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Front Cover by Daisy Quezada Ureña
Untitled (detail) 2018
Porcelain and clothesline in Wuhan Student Dormitory
500 Sq. Ft.

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Volume 65, Issue 2

“AN OLD MAN in great trouble . . .” Folks who know me, or those who have followed these intros over recent years, won’t be surprised to see me returning to Beckett, my go-to author ever since I first stumbled onto Godot, back in my undergrad days. Never left that crossroads. Here, though, I’m citing a lesser-known play, Embers, mainly because, while putting together our Summer TOC, its phrases kept rattling around in my brain: “back against the hangings, hand stretched out widening the chink, looking out, white world, great trouble, not a sound, only the embers, sound of dying, dying glow, Holloway, Bolton, Bolton, Holloway, old men, great trouble, white world, not a sound.”

Not summery, I know, but it does capture a mood. Plus, this issue happens to bring together three works that capture endgame sagas with exquisite grace and wisdom. First, Robert Kraft’s deadpan, deadly accurate description of his ALS affliction. Over time, Kraft develops a succinct answer to the inevitable query: “How are you feeling? . . . The same, except worse.” Elsewhere, in “Man Crossing an Ice Field,” Laura Glen Louis works through the ethical dilemmas of caretaking after she begins to lose her astrophysicist husband progressively to Alzheimer’s. Finally, in the opposite of a tale of irremediable loss, Nadine Browne’s “Real Person” recounts how taking care of a social worker and community organizer during his final years caused her, a struggling, expat MFA student, to find a true friend as well as herself. “Old men, great trouble, white world, not a sound.”

Not only not summery, perhaps also not what you’ve come here for—or come to expect from our pages. Never fear—there are certainly other voices, other themes, and other issues in this issue: we begin witha poem from Mahmoud Darwish about famine and end with a poem by Sun Tzu-Ping about a Hong Kong protest, each paired with poems from the great Welsh poet and pacifist Waldo Williams. The poetry throughout this issue is as innovative as it is memorable, both in translation and not. Take, for example, the work by Andrea Inglese, or Marie-Andrée Gill, or Jennifer Sperry Steinorth (with art by Jenny Walton). And I haven’t even mentioned Raymond Queneau. We also present excerpts from Ifa Bayeza’s stunning theaterwork, The Till Trilogy, and offer you a meditation on time in/as the novel from Sabina Murray. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Bhavna Mehta’s poetic reflection on the intersection of disability studies and ecocriticism—an essay that has clear resonance with the art of Daisy Quezada Ureña, featured in this issue.

In a lithe, light-footed essay in praise of the fetish, Peter Stallybrass—in addition to ballet, clowning, Woolf, Van Gogh, Muriel Sparks, Primo Levi, and Samuel R. Delany—returns to Beckett as I have, sharing a story that turns the Irishman into his own evil stepsister. Though Beckett was, as a member of the French Resistance, awarded France’s Croix de Guerre and Médaille de la Résistance, one might wonder what connection his tales of old men and white worlds had with his politics. The short answer, for me, has always been that Beckett takes it all down, clearing space for others to build anew. He knew it was time to take out the trash. But before doing that, he jumped into the bin.

Jim Hicks
for the editors




Mitchell Jacobs


Table of Contents


a poem by Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Salma Harland

THE DEAD CHILDREN, a poem by Waldo Williams,
translated by David Lloyd

FIELD NOTES, a story by Alison Braid-Fernandez

NORWAY’S IRON ROAD, a poem by Michael Lee

MEN, a poem by Mitchell Jacobs

AN EDUCATION, an essay by Bhavna Mehta

IN THE VILLAGE, a poem by Marie-Andrée Gill,
translated by Nathalie Harty

GAPS, an essay by Leung Lee-chi,
translated by Mary King Bradley

OF SOLES AND SOULS, an essay by Peter Stallybrass

poems by Zia Movahed, translated by Parviz Omidvar
and Iraj Omidvar

poems by Carlie Hoffman

an essay by Laura Glen Louis

poems by Andrea Inglese, translated by Johanna Bishop

poems by Zhang Zhihao, translated by Yuemin He

RECENT WORK, by Daisy Quezada Ureña

HER LITTLE LAUGH, a poem by Bernardo Wade

A REAL PERSON, an essay by Nadine Browne

ALIVE, and THE WORLD IS HERE, poems by Piera Oppezzo,
translated by Luciano Martinengo and Norman MacAfee

