The 2004 conference site is archived here: www.chinesepoetryconference.com.
The Simmons International Chinese Poetry Conference (SICPC) convened on October 8-10, 2004, at Simmons College. The guest list included forty-two poets, scholars, translators, and critics from Taiwan, China, and the United States. Among the poets there were some of the most senior and celebrated working today, most notably Yu Kwang-chung and Zheng Chouyu, both of whom are in their seventies and are widely known and celebrated throughout the Chinese Diaspora.
The conference was unique and historic in that it was the first conference held in the United States that focused entirely on contemporary poetry and included venues for both scholarly and creative approaches. Held over a period of three days, SICPC was also the first major conference held in our newly renovated third Linda K. Paresky Conference Center. With a staff of ten people and the chairman, the events of the three days proceeded smoothly with an average attendance for all three days at 100-150 people.
The conference included poetry readings and scholarly panels, with entertainment in the form of traditional Chinese music, both ancient and more contemporary.
Media representatives were there from the World Journal, the largest Chinese language newspaper in North America. In addition, Mindy Zhang, a volunteer translator for the conference, wrote one pre-conference article for the Duo Wei Times newspaper and one post-conference article for the Chinese internet news service.
The effects of the conference, both real and potential, are best gleaned through quotes from some of the guest participants who answered the chairman's call for feedback and suggestions for future conferences.
"Thank you so very much for inviting me to this wonderful event. I deeply appreciated the chance to see Xue Di among fellow writers and to gain more knowledge of the issues and concerns facing Chinese writers here and abroad. It was great to have such excellent translation available as well. Working in the English Department at Brown, I know how much blood, sweat and tears go into organizing a major event like this, and so I hope you are enjoying a post-conference glow in this wonderful autumn season!" —Dr. Marilyn Netter, Brown University
"The experience with the Chinese Poetry Conference in Simmons College definitely will leave a remarkable trace in the memory of every participant. The conference not only brings together Chinese poets or scholars from different areas; it also establishes a "third encounter" between Chinese poets and American poets, between Chinese culture and American culture." —Dr. Chengchen Chien, Taiwan
"In my nearly twenty years in the field of Chinese literary studies, I have attended several dozen conferences, symposia, and other such literary-academic gatherings, but none can compare in quality or quantity to this event. It is rare enough to see many of the greatest living poets from the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, and America gathered together to recite and listen to one another. It is even rarer yet to have some of the most important scholars of Chinese poetry in the same room, reading their own theoretical treatises on Chinese poetry, listening to the poets recite, and occasionally even sharing the podium with the normally absent objects of their academic endeavors -the poets themselves." —Dr. Nick Kaldis, SUNY Binghamton