A Folio of Poetry by Zhou Sese – translated by John Yau


Zhou Sese was born in Hunan province in 1968 and went to college in Wuhan University and became an avant garde poet while in Wuhan belonging to the Post-Third-Generation generation. When his first collection of poems, Seventeen Years, Poems 1985-2001, came out in 2001, he was highly acclaimed as a lyrical poet. His second collection of poems, Under the pine trees, Poems 1985-2008, brought him major literary awards (in the non-governmental section) including Rou Gang Poetry Award and Best Ten Poets 2009. Since then he changed his style and has published 30 volumes of poetry, novels and essays, becoming one of the most prolific poet in the 21st century China. He has compiled and edited a number of poetry anthologies such as Chinese Poetry of the New Century, Contemporary Chinese Poetry and the annual Best Chinese Poetry. He has launched numerous projects such as Cul-ture (anti-culture), Lishan Poetry Club and Field Investigations of Chinese Poetry. As a very active poet in the forefront of contemporary Chinese poetry scene and in his outcast status (non-academic, non-mainstream, non-governmental), he seems to want to have a saying in despite lack of power and resources. Since 2017, he has traveled around the world and performed in several poetry festivals in Vietnam, Columbia and Mexico. He lives between Beijing and Shenzhen as a documentary film director, poet, novelist, calligrapher and artist of Chinese ink wash painting.

John Yau is a poet and art critic. He has a book of poems, Genghis Chan on Drums, forthcoming from Omnidawn in the fall of 2021, along with the monographs, Liu Xiaodong (Lund Humphries) and William Tillyer: A Retrospective (Rizzoli Electa). He was the 2018 recipient of the Jackson Prize in Poetry. In 2021, he received a Rabkin Award for his art criticism. An editor of the online magazine, Hyperallergic Weekend and Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University), he lives in New York.