had contributed toToday, a decade earlier.Yardstick’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199110《巴别塔 / Babel》Babieta[The Tower of Babel]
|The front cover of The Tower of Babel has a drawing of a tower, albeit one that looks unlike conventional Western representations of the Tower of Babel. The preface is preceded by a citation from the Bible (Genesis 11:7): “The Lord said . . . ‘Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other’”, and proceeds to dwell on issues of language, identity, mutual intelligibility, etc.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199112《大骚动》Da saodong[Tumult], alternatively translated as [The Big Turmoil] and [Great Turmoil]
|Tumult was produced by the Poetry Chamber of the Yuanmingyuan / Old Summer Palace Artists’ Village (圆明园艺术村诗歌厅).In 1991, soon after June Fourth, it would have been politically risky to publish a journal called Tumult (see Against). In a similar, daring, explicitly anti-establishment spirit, the first few issues carry these mottos:“What is an Anti-Poet?”– “A drifter who laughs at everything, even at old age and death.”“What is Anti-Poetry?”– “A slap in the face of the Chair of the Writers’ Association.”Wang Qiang, driving force behind the journal, hails from Guiyang. The connection is visible in issue # 3, a special on Ya Mo and Huang Xiang, who are also included in sections on “forgotten poets” in other issues, other authors so designated including Shizhi (= Guo Lusheng) and Mang Ke. Huang Xiang held a characteristically intense poetry recital in the Artists Village in 1993, which was recorded on video and circulated – unofficially, of course.Issue # 5 is presented as the journal’s revival, and pays much attention to visual art.|
|199113《现代汉诗 / Modern Chinese Poetry》Xiandai Hanshi[Modern Han Poetry]
|Proceeding from a reading of 汉诗 as meaning 汉语诗歌, Modern Han Poetry’s title could alternatively be rendered as Modern Chinese Poetry (as per it English caption) or, more precisely, Modern Poetry in Chinese; Hanin the title is not a racial classification of its contributors. The journal aspires to an inclusive, “Chinese” scope that exceeds the regional. See Han Poetry: A Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, Northeast Asia Poetry Journal, The Lower Shore and New Han Poetry.Modern Han Poetry is generally seen as embodying continuity with Todayand The Survivors, especially in some of its central “managers”, such as Mang Ke and Lao E (= E Fuming). A notable difference is that Modern Han Poetry is anything but Beijing-centric. While the journal was ultimately managed from Beijing, successive issues were edited in different cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen?; seeThe Margins [Chengdu] and Poetry Bulletin). The journal was established at least partly in conscious reaction to the cultural purge after June Fourth, which had made the need for alternative, unofficial channels for poetry acute once more. It exudes a sense of responsibility for safeguarding the avant-garde on the national level.The editorial board and the list of contributors reads like a who’s who in the avant-garde across the PRC – as regards both regional origins and poetic style – from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, and as such reflects the growing size of the avant-garde. The journal’s considerable production involves more promient contributors than can be listed here, so the left column only includes those named as executive editors for individual volumes (not all volumes provide this information).Modern Han Poetry calls itself “purely literary material for exchange” (纯文学交流资料) and “literary material for exchange” (文学交流资料).On Modern Han Poetry, see Van Crevel 1996: chapter 2 and Day 2005: chapter 12.|
|199113《南方评论 / The Southern Review》Nanfang pinglun[The Southern Review]
|Remarkably, The Southern Review has an English-language copyright notice (“All rights reserved. No part of this publication….”, etc).The journal’s name bespeaks a Southern consciousness (seeEnlightenment), also visible in the names of its contributors.Zhong Ming cum suis are called Masters of Ceremony (主持人), a term sometimes used – in official as well as unofficial journals – for (guest) editors and compilers.The issue in this collection is a special on Georg Trakl, with translations of his poetry by An Ruoshi (Chinese name of Alice Grünfelder) & Chen Zihong among others.|
|199113《倾斜诗刊》Qingxie shikan[Slant Poetry Journal]
|Slant Poetry Journal calls itself “a soulmate journal” and “for internal exchange”.The issue in this collection opens on its first page with a declaration that “poetry is dead!” (诗歌死了！). The preface recalls that the journals’ original slogan when it was founded in 1991 was “Down with Poetry!” (打倒诗歌！).Its overall style and selection of authors suggest affiliation with the Earthly.|
|199113《原样 / Original》Yuanyang[Original State]
|Original State was prodcued by the Nanjing University Formalist Poetry Small Group (南京大学形式主义诗歌小组), and calls itself “modern poetry material for exchange” (现代诗交流资料).Issues # 1-2 almost exclusively feature the work of Che Qianzi and Zhou Yaping. Issue # 3 has other contributors as well. Original State is extremely valuable material, if only because the work of Che Qianzi, an utterly unclassifiable and original voice often classified as Alternative (另类), has been only erratically published. It was only in 2006 that an unofficial book of his poetry – the first? – appeared, through the efforts of unofficial poetry and music activist Yan Jun working through his Subjam outfit. See Writing.On Original, see Prynne & Twitchell 1995 and Twitchell-Waas & Huang 1997.|
|199113《阵地 / Front》Zhendi[Battlefront]
|Battlefront includes the work of many authors that have been associated with a Middle Generation (中间带), which has been roughly defined as those “in between” the Third Generation and the Post-70 (70后) generation. See Poetry and People and Third Word: On Poetry by the Middle Generation.|
|199113《组成：夸父研究 / Make-Up》Zucheng: Kuafu yanjiu[Put Together: Braggadocio Studies]
|Put Together: Braggadocio Studies calls itself “purely literary material for exchange” (纯文学交流资料). The editor’s contact address is at the Beijing Film Institute, but the journal does not appear to have the more or less formal affiliation with the Institute that would make it semi-official.The journal’s subtitle alludes to the expression 夸父追日 or 跨父逐日‘Kuafu chasing the sun’, denoting pretension and ambitions beyond one’s ability.|
|199203《声音 / Sounds | Voices》Shengyin[Voice]
|The entire first issue of Voice is in full-form characters, as is the title of issue # 4: 《聲音》 , here added for findability. Issue # 4 acknowledges sponsorship by Anne Kao (= Liu Li’an). See The Liu Li’an Poetry Award,Criterion, New Poets.|
|199213《中国第三代诗人诗丛编委会通报材料》Zhongguo di san dai shiren shicong bianweihui tongbao cailiao[China’s Third Generation Poets’ Poetry Series: Notice from the Editorial Committee]
|The issue of China’s Third Generation Poets’ Poetry Series: Notice from the Editorial Committee in this collection is a “White Paper to Grieve for the Young Modern Poet Yue Bing” (为沉痛追悼现代青年诗人岳冰的白皮书), in commemoration of a poet stabbed to death in a barroom brawl.The journal calls itself “purely literary material” (纯文学资料), and notes that its contents may be “freely anthologized by all poetry journals” (欢迎各诗歌报刊选发).|
|199213《新死亡诗体》Xin siwang shiti[New Death Poetry Genre]
|New Death Poetry Genre lists various “members”, and Saishen as executive editor of the issue in this collection.The journal’s title evokes a reading as新死亡尸体 ‘New Death Corpse’, i.e. ‘Corpse(s) of the New Death’. The cover of the issue in this collection says “Cutting across humankind’s hanging coffin culture, this is poetry of non-artistisc spirit from death reborn” (跨越人类悬棺文化，这是非艺术精神死亡再生的诗歌). The hanging coffin refers to a custom prevalent among certain ethnic groups in ancient China whose burial rites stipulated that coffins be placed in caves or crevices above cliffs, and famously features in an eponymous poem by Ouyang Jianghe.|
