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Poets as Ambassadors? Rare International Gathering Of Chinese Poets Oct. 4-5 At Simmons College

Chinese, American Poets to use Poetic Translation as a Model for Diplomacy

BOSTON (August 22, 2008) — In what may be one of the most unusual ways to help improve communication and relations between modern day China and America, leading Chinese poets will travel to Simmons College in Boston Oct. 4-5 for an International Chinese Poetry Festival, using poetic translation as a model for diplomacy during today's challenging times.

More than two dozen well-known poets from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the United States as well as academic scholars and translators, will meet to explore ways to improve communications between the cultures through the exchange and translation of poetry.  The festival, which is free and open to the public, will feature discussions about the difficulty of accurately translating poems between two radically different cultures, readings of modern and traditional Chinese poetry in English and Chinese, and an explorations of the significance of Chinese poetry in world literature.

The gathering will also focus on women and their role in contemporary Chinese poetry.

The two-day festival will be on the Simmons College campus at 300 The Fenway, Boston in the Linda Paresky Conference Center of the Main College Building.  (For more information about the festival schedule, visit You may also call  (617) 521-2175 or email

Among the poets attending are Leung Ping Kwan, Zhou Zan, Hong Hong, Marilyn Chin, Zang Di, Zhang Er, Yi Sha, Kelly Tsai, Ye Mimi and Shinyu Pai.

The festival is founded by nationally acclaimed poet Afaa Michael Weaver, a Simmons College professor and director of the Zora Neale Hurston Literary Center at Simmons.  Weaver's new book The Plum Flower Dance includes "American Income," a poem that was awarded the 2008 Pushcart Prize. Proficient in Mandarin, Weaver was the first African-American poet to teach American literature in Taiwan. The festival is co-chaired by Dr. Michelle Yeh of the University of California, Davis.
Simmons College is a nationally ranked college in Boston with an undergraduate college for women and graduate programs for women and men in health sciences, liberal arts, library and information science, social work, and the nation's leading MBA program designed for women