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 continue 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 Gong Xuemin

  • This ancient passage has slimmed and become untraceable
  • except as a boldfaced line on a preservation list.
  • Each time a leaf falls, Old Soul feels a cut on his skin.
  • Old Soul sits across from me,
  • recuperating by sipping tea, which releases the latent power
  • of sunset in each unfurling leaf.
  • The tea gets stronger as it steeps, but the written world
  • has become so diluted that it tastes almost monastic.
  • Men and horses travelled this tea-horse corridor, arriving
  • at this pavilion, panting, resting and packing off until blending with the dark,
  • transporting a doze of serenity to the world.The tea I keep
  • is the best among all orders of teas,
  • joining Old Soul as the only true friends of mine in this world,
  • a lantern leading me out of the woods, shining it bright.
  • Translator’s Note:
  • *Sweet Dew Pavilion is a pavilion on Yaozijian corridor, a 30-km section of the ancient Tea-Horse trade route. Yaozijian: literally Hawk Sparrow Point.

  • Translated by Meifu Wang, Michael Soper & Guy Hibbert
  • Simultaneously broadcast in China via WeChat (微信) by our partner — China's Poetry Journal (诗刊):