|199213《南方诗志 / The South Poetry Magazine | South Poetry Magazine》Nanfang shizhi[The Southern Poetry Review]
|The Southern Poetry Review is anecdotally associated with Tendency. This association is borne out by the names of the contributors to both journals. This journal is another example of a Southern consciousness (seeEnlightenment), and of the fact that North-South divisions are rarely absolute and usually punctured by crosser-overs (e.g. Xi Chuan).The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199506《阿波利奈尔 / Apollinaire》Abolinaier[Apollinaire]
|Apollinaire declares its international orientation in its very name. Issue # 1 opens with the phrase “We Salute Apollinaire!” (向阿波利奈尔致敬！), below a reproduction of a 1913 portrait of the French poet.|
|199509《我说 / I Say》Wo shuo[I Say]
|I Say calls itself “internal material” and “for internal exchange”.The cover of # 1 has “Collection of Works by Chinese Poets of Ability (for internal exchange)” (中国实力诗人作品集辑[内部交流] / Poetry of Chinese Poets of Ability).The inside back cover of # 2 describes the journal as a “popular journal for Han poetry / poetry in Chinese in this world” (世界汉诗民间刊物).Popular is used in the broad sense, as roughly interchangeable withunofficial, not as the narrower notion it would become in the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.# 1 includes a special section on poets from Zhejiang, which appears to be the editors’ native province.|
|199513《北门杂志》Beimen zazhi[North Gate Magazine]
|The cover of issue # 1 of North Gate Magazine has an illustration of semi-traditional Chinese low houses; the cover of # 2 is entirely white.The journal is clearly internationally oriented. Both issues in this collection start with mottos taken from the works of foreign authors: Dietrich Bonhöffer’s prison letter “Are We Still of Any Use?” and T S Eliot’s Four Quartets.|
|199513《东北亚诗刊》Dongbeiya shikan[Northeast Asia Poetry Journal]
|Issue # 11 of the Northeast Asia Poetry Journal lists its producers as the Northeast Asia Poetry Society (东北亚诗社). Issue # 12, dated December 2000, is simply called Northeast Asia (东北亚) and subtitled Modern Han Poetry Texts for the New Century or Modern Poetry in Chinese: Texts for the New Century (新世纪现代汉诗文本). The journal calls itself “internal material, for the provision of exchange” (内部资料、提供交流).In issue # 11, an “Exhibition of Modern Han Poetry and Theory from China” or “Exhibition of Modern Poetry in Chinese and Theory from China” (中国现代汉诗及理论大展), the journal combines a regional (Heilongjiang) identity with aspirations towards national inclusiveness. This is visible in a special section devoted to Heilongjiang poets, and one devoted to “Out-of-Province Poets” or, more precisely, “Poets from [Other] Provinces” (外省诗人), from elsewhere in the country. This usage can be read as a subversive turn-around of a term usually denoting poets from “the provinces” – that is, as opposed to the capital Beijing. In this latter, common usage, Out-of-Province was one of the most aggressively operative notions in the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic. Perceived by the Popular side as a derogatory term employed by the Intellectuals, Popular critics appropriated it as a proud epithet.|
|199513《偏移 / Deviation》Pianyi[Deviation]
|Deviation calls itself “a journal for internal exchange” (内部交流刊物). The names of contributors lead to association with the Graduate Students’ Journal of Peking University: Literary Supplement.Issue # 6? is a special issue on foreign poetry in translation.|
|199513《刘丽安诗歌奖》Liu Li’an shige jiang[The Liu Li’an Poetry Award]
|The person honored in the name of The Liu Li’an Poetry Award is also known as Anne Kao. Liu is one of the better-known among people who have sponsored avant-garde poets. She has done so through the award that occasioned this publication, by making temporary writing studios available to poets, etc. See Voice, Criterion and New Poets.This publication’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
|199603《标准 / Criterion》Biaozhun[Criterion]
|Criterion calls itself “poetry material for internal exchange” (诗歌内部交流资料).The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.The issue in this collection acknowledges support by Liu Li’an (also known as Anne Kao). See The Liu Li’an Poetry Award, Voice, New Poets.|
|199603《黑蓝 / Black & Blue》Heilan[Black & Blue]
|The back cover of Black & Blue carries a subtitle that reads Gathering Place for Chinese People-Who-Write Born after 1970 (1970年以后出生的中国写作人聚集地 / The Restricted Quarterly of Literature by Chinese Writers Born after 1970; the rendition of 写作人 as people-who-write is informed by the unconventionality of the original term). Editorial material reaffirms the connection with the better-known abbreviation Post-70.In most if not all journals, those named as editors are contributors too; not so in Black & Blue. The journal describes itself as “for exchange”.|
|199613《诗歌通讯 / Poems Communication》Shige tongxun[Poetry Bulletin]
|Poetry Bulletin appears to have as its producers a consciously established network of poets and editors based all over China, mostly at universities (contact details are systematically listed), with a central role for Sun Zhiguo at Dalian Engineering University (see The Margins [Chengdu] andModern Han Poetry). Others include Mu Qing ♀, then at Tsinghua University, and one of the co-editors of Wings; and Yan Jun, then employed at the Lanzhou Evening News (兰州晚报), now a famous unofficial music critic, artist and poet based in Beijing.|
|199710《小杂志 / Magzinette》Xiao zazhi[The Little Magazine]
|Sun Wenbo and Xiao Kaiyu, who had previously co-produced The Ninetiesand Against, were the original initiators of The Little Magazine – again, a very productive journal – with Lin Mu doing much of the production work. After Xiao moved to Germany in 1997, he was no longer centrally involved when the journal began to appear.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.The journal’s title and preface are (partly) in full-form characters. The title reads 《小雜誌》 , here added for findability. Its English caption has a typo, here “corrected” for the same reason: Magazinette.This bibliography’s rendition of the title as The Little Magazine is motivated by the currency of that phrase in English to describe literary practice that is in many ways akin to that of unofficial journals in China. See the section called “Significance” in the research note, above.|
|199711《北京大学研究生学刊：文学增刊》Beijing daxue yanjiusheng xuekan: wenxue zengkan[Graduate Students’ Journal of Peking University: Literary Supplement]
|The Graduate Students’ Journal of Peking University: Literary Supplement is one of many such publications that have sprung from Peking University over the years, continuing this institution’s tradition of involvement in literary development. Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.See Deviation.|
|199713《终点 / Lastline Poetry》Zhongdian[Destination]
|Destination appears to be named after a line by T S Eliot (see below). It calls itself “material for the exchange and study of contemporary poetry in Chinese” (当代汉语诗歌交流与研究资料) and “material for internal exchange”. Issue # 3 says it is “printed for private circulation in 1999” (in English). The English caption contains a typo, here “corrected” for findability: Last Line Poetry.Eliot’s words are rendered in Chinese as 终点就是我们出发的地方 ‘The destination is our point of departure’. This may be loosely based on a passage from his 1939 lecture entitled “The Idea of a Christian Society”: “[Liberalism] is a movement not so much defined by its end, as by its starting point; away from, rather than towards, something definite. Our point of departure is more real to us than our destination; and the destination is likely to present a very different picture when arrived at, from the vaguer image formed in imagination.” If this is indeed the source used, the discrepancy of original and translation brings to mind that then-budding and now-prominent avant-garde poet Xi Chuan wrote a dissertation at Peking University on Ezra Pound’s and the Imagists’ mis-understanding of (classical) Chinese poetry.|
