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Cover for June Fourth Elegies

June Fourth Elegies


Liu Xiaobo, Jeffrey Yang (Translated by)


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The first publication of the poetry of 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo, with a Foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Liu Xiaobo has become the foremost symbol of the struggle for human rights in China. He was a leading activist during the Tiananmen Square protests of June 4, 1989, and a prime supporter of Charter 08, the manifesto of fundamental human rights published in 2008. In 2009, Liu was imprisoned for "inciting subversion of state power," and he is currently serving an eleven-year sentence. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize for "his prolonged non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China." Liu dedicated his Peace Prize to "the lost souls from the Fourth of June."

June Fourth Elegies presents Liu's poems written across twenty years in memory of fellow protestors at Tiananmen Square, as well as poems addressed to his wife, Liu Xia. In this bilingual volume, Liu's poetry is for the first time published freely in both English translation and in the Chinese original.

Praise For June Fourth Elegies: Poems

“It's the nature of language to pitch itself against the smothering oneness of the state. Words want to be free. Liu Xiaobo's crime is called ‘an incitement to subvert state power.' This is an administrative term for the exercise of free speech--the very activity, Liu writes, that is the mother of truth . . . We try to imagine the nightmarish reality of the closed trial, the confiscated life. We feel the force of Liu Xiaobo's efforts to transcend what he calls ‘a paralysis of spirit.' And we see his face in his words.” —Don DeLillo

Graywolf Press, 9781555976101, 208pp.

Publication Date: April 10, 2012

About the Author

Liu Xiaobo is a political activist and writer. He was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.