Bei Dao/China, 1949
Bei Dao (1949, pen name, literally Northern Island) is certainly on of the most important and globally acclaimed Chinese authors, an icon of contemporary Chinese poetry. In the 1970s and 80s, Bei Dao was one of the most prominent so-called “Misty Poets”, an avant-garde movement of the time known for its proponents’ obscure, subtly hazy use of language, which represented a significant departure from the “official” conceptions of poetry prevalent in Maoist China. In 1978, Bei Dao co-founded the Jintian (Today) magazine, which was later banned. From 1989 to 2006, he lived in exile. Following the reforms, he returned to Hong Kong where he currently resides and teaches at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Bei Dao is renowned for his originality, his elegance and his strict adherence to poetic form. American poet Robert Hass had said that “a Bei Dao poem feels as if it follows the pulse of consciousness”. Bei Dao has received numerous prominent international awards, such as the Tucholsky Prize awarded by the Swedish PEN, the International Poetry Argana Award, the Golden Wreath of the Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, etc. He is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Bei Dao also writes children’s books, essays and fiction, and his books have been published in over 30 languages.