ZHAI YONGMING (1955— ) - The Dictionary

Chinese Literature - Li-hua Ying 2010

The Dictionary

ZHAI YONGMING (1955— ). Poet. Considered one of the best female poets in China today, Zhai Yongming grew up in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. She entered the Chengdu Institute for Telecommunications and Engineering to study physics, a subject in which she had little interest. After graduating, she worked for several years at a research institute but occupied herself in her free time with writing poetry, which resulted in several collections. In 1986, Zhai resigned from the institute. She lived in the United States for a year in the early 1990s with her artist husband, and the sojourn inspired her travelogue, Niuyue, Niuye yi xi (New York and West of New York). After her return to Chengdu, she opened a bar that has become a literary salon for local poets and artists. For her writings about the female body and the dark female consciousness, particularly the melancholy but rebellious sentimentality voiced in Nüren (Women), Zhai is regarded as a feminist whose language is sensual and exquisite, and whose images are alluring. While her early poems express feelings of alienation, rejection, distrust, sadness, and desperation, her later poems tend to embrace the delights of life and human relationships. See also GENERATION III POETS; WOMEN.