|199713《四人诗选》Si ren shixuan[Works by Four Poets]
|Works by Four Poets describes itself as “for internal exchange”.All four poets were at one time or another affiliated – as students, and some as staff – with Peking University and Tsinghua University. SeeDeviation and Graduate Students’ Journal of Peking University: Literary Supplement.Works by Four Poets appears to be a one-time multiple-author anthology in (unofficial) book form, rather than the first issue of a (discontinued) journal. The way it would have functioned on the poetry scene warrants its inclusion in this bibliography.|
|199805《翼 / Wings》Yi[Wings]
|Wings is dedicated to women’s poetry or, more broadly, women’s writing (女性写作). Issues # 1-2-3-5 carry mottos on various aspects of womanhood taken from the works of Hélène Cixous, Anna Akhmatova, Sappho and Margaret Atwood. Especially in the later issues in this collection, in addition to the work of scores of Chinese women poets, the journal also regularly carries foreign women’s poetry in Chinese translation.Wings calls itself “a journal for internal exchange” (内部交流刊物), and later “a popular poetry journal for exchange” (民间诗歌交流刊物). In the light of editor Zhou Zan’s ♀ (= Zhou Yaqin ♀) critical writing, popularshould be taken in its broad sense, as roughly interchangeable withunofficial, not as the narrower notion it would become in the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.As an unofficial journal dedicated to women’s poetry, Wings was preceded by The Women’s Poetry Paper (女子诗报, four issues in the years 1988-1990 and 1994), out of Xichang (Sichuan), edited by Xiaoyin ♀ (see Day 2005, chapter 9; Day translates the journal’s name as The Woman’s Poetry Paper). See also Poetry and People.|
|199812《新诗人 / New Poets》Xin shiren[New Poets]
|New Poets acknowledges sponsorship by Liu Li’an (also known as Anne Kao). See The Liu Li’an Poetry Award, Criterion, Voice.|
|199813《葵：诗歌作品集 / Sunflower》Kui: shige zuopin ji[Sunflower: Collected Poems]
|Sunflower: Collected Poems calls itself a journal for “the exchange of creative writing” (创作交流). Issue # 1 introduces the notion of the Generation of 85 (八五年一代), which appears to be linked to the shared history of editor Xu Jiang and contributors Yi Sha, Hou Ma and Sang Ke, fellow students of the Beijing Normal University Chinese Department in the 1980s. Over the years, Sunflower has had many more prominent contributors than can be listed here.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Earthly.|
|199813《诗中国 / Kigndom of Poetry》Shi Zhongguo[Poetric China]
|Poetric China is produced by the Beijing Twenty-First Century Young Poets Salon (北京二十一世纪青年诗歌沙龙). It describes itself as “internal material”. The journal’s name literally means something like ‘The Poetry Country That Is China’, and is hard to translate because of the unconventional adjectivization of the noun 诗 ‘poetry’.The issue in this collection is in commemoration of Haizi (1964-1989), and dated exactly ten years after his death (26 March 1999).The English caption contains a typo, here “corrected” for findability:Kingdom of Poetry.|
|199813《幸福剧团 / Felicity Troupe》Xingfu jutuan[The Happiness Theater Band]
|The preface to The Happiness Theater Band notes that the journal contains the work of people who have contributed to the poetry climate in Chengdu ever since the 1980s. In this light, it makes explicit reference to earlier efforts by the Sichuan University student journal The Margins.|
|199913《诗文本 / The Version of Poetry》Shi wenben[Poetry Text]
|Issues # 2-3-4 of Poetry Text were produced by a Hong Kong publisher (银河出版社). They contain numerous photographs of poets, many decidedly theatrical.Poetry Text’s affiliation is with the Earthly, and with regard to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic, the journal sits squarely in the Popular camp. It reserves ample space for Lower Body poetry and poets (see The Lower Body), featuring its own edition of the “Record of a Head Shave” (剃头记) starring Shen Haobo. See Poetry Vagabonds.|
|Friends is known as predecessor – in spirit and contributors – to The Lower Body. The journal provides no information on editors or place of origin, but the list of contributors and their history and the composition of the issue in this collection suggests that the journal was likely produced in Beijing, and that Shen Haobo and Yan Jun were centrally involved. The issue in this collection calls itself a “Magazine of Friendsology” (朋友们学杂志).|
|Manuscript is beautifully printed and bound, but with the simplest of covers, somehow befitting its name: crude brown paper, with only the journal’s name and the year on issue # 1, and no writing whatsoever on the cover of issue # 2. Manuscript presents itself as primarily the product of a circle of friends (朋友们的圈子), i.e. a kindred spirits or soulmate journal.|
|200001《诗歌与人 / Poetry and People》Shige yu ren[Poetry and People]
|Poetry and People is a professional-looking, lavishly illustrated journal. Its size and cover design appear to change with every issue. The first two issues are subtitled Exhibition of Poetry by Chinese Poets Born in the 70s (中国70年代出生的诗人诗歌展).Issue # 3 is subtitled Selected Works by Mainland China Middle Generation Poets (中国大陆中间代诗人诗选); on the Middle Generation, see Battlefront and Third Word: On Poetry by the Middle Generation.Issue # 4, of over 400 pages, is subtitled Survey of Chinese Women’s Poetry, 2002 (2002年中国女性诗歌大扫描) and carries the work of close to a hundred women poets: too many to list with any sort of representativeness, but everybody’s there. Inside the front cover, women poets’ photographs are presented in canonized order, more or less by (literary) age, starting with Zhai Yongming ♀ as the uncontested prima inter pares. Issue # 5 is subtitled The 10 Women Poets That Readers Like Best (最受读者喜欢的10位女诗人), and decoratively “bound” with purple ribbon possibly intended to convey a feminine feeling. The ten poets included are the final ten names listed in the left column, following the phrase Ten ♀. Nine Leaves (九叶) poet Zheng Min ♀ is the only one primarily associated with earlier literary generations than the contemporary avant-garde.See Wings.|
|200007《下半身》Xiabanshen[The Lower Body]
|The Lower Body – which apparently had Friends as its origin, or predecessor in spirit and contributors – sent something of a shockwave through early 2000s poetry scenes, official and unofficial alike. It is safe to say that one of the journal’s features was conscious provocation, with sexuality – taken as pornography by several displeased critics – and more generally desecration of the noble art of poetry as keywords, but there is much more to the movement that gave this journal its name. The cover of issue # 1 carries an upside-down reproduction of the lower half – or, of course, the lower body – of Diane Arbus’ famous photograph of a child with a (toy) grenade.In 2004 or thereabouts, The Lower Body was retrospectively banned as an illegal publication. This may have been triggered by Shen Haobo’s official publication of a second individual collection of his poetry, following a first unofficial book, on top of the journal’s above-average predilection for breaking social taboos, sexual and other – and for denouncing social ills, as has been insufficiently noted.In prefaces to both issues, editorial work is described as a collective undertaking involving the first twelve names in the left column. Shen Haobo, Duo Yu, Li Hongqi and Nanren are starred as editors because the origins of the journal apparently lie with Shen, Duo and Li, and because in addition to them, the preface to issue # 2 names Nanren as one of those doing most of the actual work.Whereas The Lower Body definitely counts as a kindred spirits or soulmate journal, it also features poets of earlier generations, in the process establishing is affiliations as Earthly and Popular. Aside from its usage as near-synonymous with unofficial, for this journal the latter term should also be taken in the narrow sense, with reference to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.On The Lower Body, see Shen & Yin 2001 and Van Crevel 2007b or 2007c.|
