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:

editor@modernchinesepoetry.com.

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

Poem of the day 一日一首

Peaceful Avenue

  • by Li Longnian

  • I always feel that fish
  • probably swim up the avenues, to the trees.
  • I catch in the air
  • the exhalations of shellfish
  • and the silver streaks of scabbard fish.
  • Their palpi touch the leaves
  • so they secrete tiny green bubbles.

  • An avenue of graceful trees.
  • I guess it has to do with sea fish.
  • The trees twist and twirl, like fish.
  • In fact, they breathe
  • through the trees’ leafy lungs,
  • nestling up to them carefully,
  • this way they feel the air's pulse
  • and delicate ripples.

  • I am thrilled to discover this secret:
  • With regard to the word “graceful”,
  • the ocean has enchanting explanations.
  • They are encoded
  • in the pure radiance of women’s eyes.


  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 11