FASCISM, and IN COUNTRY, poems by Lewis Meyers

drama by Ifa Bayeza 

ESCAPE ARTISTS, a poem by Henry Israeli

an essay by Sabina Murray

poems by Jennifer Sperry Steinorth and art by Jenny Walton

poems by Raymond Queneau, translated by Patience Haggin

EVERYTHING IS ELIMINATED, an essay by Robert Kraft

a poem by Simone Muench & Jackie K. White

THE MOMENT, a poem by Waldo Williams,
translated by David Lloyd

TIDES ON LUNAR AUGUST 18, a poem by Sun Tzu-Ping,
translated by Nicholas Wong




IFA BAYEZA is an award-winning playwright, director, composer, and educator. Her plays include the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays Award-winner Homer G & the Rhapsodies in The Fall of Detroit; String Theory; Welcome to Wandaland; Infants of the Spring; the musicals Charleston Olio; Bunk Johnson . . . a blues poem, Kid Zero; and The Till Trilogy (The Ballad of Emmett Till, That Summer in Sumner, and Benevolence), winner of the prestigious Roy Cockrum Award. Her debut novel, Some Sing, Some Cry, was co-authored with her sister Ntozake Shange. In 2018, Bayeza was the inaugural Humanist-in-Residence at the National Endowment for the Humanities and receieved two commissions from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A 2022 MacDowell fellow and 2024 Theatre Resident at the Kennedy Center, she is a graduate of Harvard University with an MFA in Theater from University of Massachusetts Amherst.

MARY KING BRADLEY is a Chinese to English translator, freelance editor, and writer who received her MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa. Her translations have appeared in The Georgia Review, Mekong Review, Voice and Verse, and the Hong Kong bilingual anthology Writing in Difficult Times (Cart Noodles Press, 2022.) Her translation of Dr. Peter Wing-kai Lok’s nonfiction book Emotional Capitalism: From Emotional Dictatorship to Emotional Redemption (Iff Books) was published in 2023. She lives in Hong Kong.

ALISON BRAID-FERNANDEZ is the author of the chapbook Little Hunches (Anstruther Press, 2020.) Recent work appears in West Branch, EVENT, PRISM international, and The Adroit Journal. Her poems have been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry 2024 and featured on The Slowdown podcast. She lives and writes in London, England.

NADINE BROWNE is a writer and youth worker from Australia. The author of the story collection The Whip Hand, her work has been featured in The Moth, Overland, and ABC Australia. In 2019 she received an MFA in fiction from New York University, where she was a Starworks Fellow.

JOHANNA BISHOP is a translator from Italian with a particular interest in the overlap between literature and visual art. Her work has appeared in journals such as AGNI and Another Chicago, and she regularly translates poetry and prose for the bilingual Florence Review. Recent books include Oh mio cagnetto, by artist Diego Marcon, and the forthcoming The Sioux / Little Dragon, by Anna Maria Ortese. She also co-wrote the English version of EMERALD, a 35-minute video poem by Azzurra D’Agostino, which premiered last year at the Santarcangelo Festival.

MAHMOUD DARWISH was a Palestinian poet and author who gave voice to the struggles of the Palestinian people. Considered Palestine’s most eminent poet, Darwish published his first collection of poems, Leaves of Olives, in 1964, when he was twenty-two. He then went on to publish thirty books of poetry and eight books of prose, amassing numerous international awards and honors. His works include In the Presence of Absence, Mural, The Butterfly’s Burden, and A River Dies of Thirst. “A Plain Song about the Red Cross” was first published in A Lover from Palestine (1966).