|200010《原创性写作》Yuanchuangxing xiezuo[Original Writing]
|Original Writing calls itself “popular poetry material for internal exchange” (民间诗歌内部交流资料), in a usage that could theoretically be near-synonymous with unofficial, but definitely refers to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.This is borne out by the journal’s selection of authors, which reflects affiliation with the Earthly.|
|200012《书 / Writing》Shu[Writing]
|Writing is published by Subjam, Yan Jun’s outfit that also publishes underground music, etc (see Original State). Aside from poetry, issue # 1 also carries song lyrics by individual musicians and rock bands. Issue # 2 is a Wang Ao special. The journal’s title is consistently rendered in the full-form character: 《書》 , here added for findability.|
|200013《第三说：中间代诗论》Di san shuo: zhongjiandaishi lun[Third Word: On Poetry by the Middle Generation]
|Third Word: On Poetry by the Middle Generation is one of several possible translations of this journal’s title, which could alternatively be rendered as something like Speech no. 3. On the Middle Generation, seeBattlefront and Poetry and People.Issue # 2 contains criticism only, including contributions by Chen Zhongyi and Cheng Guangwei.|
|Parasite is entirely in full-form characters: the title reads 《寄身蟲》 , here added for findability. The issue in this collection appears to be a co-production by the editorial boards of Selected Poems (诗选刊, an official, widely read journal with much room for the avant-garde) and the FujianUgly Stone poetry paper (福建 《丑石》 诗报), and to have come out of a conference on popular traditions in poetry, in the broad sense: as roughly interchangeable with unofficial, not as referring to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic. Parasite contains no poetry, but criticism, interviews and other forms of commentary instead. The formatting – roller-coaster style, with lots of stylized photographs and other illustrations, tiny print – make the reading experience something of a challenge, but the subject matter is well worth it: internal, historically informed reflection on the unofficial scene and its journals. In this light, Parasite is also listed in WORKS CITED.|
|200106《此岸》Ci an[This Shore]
|Judging by Wang Pu’s editorship and the identification of a guiding teacher or academic supervisor (指导老师) named Yang Zhu, This Shoreappears to be a semi-official publication produced in some sort of affiliation with Peking University, by the Class of Ninety-Nine Humanities Experimental Group (九九级文科试验班). Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.|
|200108《诗江湖》Shi jianghu[Poetry Vagabonds]
|Poetry journals are by no means of uniform design, but the cover of the issue of Poetry Vagabonds in this collection makes the journal look like a lifestyle magazine rather than a poetry journal; it was one of the earliest glossy poetry publications in color print. With reference to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic, in poetry and criticism, Poetry Vagabondsexplicitly positions itself on the Popular side, and pays much attention to Lower Body poetry and poets, including a photographic report on Shen Haobo getting his head shaved (see The Lower Body and Poetry Text). It also carries works by various poets of earlier generations. Their selection, too, reflects the aforesaid Popular position.The journal’s affiliation is with the Earthly.|
|200108《21世纪：中国诗歌民刊 / 21 Century》21 Shiji: Zhongguo shige minkan[The 21st Century: A Popular Poetry Journal]
|The cover of The 21st Century: A Popular Poetry Journal has calligraphy by renowned veteran poet Niu Han, part of the more or less orthodox establishment, but famously sympathetic to the avant-garde. Popular in the journal’s name should be taken in the broad sense, as roughly interchangeable with unofficial, not as referring to the 1998-2000 Intellectual-Popular polemic.|
|200110《新青年写作手册》Xin qingnian xiezuo shouce[New Youth Writing Manual]
|New Youth Writing Manual describes itself as “for internal exchange”. It appears to have come out of an online literary community called the Peking University Literature Auditory (北大文学大讲堂). Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications.The journal’s name obviously alludes to New Youth (新青年 / La Jeunesse, 1915-1926), milestone journal in the development of modern Chinese literature almost a century ago and also associated with Peking University. A distinct note of irreverence is added by the cover of the New Youth Writing Manual, which has the reader look straight into a wide-open human mouth.|
|Position is produced by the Peking University May Fourth Literary Society (北京大学五四文学社). Universities often function as relatively safe havens for semi-official publications. In addition to the usual citation of senior professors as advisors, the colophon identifies poet Zang Di as the editors’ guiding teacher or academic supervisor.|
|200203《新诗 / New Poem》Xinshi[New Poetry]
|Issues # 1-2-3-4 of New Poetry are specials on Sun Wenbo, Xiao Kaiyu, Senzi and Zang Di, respectively, containing not just poetry but also other genres as practiced by these authors – e.g. short prose – and critical writing on their works by others.The phrase New Poetry has been used throughout the 20th century and beyond to denote texts other than classical poetry, but editor Jiang Hao’s preferences bespeak its appropriation for his journal in a much narrower, specific interpretation.The journal’s selection of contributors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.After issue # 1, Jiang Hao relocated to Hainan.|
|200303《大雅》Da ya[The Greater Odes]
|The Greater Odes alludes to the eponymous section (大雅) in the Classic of Poetry (诗经), and its brief preface is in (mostly) classical Chinese. The editors acknowledge the assistance (攘助, which should probably read 襄助) of Jiang Hao.|
|200303《枕草子：中文诗刊》Zhencaozi: Zhongwen shikan[The Pillow Book: A Journal of Poetry in Chinese]
|The Pillow Book is named after a famous work of premodern Japanese literature by Sei Shōnagon, for which the makers share a deep appreciation.|
|200313《低岸》Di an[The Lower Shore]
|Judging by the preface, as compared to most other unofficial journals, The Lower Shore operates in an academic-theoretical discourse. It outlines a nationally inclusive ambition of making lasting contributions to the practice and theory of modern Han poetry or modern poetry in Chinese (现代汉诗).|
|200313《新汉诗 / New Chinese Poem》Xin Hanshi[New Han Poetry]
|In English, New Han Poetry could alternatively be called New Poetry in Chinese. See Han Poetry: A Chronicle of the Twentieth Century, Modern Han Poetry, Northeast Asia Poetry Journal and The Lower Shore.|
|Razor describes itself as “internal material”. It is a neatly organized journal, and appears to be a typical example of the kindred spirits or soulmate constellation, with a small group of regular contributors, in this case of Sichuan, Beijing and Harbin provenance. The Sichuan-Harbin connection brings to mind The Nineties and Against.Each of the four issues in this collection ends with foreign poetry in translation.The journal’s selection of authors suggests affiliation with the Elevated.|
Alternative transcriptions to those used in the preceding pages are listed in the next section.
