A Folio of Poetry by Abu Masen – translated by Al Lim


Abu Masen was born in 1997 in the Big Cold Mountains, Sichuan, China. Ethnically Yi, he is a descendant of the AMRG tribe, heir to an ancient tradition and a poet influenced by Yi epics such as Mamuteyi or “Pedagogical Canons” and Meige or “Plum trees and Kudzu”, which reflect the culture and history of Yi people in China. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, Yi, Korean and English. He is currently a college student. He started writing poetry in middle school and has published in journals such as Black Earth, Green Walls, Chinese Yi, etc. and was featured in the anthology of Forty-eight Poets of New Generation from the Cold Mountains (2018). His first poetry collection, Devoiced Yi, was published in 2019.

Al Lim is an anthropologist and poet, who is part-Singaporean and part-Thai. He writes primarily in English, strongly influenced by his other languages of Thai and Chinese. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student in the joint Anthropology and Environmental Studies program at Yale University. His literary works have appeared in over 20 outlets, such as OF ZOOS, STAPLE Magazine, and Twin Cities.