GENEVA, N.Y.-The acclaimed Chinese poet, Bei Dao, often mentioned for the Nobel Prize in Literature, will give a reading of his work at 8 p.m. on Monday, December 3, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus.
Because of his activism on behalf of democracy, he has been in exile from China since the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989. He is considered to be the voice of the democracy movement, his poems often reproduced on posters and distributed by underground magazines. But his work is notable for having a complex interiority in tandem with its political critique. He is sometimes compared to poets Paul Celan and César Vallejo.
Translated into 25 languages, five of Bei Dao's books of poems have been translated into English, most recently Landscape Over Zero, At the Sky's Edge, and Unlock. His short stories and a book of essays have also been published.
Bei Dao will read his poems in Chinese and the English translations will be read by Jim Crenner, Deborah Tall, and David Weiss. The reading is free and open to the public and will be followed by a dessert reception and an opportunity to have books signed. Bei Dao's visit is made possible by Writers Reading, the Faculty Speakers Fund, and the Asian Studies program. For more information contact Deborah Tall at (315) 781-3364 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.