The list of names below is intended to increase findability of this document. It contains predictable or attested alternatives to the orthography this document has used for transcribing poets’ names, and redirects the reader.
Bai 2001: Bai Hua 柏桦， 《左边：毛泽东时代的抒情诗人》 [The Left Side: Lyrical Poets in the Mao Era],Hong Kong: Oxford UP
Barmé 1999: Geremie R Barmé, In the Red: On Contemporary Chinese Culture, New York: Columbia University Press (notions of non-official / unofficial / underground etc (counter-)culture are central throughout this study, across various genres and media in literature and art)
Bei Dao 1999: Bei Dao, “From the Founding of Today to Today: A Reminiscence”, translated by Perry Link, Stanford Presidential Lectures website, Bei Dao pages (online); republished as “How the ‘Revolution’ Occurred in Chinese Poetry”, in Jefferey Paine (ed), The Poetry of Our World: An International Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, New York: HarperCollins, 2000: 433-437 (there are countless similar memoir-like essays by and interviews with Bei Dao, often commissioned outside China and recalling the days of the old Today)
Beiling 1993-2000: Beiling (ed) 贝岭（编）, 《倾向》 # 1 through 13, 1993-2000 (continuation outside China, out of Cambridge MA etc): instalments called 〈中国大陆民间文学刊物—览表〉 [Mainland-Chinese Popular Literary Journals: A Survey]、 〈中国大陆非官方文学刊物—览表〉[Mainland-Chinese Unofficial Literary Journals: A Survey]、 〈中国大陆地下出版物—览表〉 [Mainland-Chinese Underground Publications: A Survey]、 〈中国大陆地下文学出版物—览表〉 [Mainland-Chinese Underground Literary Publications: A Survey]、 〈中国大陆非官方文学艺术刊物—览表〉 [Mainland-Chinese Unofficial Literary and Art Journals: A Survey]、 〈出版物—览表〉 [Publications: A Survey]、 〈中国大陆地下文学艺术出版物—览表〉 [Mainland-Chinese Underground Literary and Art Publications: A Survey] (Beiling uses 出版物 ‘publications’ for unofficial, individual poetry collections or “books”, as distinct from serial journals; in addition to citing dates, places and contributors, his lists also include detailed information on individual journals’ size, number of pages, and the various types of printing involved in their production)
Beiling 1997: Beiling 贝岭， 〈文化大革命中的地下诗歌〉 [Underground Poetry in the Cultural Revolution], in 《倾向》 # 9: 1-17
Brodsgaard 1981: Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard, “The Democracy Movement in China, 1978-1979: Opposition Movements, Wall Poster Campaigns, and Underground Journals”, in Asian Survey vol xxi # 7: 747-774
Chan 1979: Peter Chan, “Popular Publications in China: A Look at The Spring of Peking”, in Contemporary China vol 3 # 4: 103-111
Chang & Lu 2002: Chang Li & Lu Shourong (eds) 常立、卢寿荣（编）， 《中国新诗》 [China’s New Poetry], 上海：上海人民美术
Chen 1995: Chen Dongdong 陈东东， 〈鱼刺在鱼肉中成长：中国地下诗刊 《倾向》 始末〉 [Fishbones Growing inside Fish-Flesh: The Chinese Underground Poetry Journal Tendency, from Beginning to End], in 《文艺报》 # 2: 48-50 (the Hong Kong bimonthly); reprinted as 〈 《倾向》 诗刊创刊始终〉 [The Creation of Poetry Journal Tendency, from Beginning to End], in 《倾向》 # 10 (1997) (the new Tendency): 283-288
Chen 2002: Chen Xuguang 陈旭光， 《中西诗学的会通: 20世纪中国现代主义诗学研究》 [A Comprehensive Study of Chinese and Western Poetics: On 20th-Century Chinese Modernist Poetry]，北京：北京大学
Chen 2003: Chen Chao 陈超， 《打开诗的漂流瓶—现代诗研究论集》 [Poetry as a Message in a Bottle: Essays on Modern Poetry], 石家庄: 河北教育
Crespi 2005: John A Crespi, “The Poetry of Slogans and Native Sons: Observations on the First China Poetry Festival”, MCLC resource center → publications → 2005 (online)
DACHS poetry chapter: Digital Archive for Chinese Studies at http://leiden.dachs-archive.org → Poetry (online)
Day 2005: Michael Day, China’s Second World of Poetry: The Sichuan Avant-Garde, 1982-1992, Leiden: DACHS Poetry chapter
Day 2007: Michael Day, “Online Avant-Garde Poetry in China Today”, in Chris Lupke (ed), New Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Poetry, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming
DeFrancis 1996: John DeFrancis et al [eds], ABC Chinese-English Dictionary, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press
Duoduo 1988: Duoduo 多多， 〈被埋葬的中国士人1970-1978〉 [Buried Chinese Poets, 1970-1978], in 《开拓》 1988-3: 166-169; reprinted as〈1970-1978北京的地下诗歌〉 [Underground Poetry in Beijing, 1970-1978], in 《今天》 1991-1: 79-82; English translation as “Underground Poetry in Beijing 1970-1978”, translated by John Cayley, in Zhao & Cayley 1994: 97-104
Edmond 2006: Jacob Edmond, “Dissidence and Accommodation: The Publishing History of Yang Lian from Today to Today”, in The China Quarterly# 185: 111-127
Emerson 2001: Andrew G Emerson, “The Guizhou Undercurrent”, in Modern Chinese Literature & Culture vol 13 # 2: 111-133
Emerson 2004: Andrew G Emerson, “Poet’s Life – Hero’s Life”, in Huang Xiang, A Bilingual Edition of Poetry out of Communist China, translated by Andrew G Emerson, Lewiston etc: Edwin Mellen Press:1-37
Gao 1997: Gao Zhuang 高莊， 《海上：1984-1990》 [At Sea: 1984-1990], in 《倾向》 # 9: 45-49
Garside 1981: Roger Garside, Coming Alive: China after Mao, New York etc: McGraw-Hill: chapter 12
Gillespie 2001: David Gillespie, “Thaws, Freezes and Wakes: Russian Literature, 1953-1991”, in Neil Cornwell (ed), The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature, London etc: Routledge: 223-233
Goodman 1981: David S G Goodman, Beijing Street Voices: The Poetry and Politics of China’s Democracy Movement, London etc: Marion Boyars
Han 1992: Han Dong韩东， 〈 《他们》 ，人和事〉 [The Life and Times of Them], in 《今天》 1992 # 2: 188-200; excerpted as 〈 《他们》 略说〉 [A Few Words on Them] in 《诗探索》 1994 # 1: 159-162
He 1998: He Xiaozhu 何小竹， 〈我与非非〉 [Not-Not and I], in 《今天》 1998-3: 86-92
Hockx 2004: Michel Hockx, “Links With The Past: Mainland China’s Online Literary Communities and Their Antecedents”, in Journal of Contemporary China, vol 13 # 38: 105-127
Hockx 2005: Michel Hockx, “Virtual Chinese Literature: A Comparative Case Study of Online Poetry Communities”, in The China Quarterly, # 183: 670-691
Hong 1979: Hong Xin 宏欣， 〈北京的民办刊物〉 [Journals Run by the People in Beijing], in 《争鸣》 # 19: 28-32 (translated as Hung Hsin, “Peking’s People-Run Publications”, in US Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS), Translations on People’s Republic of China, # 522: 22-27)
Hong & Liu 2005: Hong Zicheng & Liu Denghan 洪子诚、刘登翰， 《中国当代新诗史》 [History of China’s Contemporary New Poetry]，修订版，北京：北京大学
Huang 1997: Huang Xiang 黄翔， 〈狂饮不醉的兽形〉 （节选）[Like a Beast Drinking Wildly Not Drunk (excerpts)], in 《倾向》 # 9: 18-25
I‑mu 1986: I‑mu (comp), Unofficial Documents of the Democracy Movement in Communist China, 1978-1981 中国民主运动资料: A Checklist of Chinese Materials in the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford: East Asian Collection, Hoover Institution
Jerofejev 2005: Viktor Jerofejev [Erofeev, Erofeyev], De Goede Stalin [The Good Stalin], translated by Arie van der Ent, Amsterdam: Meulenhoff: chapter 5 and appendix (no English translation was available at this writing)
Jingbute 1998: Jingbute 京不特， 〈从主流文化下的奴隶到一个独立的个体人：回忆八十年代上海的地下文化〉 [From Slave to Mainstream Culture to Independent Individual Person: A Recollection of Shanghai Underground Culture in the Eighties], in 《倾向》 # 11: 226-247
Kong 2005: Shuyu Kong, Consuming Literature: Best Sellers and the Commercialization of Literary Production in Contemporary China, Stanford: Stanford UP: chapter 3
Lao Mu 1985: Lao Mu 老木（编）， 《新诗潮诗集》 [New Tide Poetry]，上下册，北京：北京大学五四文学社（内部交流）
Li 2001: Li Runxia 李润霞， 《从潜流到激流——中国当代新诗潮研究（1966-1986）》 [From the Undercurrent to the Rapids: A Study of China’s New Tide Poetry, 1966-1986]，博士论文：武汉大学
Li 2004: Li Runxia 李润霞， 〈从历史深处走来的诗兽——论黄翔在文革时期的地下诗歌创作〉 [Poetry Beast Come Forth from the Depths of History: On Huang Xiang’s Underground Poetry Writing during the Cultural Revolution]，载 《蓝·BLUE》 2004-1: 133-147 (Li has many more journal publications to her name; I include this one because Huang Xiang is underrepresented in Li 2006, possibly as a result of censorship)
Li 2006: Li Runxia (ed) 李润霞（编）， 《暗夜的举火者》 [Torch-Bearers in the Dark Night]、 《青春的绝响》 [Lost Music of Youth]、 《被放逐的诗神》 [The God of Poetry Banished]，武汉：武汉 (an anthology of underground poetry from the Cultural Revolution, in three volumes)
Li (Runxia) 2007: 《乱世潜流——文化大革命时期的地下诗歌研究》 [Undercurrent in a World in Turmoil: A Study of Underground Poetry during the Cultural Revolution]，台湾秀威，预计2007年初出版
Li (Dian) 2007: Li Dian, “Naming and Anti-Naming: Poetic Debates in Contemporary China”, in Chris Lupke (ed), New Perspectives on Contemporary Chinese Poetry, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan, forthcoming
Liao 1999: Liao Yiwu (ed) 廖亦武（编）， 《沉沦的圣殿：中国二十世纪70年代地下诗歌遗照》 [Sunken Temple: Underground Poetry in the 70s of the Twentieth Century – A Portrait of the Deceased], 乌鲁木齐：新疆青少年
Lin 1982: Lin Yemu 林也牧（编）， 《在废墟上：大陆地下刊物小说选》 [In the Ruins: An Anthology of Fiction from Mainland Underground Journals]，台北：时报文化 (republication of Qi & Lin 1981, with minor differences)
Lin Yemu: see also Qi & Lin
Link 2000: Perry Link, The Uses of Literature: Life in the Socialist Chinese Literary System, Princeton: Princeton UP
Liu 1985: Liu Shengji刘胜骥， 《中国大陆地下刊物研究（一九七八——一九八二》 [On Mainland-Chinese Underground Journals (1978-1982)]，台北：台湾商务印书馆
Liu 2001: Liu He (ed) 刘禾（编）， 《持灯的使者》 [The Torch-Bearing Messenger], Oxford etc: Oxford UP
Mang Ke 2003: Mang Ke 芒克 ， 《瞧！这些人》 [Look at Them All!]，长春：时代文艺
Mang Ke & Tang 1997: Mang Ke & Tang Xiaodu 芒克、唐晓渡， 〈时过境迁话 《今天》 ：芒克访谈录〉 [Time Passes and Things Change – onToday: An Interview with Mang Ke], in 《倾向》 # 9: 26-34
McDougall 1979a: Bonnie S McDougall, “Dissent Literature: Official and Nonofficial Literature in and about China in the Seventies”, in Contemporary China, vol 3 # 4: 49-79
