Yang Lian

Picture of Author Yang Lian
Author photo by Qiu Leilei.

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About the author

Yang Lian was born in Switzerland in 1955, and grew up in Beijing. He began writing when he was sent to the countryside in the 1970s, and on his return became one of the first group of young "underground" Chinese poets, who published the influential literary magazine Jintian (Today). Yang Lian's poems became well known and influential inside and outside China in the 1980s, especially when his long poem 'Norlang' was criticized widely by the government during the "Anti-Spiritual Pollution" campaign.

He was invited to visit Australia and New Zealand in 1988, and became an exile after the Tiananmen massacre in 1989. He has since published seven volumes of poems, two volumes of prose, and many essays in Chinese, and has been translated into more than twenty languages.

His three volumes of collected works were published by Shang Hai Wen Yi Chu Ban She (Literature and Arts Press of Shanghai); his most recent collections in English are Yi (Green Integer, Los Angeles, 2001), and Concentric Circles (Bloodaxe Books, Newcastle, 2005), both book-length poems. Riding Pisces, published in mid-2008, gathers poems from a number of out-of-print or hard-to-find volumes, composed over more than twenty years. The volume is fully bilingual and the translations are all by Brian Holton, who was also responisble for Concentric Circles.

Yang Lian's website, which features a number of poems, essays and commentary can be found here.

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