MARIE-ANDRÉ GILL is an Ilnu and Québécoise poet born in the community of Mashteuiatsh, in the Saguenay region, in Quebec, Canada. She is the author of three poetry collections: Béante, Frayer (Spawn), and Chauffer le dehors (Heating the Outdoors). She has been a finalist and winner of several literary awards including the 2020 Best Published Poetry in French, Indigenous Voice Awards for Chauffer le dehors.

PATIENCE HAGGIN is a translator of French and Italian. Her work has been published by Dalkey Archive Press, Two Lines, Ezra, Circumference, Asymptote, and The Nassau Literary Review. She studied literary translation in Naples, Italy, on a Fulbright Scholarship.

NATHALIE HARTY is a librarian and emerging translator from the Boston area. She works in French and English. She is an alumna of the Breadloaf Translators’ Conference.

SALMA HARLAND is a British-Egyptian literary translator who works between Arabic and English. She was a 2022 Travel Fellow with the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA); a recipient of one of the Dutch Foundation for Literature’s 2023 Translation Grants; and a longlistee for the 2022–23 John Dryden Translation Competition. Her critical writings and translations have appeared in literary journals and magazines such as The Massachusetts Review, Modern Poetry in Translation, ArabLit Quarterly, and Poetry London and in anthologies with the British National Centre for Writing and Honna-Elles Feminist Publishing House.

DR.YUEMIN HE is a writer, translator, and editor based in Virginia. She has published on East Asian literature and visual art, Asian American literature, Buddhist American literature, and composition pedagogy. Her writings appear in The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature (CUNY), Religion and the Arts, and Teaching Asian North American Texts (MLA 2022). Her poetry translations have been anthologized in Oxford Anthology of Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (2nd ed.) or have appeared in more than twenty literary magazines and journals, including Metamorphoses, The Cincinnati Review, Copper Nickel, and Silk Road Review. Currently, she is an English professor at Northern Virginia Community College and serves as an editor for The Northern Virginia Review.

CARLIE HOFFMAN is the author of When There Was Light and This Alaska (Four Way Books), winner of the NCPA Gold Award in poetry, and a finalist for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year Award. Carlie’s honors include the 92Y “Discovery” / Boston Review poetry prize, a Poets & Writers Amy Award, the Loose Translation Award, and fellowships from Columbia University and the City University of New York and her poetry, translations, fiction, and criticism have been published in Los Angeles Review of Books, Kenyon Review, Poetry Daily, Columbia Journal, Boston Review, New England Review, Jewish Currents, and many other publications. She is the translator of the monograph artbook Weiße Schatten / White Shadows: Anneliese Hager and the Camera-less Photograph (Atelier Éditions, 2023) and Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger’s Blütenlese (Hanging Loose Press). Carlie lives in Brooklyn, where she edits Small Orange. She has taught at Columbia University and NYU and is a lecturer of creative writing at the State University of New York at Purchase.

ANDREA INGLESE is a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator originally from Milan, now based in Paris. He has published many volumes of poetry and prose in Italian, and, in English, Letters to the Cultural Rehabilitation of the Unemployed, translated by Sara Elena Rossetti. His novel Parigi è un desiderio won the Bridge Book Award in 2017 and has been translated by Jamie Richards. His work has also appeared in journals such as Modern Poetry in Translation, Bennington Review, and The Bitter Oleander, and in the anthology Tempo: Excursions in 21st-Century Italian Poetry.

HENRY ISRAELI's most recent poetry collections are Our Age of Anxiety (2019 White Pine Poetry Prize) and god’s breath hovering across the waters (Four Way Books), and as editor, Lords of Misrule: 20 Years of Saturnalia Books (Saturnalia). He is also the translator of three critically acclaimed books by Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku. His poetry has appeared in numerous journals including American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Plume, and The Harvard Review, as well as several anthologies. Henry Israeli is also the founder and editor of Saturnalia Books, and teaches in the English & Philosophy Department of Drexel University where he runs the annual Drexel Writing Festival and the Jewish Studies program.

MITCHELL JACOBS is a writer from Minnesota, with work in journals such as Black Warrior Review, the Cincinnati Review, Ploughshares, and the Southern Review, as well as on The Slowdown podcast. He is the winner of Pleiades’s 2023 Prufer Poetry Prize and is currently a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at the University of Southern California.