McDougall 1979b: Bonnie S McDougall, “Underground Literature: Two Reports from Hong Kong” in Contemporary China, vol 3 # 4 (1979): 80-90
McDougall 1993: Bonnie S McDougall, “Censorship & Self-Censorship in Contemporary Chinese Literature”, in Susan Whitfield (ed): After The Event: Human Rights and Their Future in China, London: Wellsweep, 1993: 73-90
Momo 2004: Momo 默默， 〈 《撒娇诗社》 与 《撒娇诗刊》 的回顾〉 [Looking Back at the Coquetry Poetry Society and The Coquetry Poetry Journal]， 《撒娇诗刊》 （复刊），2004年1月：165-169 (a reprint of the 1985 first issue of the journal is found on 171-180)
Mou 1999: Mou Dunbai 牟敦白， 〈X诗社与郭世英之死〉 [The X Society and the Death of Guo Shiying], in Liao 1999: 17-29
Nathan 1985: Andrew J Nathan, Chinese Democracy, New York: Alfred Knopf: chapters 1 and 2
Pan & Pan 1985: Pan Yuan & Pan Jie, “The Non-Official Magazine Today and the Younger Generation’s Ideals for a New Literature”, in Jeffrey C Kinkley (ed), After Mao: Chinese Literature and Society 1978-1981, Cambridge MA etc: Harvard UP, 1985: 193-219
Patton 1994: Simon Patton, A Poetics of Wubuwei: Two Texts by Gu Cheng, PhD dissertation: Melbourne University: chapter 1
Poetry Exploration: 《诗探索》 (a prominent, official scholarly journal out of Beijing)
Popov 2005: Evgenij Anatol’evič Popov, “Russian Literature Is Better Than Sex”, in Mediazioni → articles (online)
Prynne & Twitchell 1995: Original: Chinese Language-Poetry Group, special issue of Parataxis: modernism and modern writing # 7 (spring 1995), edited by J H Prynne, with translations by Jeffrey Twitchell
Qi Guo: see Yang, Qi & Song
Qi & Lin 1981: Qi Hao & Lin Yemu 漆豪、林也牧（编） 《大陆地下刊物短篇小说选》 [An Anthology of Short Stories from Mainland Underground Journals]，香港：香港邮购书店 (date not given, inferred from preface; with minor differences, this book re-appeared as Lin 1982)
Qimeng: English translations of Qimeng [Enlightenment] # 1-2 (1978) and 3 (1979), in US Joint Publications Research Service (JPRS), Translations on People’s Republic of China, # 509, 12 April 1979 (full issue dedicated to Enlightenment)
Seymour 1980: James D Seymour, The Fifth Modernization: China’s Human Rights Movement, 1978-1979, Stanfordville: Human Rights Publishing Group
Shen 2001: Shen Haobo沈浩波， 〈我要先锋到死！——在”中国南岳九十年代汉语诗歌研究论坛”上的发言〉 [Avant-Garde unto Death!—Speech at the Nanyue Forum for the Study of 1990s Poetry in Chinese], in 《原创性写作》 # 2：30-34
Shen Haobo: see also Shen & Yin
Shen & Yin 2001: Shen Haobo & Yin Lichuan 沈浩波、尹丽川, 〈实话实说”下半身”〉 [Straight Talk on “The Lower Body”], in 《诗江湖》 # 1: 69-73
Sidane 1980: Victor Sidane (ed), Le Printemps de Pékin: oppositions démocratiques en Chine, novembre 1978-mars 1980 [The Beijing Spring: Democratic Opposition in China, November 1978-March 1980], Paris: Editions Gallimard / Julliard: chapter 1
Smith 2001: G S Smith, “Russian Poetry since 1945”, in Neil Cornwell (ed), The Routledge Companion to Russian Literature, London etc: Routledge: 197-208
Song Zuifa: see Yang, Qi & Song
Tendency: 《倾向》 the new Tendency, published outside China (out of Cambridge MA) from 1993 to 2000 (has special features on unofficial literature in # 9-10-11-13; not to be confused with its 1988-1991 domestic namesake)
Tian & Yang 2006: Tian Zhiling & Yang Yizhi 田志凌、杨怡之， 〈这些写满诗的脸〉 [These Faces Written Full of Poetry], 《南方都市报》 , 8 August 2006
Terras 1985: Victor Terras (ed), Handbook of Russian Literature, New Haven etc: Yale UP
Today: 《今天》 the continuation of Today, published outside China since 1990 (has carried the recollections of many people involved in underground and unofficial poetry scenes)
Twitchell-Waas & Huang 1997: Jeffrey Twitchell-Waas & Huang Fan, “Avant-Garde Poetry in China: The Nanjing Scene, 1981-1992”, in World Literature Today vol 71 # 1 (1997): 29-38
Van Crevel 1996: Maghiel van Crevel, Language Shattered: Contemporary Chinese Poetry and Duoduo, Leiden: CNWS: chapters 2 and 3
Van Crevel 2005: Maghiel van Crevel, “Not Quite Karaoke: Poetry in Contemporary China”, in The China Quarterly # 183: 644-669
Van Crevel 2006: Maghiel van Crevel, “True Disbelief: The Poetry of Han Dong”, in Tamkang Review vol xxxvi # 4: 107-140
Van Crevel 2007a: Maghiel van Crevel, “Avant-Garde Poetry from the People’s Republic of China: A Bibliography of Individual and Multiple-Author Books”, forthcoming
Van Crevel 2007b: Maghiel van Crevel “Lower Body Poetry and Its Lineage: Disavowal, Bad Behavior and Social Concern”, in Jie Lu (ed), China’s Literary and Cultural Scenes at the Turn of the 21st Century, Oxford: Routledge, forthcoming
Van Crevel 2007c: Maghiel van Crevel, Chinese Poetry in Times of Mind, Mayhem and Money, Leiden: Brill, forthcoming
Wang 1991: Wang Bin王彬（编）， 《二十世纪中国新诗鉴赏辞典》 [Dictonary for the Appreciation of Twentieth-Century Chinese Poetry]，北京：中国文联
