zhai yongming
An Afternoon with
Zhai Yongming

3:30 - 5pm, Friday
April 21, 2006
Fishbowl (Library Room 209)
Humboldt State University


Zhai Yongming was born in 1955 in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China. She graduated from high school in 1974, and was 'rusticated' during the last two years of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). She was sent away from her native urban environment to "learn from peasants". With her return to the city in the 1976, she devoted much of her energy to writing poetry, inspired by the breakthroughs that were taking place in literature in the early post-Mao period. She also studied at the Chengdu Institute for Telecommunications and Engineering, graduating in 1981 with a degree in Communication Technology. She began publishing her poems in 1981. In 1984 she wrote her first poem cycle, 'Women', which was followed by 'Jing'an Village', 'Life in This World', and 'The Designs of Death'. Her poetry collections include Women (1986), Above All the Roses (1989), Collected Poems of Zhai Yongming (1994) and Plain Songs in the Dark Night (1997).

She is one of the founders of the "Black Tornado" of women's poetry that swept China's poetry scene. This came about as a reaction among other woman poets to the official publication of poems from her series Woman and other poems during this period. Since the 1980s, Zhai has maintained a position as one of China's most prominent poets. She has been invited to international conferences and poetry festivals in England, Holland, France and Italy, and had spent some eighteen months in the USA in 1990-1992. She is also a well known literary critic and a business woman in her native China.

Zhai Yongming will read some of her poems then talk about her life and work. There will be a question and answer session afterward.

This event is co-sponsored by Chinese Studies Grant,
Department of World Languages and Cultures, Multicultural Center
and Humboldt State University Library.