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Words as Grain

New and Selected Poems (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)

Duo Duo, Lucas Klein (Translated by)


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An authoritative new collection by one of China's most lauded poets 

While keeping a cautious distance from literary trends and labeling, Duo Duo has emerged as one of the world’s preeminent poets. His poems respond to the Chinese political landscape from the Cultural Revolution to the Tiananmen Square tragedy and beyond. Some are written from the vantage point of exile abroad, others in his homeland, but all inscribe an ache for original expression, a sense of place, and the essence of language. In exacting renderings by award-winning translator Lucas Klein, this career-spanning anthology features Duo Duo’s entire oeuvre since his return to China in 2004, as well as a representative selection of his earlier poems, presenting nearly five decades of work. This collection traces the evolution, in a particular historical context and cultural tradition, of one of the most vibrant poets at work in the world today.

Praise For Words as Grain: New and Selected Poems (The Margellos World Republic of Letters)

“Hard-hitting yet elusive, Duo Duo’s poetry speaks to body and soul alike. Klein’s translations are uncompromising and gripping, just like the source texts. This writing is inimitable. Words as Grain gives pride of place to a truly unique voice in poetry.”—Maghiel van Crevel

Yale University Press, 9780300227390, 280pp.

Publication Date: May 25, 2021

About the Author

Duo Duo is one of the most celebrated contemporary Chinese poets. Lucas Klein is an award-winning translator.