Born in Chengdu, Sichuan province, and a graduate of its University of Electronic Science and Technology, Zhai Yongming still lives and writes there. Her first poetry collection, Women, was published in 1986.
She has published seven more collections of her poetry and six of essays and articles. Her work has been translated into English, French, Dutch, Italian, and German: these include the German Das Kaffeehauslied, the French La conscience de la mort and the English Changing Rooms.
In Ancient Times, In Springtime, Letters from a Past Dynasty, The Submarine's Lament, tr. Andrea Lingenfelter; The Chrysanthemum Lantern is Floating Over, tr. Jami Proctor-Xu Pathlight: New Chinese Writing 1 (2012)