Revenge and First Intimation: Poems of Huang Xiang

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The following is an excerpt from, A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep: Poems of Huang Xiang translated by Michelle Yeh.

Huang Xiang was born in China’s Hunan Province in 1941, and has been writing poems since 1950. In 1978, he founded an underground writers’ society and a literary magazine both named Enlightenment. Nearly a decade later, he was arrested for his pro-Democracy activities and sentenced to three years of labor and ultimately served twelve years in prison and subject to repeated torture.

Huang Xiang and his wife have lived in exile in the United States since 1997. In 2004, he became the first resident at the City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. He and his family now live in New York. Highly regarded by his peers as a poetic innovator, Huang Xiang’s works still remain banned in China.

To learn more about Huang Xiang, follow this link to his bio and his original essay for Sampsonia Way, written on the Twentieth Anniversary of Tienanmen Square.

From Michelle Yeh, trans. and intro., A Lifetime Is a Promise to Keep: Poems of Huang Xiang. China Research Monograph 63. Berkeley: Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, 2009. Pp. xiv-xv, 2-3, 10-11, 20-23, 36-37. Copyright © 2009 by The Regents of the University of California. Reproduced by permission.

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