Bob Holman & the Chinese avant-garde – Saturday 2/12 at 2pm

by on Feb.12, 2011

I’m back from AWP, a Maxine Hong Kingston benefit, ailments physical and metaphysical.

  1. Obligatory description of AWP. It is like being in an airport where you know everyone.
  2. Do-over: It is like taking a vacation inside Facebook.
  3. Did you notice the carpet was hallucinogenic? I was actually photographed in the AWP equivalent of the Sartorialist. You can see the schizophrenic carpet below.

Okay the point of this post: Anyone in NY should come to our event tomorrow with Bob Holman and seminal Chinese avant-gardist Cai Tianxin. Why, you ask?

  1. He is one of the most important young avant-garde poets. Those of you Montevidayo fans who love blood, vivisection and transcendent sunlight, check out the language of his from the Berlin Int’l Literary festival website that I’ve pasted below.
  2. He is a math genius. Here is his math department web page.
  3. Did I mention Bob Holman will be there? Details below, Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!

The sun is mango.

Cut open the day.

Left uncut, the evening.

We swallow sunlight

Making strong muscles.

While we sleep

Sunlight flows into our blood

Travels throughout our body.

On its journey meets

Another piece of sunlight.

In this poem, he talks about green blood coagulating on the ground.

  1. 2.
Chinese Poetry: from Classical to Modern with Cai Tianxin and Bob Holman

Saturday, February 12, 2011, 2PM

Contemporary Chinese poet Cai Tianxin gives a talk on the history of Chinese Poetry, reads from his own avant work, and discusses his place in the continuum of Chinese poetry with poetry legend Bob Holman. A columnist of the monthly magazine Book City in Shanghai, which is considered the Chinese New Yorker, and founder of Appolinaire, the leading underground literary magazine in China, Cai will offer a rare insight into contemporary Chinese poetry.

Cai Tianxin , considered to be among the most active young Chinese avant-garde authors, was born in Huangyan, in the South East of the People’s Republic of China, in 1963. He studied mathematics and received a doctorate with a dissertation on number theory from Shandong University in 1987. He has participated in international poetry festivals in Medellin, Colombia, and Rosario, Argentina, as well as in Zurich, Genoa, Vilenica, Slovenia, and Durban, South Africa. Since the publication of his first volume of poetry Bi An(t: Shore) in 1992, another three volumes have appeared in China. Since 1995, Cai Tianxin has been editing the biannual literary magazine Apollinaire, which has developed into one of the most important underground magazines in China. Cai Tianxin lives in Hangzhou, where he is a professor of mathematics at Zhejiang University. Cai’s poems have been translated into more than 20 languages, with books published in English, French, Spanish, Korean, Turkish and Serbo-Croatian. His most recent publication is the autobiography Little Memories: My Childhood in Mao’s Times. He also translates poems from English and Spanish into Chinese.

Bob Holman has published six books, most recently A Couple of Ways of Doing Something (Aperture, 2006), praise poems paired with photographs of artists by Chuck Close. He’s also put poetry on television, radio and the Web, producing The United States of Poetry for PBS, appearing on MTV’s Spoken Word Unplugged and HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, and serving as poetry commentator on WNYC and NPR. Currently, he teaches “Exploding Text: Poetry in Performance” at Columbia University and is the founder and proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club.

@The Asian American Writers’ Workshop

110-112 West 27th Street, 6th Floor

Between 6th and 7th Avenues

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4 comments for this entry:
  1. Johannes

    I like these poems; is there any other things translated?

    Great idea for an event, wish I could be there.


  2. Tweets that mention Bob Holman & the Chinese avant-garde – Saturday 2/12 at 2pm - Montevidayo --

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ken Chen, Ken Chen. Ken Chen said: Tossed up a post on Montevidayo about our event on Sat 2pm with Bob Holman and superstar Chinese avant-poet Cai Tianxin […]

  3. Jake Levine

    I was with Cai and Bob in Druskininkai in LT. Great to see them back together. I remember Becherovka and the tacky hotels. Cai is also a great tangoer.

  4. Ken Chen

    Jake, we might have shown your picture at the event! Cai’s powerpoint history of 400 years of Chinese poetry ended with his vacation snapshots, which I think included a group photo at Druskinnkai.