Poetry is Our Only Mother Tongue: Yang Lian on Writing in Exile

July 10, 2023

Presented by David Lam Centre.

About this event

One of the most well-known and influential poets in 1980s China, Yang Lian, went into exile in 1989 and embarked on a journey around the world. In this talk, Lian introduced his new collection A Tower Built Downwards (一座向下修建的塔). He was joined by fellow writers Yoyo and Geling Yan, as well as Professor Shuyu Kong, in a discussion that explored the profound discovery of Lian’s journey and his unique perspective on poetry.


Yang Lian (楊煉) has published fifteen collections of poems, two collections of prose and many essays. His works have been translated into English and 30 other languages, including: YiWhere the Sea Stands StillConcentric CirclesNarrative Poem and Anniversary Snow.

Lian has received several prestigious honors throughout his career, the English PEN Award in 2023, the Janus Pannonius Grand Prize for Poetry in 2018, and the Nonino International Literature Prize in 2012, among others.

This free event is presented primary in English with occasional Mandarin Chinese. Everyone is welcomed!