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 who 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 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.

Please send all enquiries, suggestions and corrections regarding 21st Century Chinese Poetry to Meifu Wang at:

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang


We are happy to report our partnership with China's Poetry Journal (诗刊), a bi-weekly poetry journal, the oldest and widest-circulated poetry journal in China.

Every month editors of Poetry Journal provide us a set of poems from their latest publications for our team to screen and translate.


Poetry Journal(诗刊, Beijing, China) was founded in 1957 with an emphasis not only on the publication of contemporary Chinese poetry, but also the publication of classical poetry by living poets. In addition, it announces poetry gatherings and events across the country, hosts literary criticism forums, and supports poetry translation. The daily operations of the journal are supervised by The Chinese Writers’ Association.

Each month Poetry Journal publishes three paperback journals. The first paperback journal shows up on the shelf in the beginning of the month and features poems by established poets. The second paperback shows up in the middle of the month and features poems by emerging poets. The third is called The Sage Said, which features poetry in classical forms. The journal also maintains a website that broadcasts all matters related to poetry development in China; it has an audience exceeding half a million visitors daily.

Circulating close to sixty years, the journal has been at the forefront of publishing modern Chinese poetry, reflecting many of the sweeping changes that the country has witnessed over that period. The journal has also brought together and introduced a great number of fine poets, published a veritable styles of poems, and contributed to the continuous flowering of Chinese poetry.



  • by Lin Li

  • River Bahe, I have seen it, one November,
  • in heavy rain. Ashen blue raindrops joined the flow,
  • first skirting around the bushes, then, voila, rolling out from the wilderness.
  • I used to dream of walking along River Bahe, alone without a word,
  • only to follow the free-spirited gliding egrets;
  • or, sitting on the riverbank
  • to write a letter to a long-parted friend,
  • and, going with the flow of the river,
  • in the tapping of cold rain,
  • to reach the already-withered lives.
  • I also imagine coming across the lad
  • by the mulberry tree, his cheeks burning
  • in feverish pursuit of chivalry and high ideals.
  • What marvelous times they were!
  • The egrets glided over the water in a V-formation.
  • Mulberry’s golden leaves set the dead winter on fire.
  • River Bahe took over River Bahe,
  • “churning up cold ripples still trembling ..."
  • In fact, it was only after a very long time
  • that I finally found words for Bahe
  • when lost in memories,
  • and cocooned in exhilarating loneliness
  • and griefs.
  • Time and time again, the new rain joined the old river
  • to pour through every pore and every crevice of me
  • for a run to the deep.
  • As I sit alone, in silence, the memories of
  • that November return again, in heavy rain,
  • and River Bahe, destined from eternity to eternity,
  • shows up outside my car window
  • in a flash.

  • Translated by Meifu Wang and Michael Soper

  • Simultaneously broadcast in China via WeChat (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊):