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

Vernal Longing

  • by Huang Hongqi

  • Under a heavy workload, my longings are crushed,
  • curling up in a hidden corner.

  • The white vapor rises slowly from a cup of tea,
  • giving off a wisp of familiar orchid scent.

  • It looked like a dimple in the water at first,
  • then morphs into a slim figure in the evening air.

  • With soft chuckles “he-he-he”, she soon
  • floats out, eyes like twinkling stars.

  • “Um, I’m coming to see you,” her lips open slightly,
  • “What are you up to? Still dabbling with poetry?”

  • I am overjoyed, but too shy to answer in one breath,
  • as if my throat is blocked.

  • The moon hangs high in the sky, and all critters are singing,
  • but under the lamp I’m perplexed by the vision of my sweetheart.

  • To avoid giving her a mundane greeting, I put down a verse:
  • “Oh, go ask the East River if he flows farther than my love for you!”

  • The scene vanishes in a flash. The tea is cold,
  • but my true love is near. I will not feel lonely any more.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 1