Contemporary Chinese Poetry in Translation: The Homings and Departures Project

By , and | 1 October 2020

Image by Wang Yin

Homings & Departures is a poetry translation project of the China Australia Writing Centre (CAWC) at Curtin and Fudan Universities, and the International Poetry Studies Institute (IPSI) at the University of Canberra. As worldwide borders close and movements are restricted, the project’s title has gained a pressing new relevance. If bodies cannot travel then words, at least, can. In a spirit of nuanced exchange, CAWC at Curtin and Fudan, along with IPSI, continue their creative collaboration at a time when it is increasingly vital.

These poems were first published in Homings and Departures: Selected Poems from Contemporary China and Australia (Qinghai People’s Publishing House, 2018), edited by Bao Huiyi and Hai An. Later this year, an Australian companion volume of Homings and Departures will be published by Recent Work Press, edited by Lucy Dougan and Paul Hetherington, with Chinese translations by Iris Fan Xing.

Mai Fei: Shovel | 一把铁锹
Translated by a j carruthers and Cui Yuwei

Wang Ao: Standing at the Gas Station on a Winter’s Night, What am I Afraid of | 冬夜站在加油站我怕什么
Translated by Eleanor Goodman

Leng Shuang: The Fog of Our Age | 我们年龄的雾
Translated by Heather Inwood

Wang Pu: The Reliquary | 宝塔
Translated by Ali McIness

Zhao Si: Sighs | 叹息
Translated by Xuan Yuan and Tim Lilburn

Dai Weina: Rangoon Lover | 仰光情人
Translated by Liang Yujing

Zhang Dinghao: Cardboard Boxes | 纸箱子
Translated by Canaan Morse

Si Rongyun: Childhood Playmate | 童年玩伴
Translated by Gu Yiwei and Cassandra Atherton

Bao Huiyi: On Curing Depression | 关于抑郁症的治疗
Translated by Austin Woerner and Bao Huiyi

Zhang Er: Buji River Serenade | 布吉河小夜曲
Translated by Michelle Yeh

Feng Na: Birthplace | 出生地
Translated by Henry Zhang and Amelia Dale

Iris Fan Xing: Canton Holiday | 广州假期
Translated by Iris Fan Xing

Editors’ notes

With thanks to all the Chinese and Australian poets and translators involved; to Paul Hetherington for the overall conception of the project; to the Director of CAWC at Fudan University, Linjing Jiang; to editors Huiyi Bao and Li Dingjun (Hai An); to publisher Ma Fei, Editor-in-Chief of Qinghai People’s Publishing House; and to Wang Yin for his photograph, which provides such an atmospheric frame for the poems in translation here.

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