September 16, 2011 Contemporary Poetry from China: A Reading and Discussion, Oct. 12

Press Contact: Donna Urschel (202) 707-1639
Public Contact: Robert Casper (202) 707-5394

The Library of Congress will focus on contemporary poetry from China, with a reading and discussion by two Chinese poets.

The poets are featured in an anthology titled “Push Open the Window: Contemporary Poetry from China,” which former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Hass said “will give glimpses—human glimpses—at what is going on” in China today.

The event, “Contemporary Poetry from China: A Reading and Discussion,” will start at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 12, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The program, which is cosponsored by the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center and its Asian Division and presented in partnership with Copper Canyon Press and the National Endowment for the Arts, is free and open to the public. Tickets or reservations are not needed. A book signing will follow the event.

Participants include Xi Chuan, who has published five collections of poetry and founded the literary magazine Qingxiang (Tendency) and who now serves as editor of Dangdai Gouji Shitan (Contemporary Poetry International); and Zhou Zan, who currently writes Wings, a journal of contemporary Chinese poetry written by women. The program will include a reading by the poets in Chinese and English and a moderated discussion with the poets and Michael Wiegers, editor of Copper Canyon Press.

The bilingual anthology is published by Copper Canyon Press and is part of an international literary exchange between the National Endowment for the Arts and the General Administration of Press and Publication in the People’s Republic of China. The reading at the Library of Congress is one of six sites the poets will visit across the country to launch the book nationally.

The discussion will include a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of “Push Open the Window” and an exploration of the value of contemporary Chinese poetry to American audiences at a time of greater global awareness.

The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress fosters and enhances the public’s appreciation of literature. The center administers the endowed poetry chair (the U.S. Poet Laureate), and coordinates an annual literary season of poetry, fiction and drama readings, performances, lectures and symposia, sponsored by the Library’s Gertrude Clarke Whittall Poetry and Literature Fund and the Huntington Fund. For more information, visit

The Asian Division at the Library of Congress holds more than 2.8 million books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts and electronic media from Asia. The collection is the most comprehensive source of Asian-language materials outside of Asia, and covers the area ranging from the South Asian subcontinent and Southeast Asia to China, Japan, Korea, and Mongolia. For more information, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, holds nearly 147 million items in various languages, disciplines and formats. The Library serves the U.S. Congress and the nation both on-site in its reading rooms on Capitol Hill and through its award-winning website at


PR 11-171
ISSN 0731-3527