ROBERT KRAFT is a grandfather of three granddaughters and a professor emeritus of psychology. He published three short stories in the 1980s and then turned his attention to social scientific research on memory and violence, authoring two books. Memory Perceived (Praeger) documents patterns of traumatic memory in Holocaust survivors, and Violent Accounts (NYU Press) analyzes how dutiful perpetrators in apartheid South Africa remember and justify their destructive actions. He is currently writing a less disturbing book about the interplay between memory and self and a popular blog for the online magazine Psychology Today. He recently published an essay in The Examined Life Journal.

MICHAEL LEE is a Norwegian-American writer and educator. Author of The Only Worlds We Know (Button Poetry, 2019), he has received grants and scholarships from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the LOFT Literary Center, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Winner of the Scotti Merrill Award for poetry from the Key West Literary Seminar, Michael’s poetry has appeared in The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, Poetry Northwest, Copper Nickel, and Best New Poets 2018 among others. He lives in a cottage with his dog Levis.

LEUNG LEE-CHI is a writer and poet born and raised in Hong Kong. She is currently completing an MFA in Sinophone Literature (Division of Creative Writing) at National Dong Hwa University, Taiwan. She has contributed regularly to Sinophone literary journals and received a number of literary awards, including Taiwan’s TSMC Literature Award. She is the author of the Chinese fiction collection People Who Live on a Safe Island and Bright and Beautiful, as well as a Chinese poetry collection, Miscellaneous Specimens. Her first novel, Routine Movement, soon to be published in English, was shortlisted for the TIBE Book Prize for Fiction and the China Times Open Book Award. Her most recent full-length work in Chinese, The Melancholy of Trees, was selected as a finalist for the 23rd Taipei Literary Award Scholarship Project.

LAURA GLEN LOUIS’s work has appeared in Ploughshares, American Short Fiction, Best American Short Stories, Agni Review Online, The Missouri Review, and others. Tables, holding a D major chord for twenty minutes, the year “1967,” a murdered neighbor, and hallucinations are in her range, as is the singing that gives her life ballast. Her collection of nonfiction is forthcoming.

DAVID LLOYD is the author of eleven books, including four poetry collections: The Everyday Apocalypse, The Gospel According to Frank, Warriors, and The Body’s Compass, forthcoming from Salmon Poetry. His poems and stories have appeared in many journals including Crab Orchard Review, Denver Quarterly, and Virginia Quarterly Review. In 2000, he received the Poetry Society of America’s Robert H. Winner Memorial Award. He has received two Fulbright Scholar awards: in 2001 at Bangor University, Wales, and in 2021 at Cardiff University, Wales. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Le Moyne College in Syracuse, NY.

NORMAN MACAFEE is a writer of poetry, prose, and performance works. His books include One Class: Selected Poems; The Death of the Forest, his opera to music of Charles Ives; and The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now, about Senator Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign. His co-translations include Pier Paolo Pasolini: Poems, made with Luciano Martinengo; and the first complete modern translation of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and two volumes of the letters of Jean-Paul Sartre, edited by Simone de Beauvoir—Witness to My Life and Quiet Moments in a War, all three made with Lee Fahnestock. He lives in New York City.

LUCIANO MARTINENGO is a film writer and director. Among his works are documentaries on American communes, the Italians of Montreal, the American composer John Cage, the French film pioneer Georges Méliès, and a 10-hour series on children’s education in the city of Bologna. He lives in Milan. A friend for many years of Piera Oppezzo, he is her literary executor. He and Norman MacAfee translated the first collection in English of the poems of the filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was published by Random House and John Calder and is available from Farrar Straus & Giroux. Their book won the Renato Poggioli/William Weaver Award of the PEN American Center. As they translated Pasolini’s poems, they stayed in Milan in 1976 and 1978 with Piera Oppezzo in her apartment on Via Vincenzo Monti.

