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.

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

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang



  • By Yang Zi

  • Under northern trees, there is still the trace of a cool breeze.
  • An eagle spreads its wings and circles.
  • The haystacks are all gone, leaving a few sparrows behind.
  • The garlic patch is brimming with little white flowers.

  • In the straw cage, crickets are chirping loud and bright.
  • A yellow dog lies at the doorway, tongue flexed, panting
  • The ox chews its cud, sparrows occasionally heard chirping in the fruit trees.
  • Magpies fly over the courtyard wall. The clouds seem to stir without moving.

  • Sitting on a step under the eaves in my small family courtyard,
  • I feel, at last, level like a vat of water, an indescribable feeling—
  • a cup of Pu'er tea, a bowl of noodles, a savory dish,
  • the scorching midday sun, a few simple words exchanged.

  • Note:
  • The lunar calendar divides a year into 24 climatological intervals; each interval is 15 days—from new moon to full moon or full moon to new moon. The interval of Lesser Heat is the eleventh interval of the year, starting on the new moon after Summer Solstice.

  • Translated by Duck Yard Lyricists, a group of devoted poetry lovers: Meifu Wang, Peter Micic, Michael Soper, & Johan Ramaekers

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



  • We are happy to report our partnership with China's Poetry Journal (CPJ), a bi-weekly poetry journal, the oldest and widest circulated poetry journal in the country.
  • Every month CPJ editors provide us a set of poems from their latest publications for our team to screen and translate.
  • We call our team “Duck Yard Lyricists”, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Ugly Duckling.
  • We are making efforts that poetry, good poetry, gets passed around,
  • to make sure the fire doesn't go out.

  • Duck Yard Lyricists welcome you to read POEM OF THE DAY.