Wang 1993: Wang Guangming王光明， 《艰难的指向：”新诗潮”与二十世纪中国现代诗》 [Pointing the Way through Hardship: “New Tide Poetry” and Twentieth-Century Modern Chinese Poetry]，长春：时代文艺
Wang 2003: Wang Guangming 王光明， 《现代汉诗的百年演变》 [Modern Chinese Poetry: A Hundred Years of Evolution]，石家庄，河北人民
Wang 2006: Wang Jianzhao 汪剑钊， 《二十世纪中国的现代主义诗歌》 [Modernist Poetry in Twentieth-Century China], 北京：文化艺术
Wei 2005: Wei Tianwu 魏天无， 《新诗现代性追求的矛盾与演进：九十年代诗论研究》 [Contradiction and Evolution in New Poetry’s Pursuit of Modernity: On Poetry of the Nineties] ，武汉：湖北教育
Widor 1981: Claude Widor (ed), Documents on the Chinese Democratic Movement 1978-1980: Unofficial Magazines and Wall Posters, Éditions de l’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales / The Observer Publishers: Paris / Hong Kong
Widor 1987: Claude Widor (ed), The Samizdat Press in China’s Provinces, 1979-1981: An Annotated Guide, Stanford: Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Xiandai Hanshi 1998: Xiandai Hanshi bainian yanbian ketizu (ed) 现代汉诗百年演变课题组（编）， 《现代汉诗：反思与求索》 [Modern Chinese Poetry: Introspection and Exploration], 北京：作家
Xiang 2002: Xiang Weiguo向卫国， 《边缘的呐喊—现代性汉诗诗人谱系学》 [Shouts from the Margins—A Genealogy of Authors of Modern Chinese Poetry], 北京：作家
Xiao 2006: Xiao Quan 肖全， 《我们这一代 / Our Generation》 , 广州：花城
Xie 2002: Xie Yixing 谢宜兴（编）， 《寄身虫》 [Parasite], 深圳：福建 《丑石》 诗报
Xu 1984: Xu Jingya 徐敬亚， 〈时刻牢记社会主义的文艺方向：关于“崛起的诗群”的自我批评〉 [Always Keep Firmly in Mind the Socialist Direction in Literature and Art: A Self-Criticism regarding “A Group of Poets on the Rise”]， 《人民日报》 1984年3月5日; English translation by Zhu Zhiyu as “Keeping the Socialist Orientation of Literature and Art Constantly in Mind”, in Stephen C Soong & John Minford (eds), Trees on the Mountain: An Anthology of New Chinese Writing, Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press, 1984: 65-68
Xu 1986: Xu Jingya (ed) 徐敬亚（编）, 〈中国诗坛1986’ 现代诗群体大展〉 [Grand Exhibition of Modernist Poetry Groups on China’s Poetry Scene, 1986], 《诗歌报》 , 21 October 1986 and 《深圳青年报》 , 21 and 24 October 1986; for the original “exhibition’s” relation to a famous, near-eponymous anthology from 1988, see Michael Day, “China’s Second World of Poetry: The Grand Poetry Exhibition of 1986”, in DACHS poetry chapter (online)
Xu 1992: Xu Xing 许行， 〈四川诗人群被捕事件〉 [Sichuan Group of Poets Arrested]， 《开放杂志》 ，1992年2月：44-47
Ya Mo 1997: Ya Mo哑默， 〈贵州方向：中国大陆潜流文学〉 [The Guizhou Direction: Mainland China’s Literary Undercurrent], in 《倾向》 # 9: 57-63
Yang 1993: Yang Jian 杨建， 《文化大革命中的地下文学》 [Underground Literature in the Cultural Revolution]，济南：赵华
Yang (Li) 2004: Yang Li 杨黎, 《灿烂:第三代的写作和生活》 [Splendor: The Writing and the Lives of the Third Generation]，西宁：青海人民
Yang (Siping) 2004: Yang Siping 杨四平, 《20世纪中国新诗主流》 [The Mainstream in 20th-Century Chinese New Poetry], 合肥：安徽教育
Yang, Qi & Song 2006: Yang Ke, Qi Guo & Song Zuifa (curators) 杨克、祁国、宋醉发， 《中国诗歌的脸》 [The Face of Chinese Poetry]，广州：广州市荔湾区图书馆展厅: exhibition of portrait photographs of contemporary poets, organized under the aegis of the China New Poetry Yearbooks editorial committee ( 《中国新诗年鉴》 编委会); see Tian & Yang 2006
Yang Ke: see Yang, Qi & Song
Yeh 1992: Michelle Yeh, “Light a Lamp in a Rock: Experimental Poetry in Contemporary China”, in Modern China, vol 18 # 4 (1992): 379-409
Yeh 1993: Michelle Yeh, “Contemporary Chinese Poetry Scenes”, in: Chicago Review, vol 39 (1993) # 3-4: 279-283
Yeh 1996: Michelle Yeh, “The ‘Cult of Poetry’ in Contemporary China”, in Journal of Asian Studies vol 55 # 1: 51-80
Yi Mu: see I‑mu
Yin Lichuan: see Shen & Yin
Zhang 1990: Zhang Langlang 张郎郎， 《太阳纵队传说》 [The Legend of “The Sun’s Column”], in: 《今天》 1990-2: 63-67; English translation as “The Legend of the Sun Brigade”, translated by Helen Wang, in Henry Y Zhao & John Cayley 1994: 87-95
Zhang 2003: Zhang Hong 张闳， 《声音的诗学》 [The Poetics of Voice]，北京：中国人民大学
Zhang (Jeanne Hong) 2004: Jeanne Hong Zhang, The Invention of a Discourse: Women’s Poetry from Contemporary China, Leiden: CNWS
Zhang (Zao) 2004: Zhang Zao, Auf die Suche nach poetischer Modernität: Die neue Lyrik Chinas nach 1919 [In Search of Poetic Modernity: China’s New Poetry after 1919], PhD thesis, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen: chapter 6
Zhao & Cayley 1994: Henry Y Zhao & John Cayley (eds), Under-Sky Underground: Chinese Writing Today * 1, London: Wellsweep
Zhong 1998: Zhong Ming 钟鸣， 《旁观者 / Spectator》 [Spectator]，共三册，海口：海南
Zhou 1994: Zhou Lunyou周伦佑， 〈异端之美的呈现：”非非”七年忆事〉 [The Beauty of Heresy Emerging: Recalling Seven Years of Not-Not], in《诗探索》 1994-2: 106-113
Zhou 2000: Zhou Lunyou 周伦佑（编）， 《非非2000：二十一世纪汉语文学写作空间》 [Not-Not 2000: A Writing Space for Twenty-First Century Literature in Chinese]，香港：新时代 (contains a special section on underground literature during the Cultural Revolution)
Zhu 1985: Zhu Yuan 朱园， 〈黄翔：被遗忘的民运诗人〉 [Huang Xiang: Forgotten Poet of the Democracy Movement], in 《争鸣》 1985-11: 33-37