BHAVNA MEHTA works with paper, fabric, and words. She cuts, embroiders, and writes to tell stories that combine figurative and landscape imagery with botanical motifs, text, and shadows. Mehta has exhibited widely in San Diego and Southern California. She is the recipient of the Individual Artist Fellowship grant (2021), Artists In Communities grant (2017, 2019) from the California Arts Council, and the Creative Catalyst grant from The San Diego Foundation (2015). She is currently a MFA student in the creative writing program at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

LEWIS MEYERS (1934–2020) lived a capacious life of literature, art, music, teaching, and politics—but his true love was poetry. Early success included publishing in The Paris Review and Field. Although he dedicated his retirement to writing poems, he didn’t return to actively submitting. Late poems have appeared posthumously in the Paris Review, Five Points, and the Hudson Review. The manuscript he left behind, Satan Flaneur, bristles with timeless pinches of wickedness, wit, and metaphysical wisdom.

ZIA MOVAHED is an eminent poet, philosopher, and scholar in Iran. For most of the period after the turbulent 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq War, he has lived in Iran and has undertaken his scholarly and artistic work under difficult conditions there. Throughout, he has been a strong voice for tolerance and dialogue.

SIMONE MUENCH is the recipient of an NEA Poetry Fellowship, the Meier Foundation for the Arts Award, and the 2023 Lewis University Career Scholarship Award. She is the author of seven full-length books, including Wolf Centos (Sarabande). Her recent, The Under Hum, co-written with Jackie K. White, is forthcoming from Black Lawrence Press in 2024.

SABINA MURRAY is the author of sevenbooks of fiction including the novel Valiant Gentlemen, a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, and the short story collection The Caprices, which won the 2002 PEN/Faulkner Award. Her most recent book, Muckross Abbey, a short story collection, was published in 2023. She has been awarded fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation and was a recent research fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford University. Murray teaches in the MFA Program at UMass Amherst.

IRAJ OMIDVAR teaches at Kennesaw State University in the Atlanta area. In collaboration with his father, Parviz, he translated two anthologies of modern Iranian poetry into English. Many of the poems have been published in literary journals such as Poetry Review, New Letters, International Poetry Review, and Poetry International. One set of translations has appeared in a public work in Slough, United Kingdom. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Tunisia in 2007. Among his scholarly publications are Historic Engagements with Occidental Cultures, Religions, Powers (Palgrave), and Muslims and American Popular Culture (Praeger).

Before moving to the United States in the 1990s, PARVIZ OMIDVAR was a published translator into Persian of English books on topics such as folk tales and labor movements. In collaboration with his son, Iraj, he translated two anthologies of modern Iranian poetry into English. Many of the translations have been published in literary journals such as Poetry Review, New Letters, International Poetry Review, and Poetry International. One set of translations has appeared in a public work in Slough, United Kingdom.

PERA OPPEZZO (1934–2009) was born in Turin. She lived her first years during fascist dictatorship, war-time devastation, and postwar deprivation. In spite of the trying circumstances of her early teens, she fought to create a personal space, physical, mental, to be left alone to write. The great writer Italo Calvino, who was an editor at the prestigious Einaudi publishing company in Turin, and its publisher, Giulio Einaudi, read Piera’s work, and in 1966 they published her first book, L’uomo qui presente (Man Here Present), in Einaudi’s Poesia collection. Over the next decades, five more books of her poetry and two novels would be published. In 2016, Interlinea published a major collection of her poems, Una lucida disperazione, which received the Lorenzo Montano Prize for the year’s best book of poetry. In 2021, Interno Poesia Editore published a new collection, Esercizi d’addio, poesie inedite 1952–1965.

RAYMOND QUENEAU (1903–1976) co-founded experimental writers’ group Oulipo, or the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, dedicated to exploring new literary devices and forms through creative constraints and other challenges. Queneau’s chief interest was the inventiveness of language. Known for experimenting with neologisms and unconventional spellings, Queneau encouraged poets and writers to use popular spoken language rather than French’s obsolete formal conventions. His most famous works include Zazie dans le métro (Zazie in the Metro) and Exercices de Style (Exercises in Style).

