Poetry in Public Spaces: Xi Chuan and Robin Robertson at Sanlian Bookstore

By Canaan Morse, published

The Beijing installment of the British Council's "Poetry in Public Spaces" series will be kicking off at Sculpting in Time tomorrow afternoon, with a joint reading and conversation between Robin Robertson, poet from Scotland, and Chinese poet Xi Chuan.

Publisher and poet Robin Robertson is the author of the prize-winning collections The Wrecking Light (2010), Swithering (Picador 2006, Forward Prize), Slow Air (2002), and A Painted Field (1997). The poem "At Roane Head," which is included in The Wrecking Light and which won Robertson the Forward Prize for best individual poem, I link to here:

At Roane Head

Xi Chuan (honestly, who here doesn't know Xi Chuan already?) is quickly becoming one of China's best-known poets. He has five collections of poetry published in his native tongue (like Robertson, Xi Chuan's first collection, A Fictional Geneology, was published in 1997) as well as the English collection Notes on the Mosquito, translated by Lucas Klein and published by New Directions. His work has been widely anthologized in a variety of languages, and we even had the chance to publish a few of his pieces in the trial issue of Pathlight.

Date and Time: Saturday, September 29th, 2:00-4:00
Location: Sculpting in Time Cafe, 2nd floor of Sanlian Bookstore
22 Meishuguan East St. (美术馆东街), Dongcheng District

Yours truly will be moderating and trying not to make a fool of himself. Come on out!


# 1.   

How did it go, Canaan?

Helen Wang, September 30, 2012, 9:40a.m.

# 2.   

Very well! Much better than I had expected, in fact. The poets each read nine or ten poems, then fielded questions first from me and later from audience members. Robin is a very good reader, and was engaging in the conversation that followed. The group who came out to get Xi Chuan's autograph formed a line stretching nearly out the door - silent fist-pump for poetry.

By the way, Xi Chuan has a new collection called 《够一梦》 set to be published by Chu Chen later this year. Some of us got review copies...

Canaan Morse, October 1, 2012, 2:41a.m.


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