Yang Lian Readings

Yang Lian Readings


Yang Lian will be in the UK for a series of readings from his new book Narrative Poem, which was described by Fiona Sampson in The i paper as 'his autobiographical masterpiece'.  The book is a Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation.

Before and since his enforced exile from 1989, Yang Lian has been one of the most innovative and influential poets in China. Widely hailed in America and Europe as a highly individual voice in world literature, he has been translated into many languages.  Narrative Poem, Yang Lian’s most personal work to date, is built around a series of family photographs, the first of which was taken on the day when he was born, on 22 February 1955, and the last of which dates from the time he spent undergoing ‘re-education through labour’ – and digging graves – during the mid-1970s.  Yang Lian was a Chinese poet in exile from 1989 to 1995, finally settling in London in 1997. He is now based in Germany. 

All Yang Lian's Bloodaxe publications are translated by Brian Holton, who will be reading the English versions of the poems at the event in Newcastle.

Poetry International: Part of London Literature Festival

Poetry International, Southbank Centre, London: Sunday 15 October, 11am


Yang Lian Poetry Workshop on Imagery in Chinese Poetry

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Poetry International, Southbank Centre, London: Sunday 15 October, 3pm


World Poetry Summit

Featuring Claudia Rankine, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Joy Harjo, Sjón, Yang Lian, Vahni Capildeo and Anne Carson.

In a gathering of major international voices to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Poetry International, this Royal Festival Hall reading transports the audience across the globe, and extols the transformative power of poetry.

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Newcastle Centre for the Literary Arts, Culture Lab, Newcastle University, Thursday 26 October 2017, 7.15pm

Tickets: £6/£4/£2

Yang Lian and Brian Holton (translator)

Yang Lian and Brian Holton will be reading from Narrative Poem (Bloodaxe Books, 2017), a bilingual edition and Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation.

Yang Lian was one of the original Misty Poets who reacted against the strictures of the Cultural Revolution. His work was banned in 1989 when he organised memorial services for the dead of Tiananmen while living in New Zealand. Translations of his poetry include Bloodaxe collections Where the Sea Stands Still (1999), Concentric Circles (2005) and Lee Valley Poems (2009). He was awarded the International Nonino Prize in 2012.

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Poetry at the Print Room, The Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3LB,  Friday 10 November 2017, 7.30pm
£20 / £15

Narrative Poem: Poetry, Music & Dance

This spellbinding performance combining poetry, dance and live music is from the world’s most influential and innovative Chinese poet Yang Lian.

Narrative Poem is Yang’s most personal poetry to date travelling back and forth in time, covering his childhood and his harrowing ‘re-education through labour’, digging graves in rural China, his first period of exile in New Zealand, and his subsequent adventures and travels around Europe and elsewhere.

This hauntingly beautiful collection of poems will be brought to life by new choreography from the Coronet’s Associate Hubert Essakow and dancer Laura Calcagno with a new score by cellist Sophie Harris.

Score composed and performed by Sophie Harris.  Choreographed by Hubert Essakow.

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[12 October 2017]

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