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  • Sunday Sparrows (Simplified Chinese and English) 星期天的麻雀

Sunday Sparrows (Simplified Chinese and English) 星期天的麻雀

Song Lin 宋琳‧Translated from Chinese by Jami Proctor Xu


English, Chinese , 2019/12 Jintian Series of Contemporary Literature The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press

Tags: Literature, Jintian Series of Contemporary Literature

204 x 150 mm , 168pp ISBN : 978-988-237-179-8

  • US$15.00


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The JINTIAN [今天] series of contemporary literature features new and innovative writing from mainland China and abroad. Titles in the series are edited by Bei Dao, Lydia H. Liu, and Christopher Mattison.

A collaborative venture between Zephyr Press, the Jintian Literary Foundation, and The Chinese University Press, each bilingual title highlights the ever-changing literary culture of China while simultaneously expanding the English language with a wave of new voices in translation.


“Jami Proctor Xu’s exceptional translation of Song Lin’s lyric landscapes magically captures the poet’s original mind, offering readers an authentic experience of one of our generation’s great writers. A book to savor.”

—Ari Larissa Heinrich, translator of Qiu Miaojin’s Last Words from Montmartre (NYRB, 2014)

“Translation as poetry. That is the excellent way Jami Proctor Xu presents poetry by Song Lin. The impact of warm breath on my skin is an imprint forever. One will never forget it or erase it. Word as touch. Quivers as memory does. Meaning as forever. And forever will never wait since it is always with us. Song Lin’s poetry flows from subterranean regions of the poet’s awareness as well as from his subconscious. Poetry verbal and lyrical sing and ring as ethereal and material voice. Laughter and chuckles, and smiles, utter sadness and quiet reflection, and serene observation coexist with empathy. Poetry is awe, and it is wonder.”

—Simon J. Ortiz

Song Lin’s poems explore his sojourns in several countries, the natural world, and his own inner landscape. His early imprisonment during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests gave rise to the title poem, as well as a profound sense of yearning that pervades much of his work. He is a wanderer in the world and in the language of poetry, often finding beauty in others that are also on the move: birds, rivers, the wind. While his work is rooted in both contemporary and classical Chinese poetry, he incorporates into his poems American, French, and Latin American literary traditions.

Jami Proctor Xu is a poet, translator, artist, and mother who splits her time between Northern California and China, and writes in both English and Chinese. Her poems appear frequently in journals and anthologies in China and the US. Her full-length collection Suddenly Starting to Dance was published by Yi Press in 2016. Also in 2016, she coorganized an international poetry event for the International Writing Center at Beijing Normal University. In 2013, she received the Zhujiang Poetry Award, which recognizes a non-Chinese poet who has made a major contribution to contemporary Chinese poetry.

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