PETER STALLYBRASS is the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and Professor of English and of Comparative Literature and Literary Theory. For the last twenty-two years, he has directed the seminar on the History of Material Texts, and he co-edits the Material Texts series for the University of Pennsylvania Press. He is the co-author of The Politics and Poetics of Transgression and Renaissance Clothing and the Materials of Memory.

JENNIFER SPERRY STEINORTH’s books include A Wake with Nine Shades (2019) and Her Read, A Graphic Poem (2021), recipient of Texas Institute of Letters’ Fred Whitehead Award and Foreword Review’s bronze prize in poetry. She lectures at the University of Michigan and is a 2023–2024 Beinecke Fellow at Yale, conducting research for a biography of C.D. Wright. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming from The Cincinnati Review, Denver Quarterly Review, Kenyon Review, Missouri Review, Pleiades, Plume, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere.

Born in 1976 in Taiwan, SUN TZU-PING graduated from the Graduate Institute of Creative Writing and English Literature at National Dong Hwa University. He is currently an editor at the Liberty Times. Chinese titles by Sun include Knowing Shadows (essays), Sentimentalist (poetry), and Male Bodies (novel), among others.

DAISY QUEZADA UREÑA is multidisciplinary artist, faculty, and studio arts department chair at the Institution of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Most recently Quezada Ureña was recognized as a United States Latinx Artist Fellow (2023).

Born & raised in New Orleans, BERNARDO WADE tries at poems, catches elbows on the court, & rides his bike around Bloomington, IN, because IU funds his present period of studying with others. Previously the editor of Indiana Review, he now serves as assistant editor and poetry editor for Obsidian: Literature & Arts in the African Diaspora. Though he’s published in a bunch of literary journals no one in his family has ever heard of, they remain proud of him, especially when they are featured in the poems. His first full-length poetry collection is forthcoming from Lookout Books of UNC-Wilmington. He’s infatuated with Ed Roberson’s question, “Can you O.D. on life?”

JENNY WALTON holds a BFA from Central Washington University and an MFA from American University (D.C. and Italy). Walton has shown nationally in New York, Miami, Boston, and Seattle and internationally in Italy. She was awarded an Artistic Fellowship from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities among several other grants and residencies including Vermont Studio Center, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, and Hamilton Princess, Bermuda. She has been critically published in several catalogs and articles and her work is held in several distinguished private and public collections. She lives and works in the Washington D.C. area.

JACKIE K. WHITE has published three previous chapbooks and, with Simone Muench, Hex & Howl (Black Lawrence Press.) Their full-length book, The Under Hum, is forthcoming in 2024, also with BLP. Professor emerita at Lewis University, Jackie’s poems, translations, and collaborative poems appear in such journals as APR, Bayou, Pleiades, and Shenandoah.

WALDO WILLIAMS (1904–1971) “is considered by many to be the twentieth century’s most astonishingly original poet in the Welsh language,” according to The New Companion to the Literature of Wales. Williams was a passionate advocate for the continued vitality of the Welsh language and Welsh literature and culture, threatened by absorption into an Anglicized, monolingual British state. These poems are from his collection Dail Pren (Leaves of the Tree, 1956), described by John Davies in A History of Wales (Penguin, 1990) as “the most outstanding book published” in Welsh since World War II.

NICHOLAS WONG is a poet, translator, and visual artist from Hong Kong. He is the author of Crevasse, winner of the Lambda Literary Awards in Gay Poetry, and Besiege Me, also a Lammy finalist in the same category. His poems and translations are forthcoming in The Georgia Review, Epiphany, fourteen poems, The Massachusetts Review, and The Griffith Review.

ZHANG ZHIHAO [张执浩] was born in Jingmen, Hubei, province in 1965. One of the most renowned contemporary Chinese poets, he is author of ten poetry collections along with several books of fiction and essay collections. Zhang has won almost all the prestigious poetry awards in China, including the annual Chen Zi’ang Poetry Award and the Luxun Literary Prize for poetry (Chinese equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize). Currently, he is editor-in-chief of Chinese Poetry, a quarterly poetry magazine in Wuhan, China.

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