Wednesday, 1 October 2014

literary updates: yuan changming

1/ between 9 and 24 sept, i finished translating create abundance into english. the book originally contains 197 pages, roughly 158,000 chinese characters; the translated version consists of 178 pages, 51,000 english words. these days, i have been trying to proofread it, and hopefully will complete copyediting and even publishing it by the end of november;

2/ having written poetry in english for exactly 10 years now, i decide to use my pen name according to the chinese order from now on; that is, 'yuan changming' rather than 'changming yuan', just to signal a kind or return to my 'original state of being';

3/ the translation experience has inspired me to write more 'spiritual' poetry in the near future- in fact i wrote 6 on the morning of 29sept;

4/ tomorrow i will be leaving vancouver for a short stay with my mom in jingzhou in hubei, during which i will go together with her to hong kong and macau for a visit as she has hoped. i will be returning to vancouver on november 4, just for the release of PP's autumn issue. my wife is coming back to vancouver this evening after her 3-week visit to her home city tianjin. i always wonder why i cannot speak enlglish nor can i write anything in english each time i return to my native place. more puzzling is that i feel quite sick and extremely dumb whenever i stay in my hometown. that's why i never really want to go back there. i might have some psychological problem in this respect;

5/ busy as i was with my translation work, i was afraid that i would have gotten fewer than 12 poetry acceptances in sept for the first time during the past 5 years, but it has turned out to be 15 - last weekend alone, i was happy to be accepted by 5 journals;

6/ while browsing the other day, i found my poem 'chinese chimes: nine detours of the yellow river' has just been formally included in the online anthology of poetry in voice at - appearing together in the same place as those poets i have studied as a chinese esl student of english literature gives me a strange sense of pride and self-actualization;

7/ simon fraser university's lunch poem program has invited me to submit a group of poems for their anthology titled alone together. i hope they will use some of my poems eventually.

8/ am i bragging when i mention in my bio now that i am 'the world's most widely published poetry author who speaks mandarin but writes english'? to my best knowledge, it is true.

9/ i never call myself a 'poet,' but just a poetry scribbler or poetry author. how can i say i am a 'poet' as a former/formal student of qu yuan, li bai, su dongpo, shakespeare, keats, shelley and wordsworth? nor would i identify myself as a 'canadian poet' ever: canadian book publishers as well as editors of certain 'leading' magazines have been particularly discouraging and even mean to me.

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