These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
  • I'm waiting in the land of poetry. Waiting in hope for its clanging sounds and forceful roaring past! -Ren Xianqing, Issue 1
  • Now we are on board, let's not bring up any depressing topics; no more debates about the pet peeves in those capitalist countries.

The journal of

21st Century Chinese Poetry 《廿一世纪中国诗歌》is an independent journal committed to showcasing the best of contemporary Chinese poetry. We exist to discover and celebrate poetry and the Chinese poets that write them with the largest possible Anglophone audience.

In the early twentieth century, The May Fourth Movement (1917-1921) launched an era where vernacular Chinese was for the first time accepted as a legitimate poetic voice. This was followed by an outpouring of verse written in 'plain speech' by people from all walks of life in contrast to the classical, elitist poetic forms of imperial China.

A century has now almost passed since these 'new' poetic voices emerged. Vernacular poetry has continued to blossom in poetry journals and in cyberspace.

The editor and translators at 21st Century Chinese Poetry are committed to translating poets from across China who would otherwise remain virtually unknown to Western audiences.

All enquiries, suggestions and corrections regarding 21st Chinese Poetry should be directed to Meifu Wang at:

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

Poem of the day 一日一首

At Night

  • by Zhai Wenxi

  • His nose has fallen into disuse like a gentleman's pipe.
  • But, of course, we see only superficial time,
  • the framework instilled by a pendulum clock.
  • ”No one wants to doze off now unless he is a pea-brain."
  • Just as he reminds himself that, a breeze climbs up the stairs
  • to ride on the springy tree branches.
  • The moon always clings to the spire as if playing an old shtick.
  • A woman sleeps in the room.
  • Chairs gossip among themselves.
  • People guard their thoughts, which they seldom exchange.
  • "Beer froth can drown a soul."
  • but he stays sober.
  • Not too far away, a lonely nightingale tests his voice on the dark mountaintop.
  • He lies on his belly,
  • and slowly moves across the room,
  • floating on the moonlight
  • that has entered the window and flooded the room.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 8