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China and the West: Two Poets in Conversation
About the Books:
Nine Dragon Island
Eleanor Goodman navigates between worlds, from a parent's cancer in Ohio to Hong Kong's Tolo Harbor to migrant workers in China. These poems are snapshots of daily life as lived and considered, moments of elegy and rejoicing. Goodman won the 2015 Lucien Stryk Prize and was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize for her translations of Chinese poetry
This collection has for its central focus scenes from contemporary China, observing with detachment and direct emotional intent those personal landscapes which fan out from Ragg's experiences of a country undergoing profound change. Such landscapes and the burdening memories accompanying them create poems of concentrated philosophical energy. They search and question. Ragg explores paths and places across a worldshot through with colour. Yet he reins back from the expected celebratory note, in order to sift truth from falsehood, to travel from height to abyss. This is a wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection. - Penelope Shuttle
Edward Ragg's debut collection A Force That Takes (2013) was a Cinnamon Press Poetry Award winner. This entrancing second volume probes the complexity of contemporary China, from dizzying urban spaces to the wider landscapes of a country witnessing incredible transformation.
About the Authors:
Eleanor Goodman is a Research Associate at the Harvard University Fairbank Center, and spent a year at Peking University on a Fulbright Fellowship. She has been an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome and was awarded a Henry Luce Translation Fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center. Her first book of translations, Something Crosses My Mind: Selected Poems of Wang Xiaoni (Zephyr Press, 2014) was the recipient of a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Grant and winner of the 2015 Lucien Stryk Prize. The book was also shortlisted for the International Griffin Prize. The anthology Iron Moon, a translation of Chinese worker’s poetry (White Pine Press) was released in the spring of 2017, and the single-author translation The Roots of Wisdom: Poems by Zang Di (Zephyr, 2017) has just come out. Her first poetry book, Nine Dragon Island (Enclave/Zephyr, 2016), was a finalist for the Drunken Boat First Book Prize.
Edward Ragg is an award-winning poet living in Beijing, China. He won the 2012 Cinnamon Press Poetry Award and his first collection was A Force That Takes (Cinnamon Press, 2013). His second collection is Holding Unfailing (Cinnamon Press, 2017) and he is currently working on a third volume. Ragg’s poems have appeared in a wide range of international journals, including: Aesthetica, Acumen, Agenda, BODY, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Critical Quarterly, Enclave (飞地), Envoi, Orbis, Other Poetry, Papercuts, Poetry Quarterly, PN Review, Seam, Spittoon: A Literary Magazine, The New Writer, Three Line Poetry and other journals. Selections from his work have been anthologized in the 2014 Forward Book of Poetry (Faber & Faber, 2013), Lung Jazz: Young British Poets for Oxfam (Eyewear Publishing/Cinnamon Press, 2012), Jericho & Other Stories & Poems (Cinnamon Press, 2012), Visiting Wallace: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Wallace Stevens (Iowa University Press, 2009) and New Poetries IV (Carcanet Press, 2007). His ‘Mutton Fat Jade’ and ‘Punctuation Points’ were both prize-winning poems, respectively, at the 2009 and 2014 Troubadour International Poetry Prizes. Some of his poems have also been translated into Mandarin Chinese by leading Chinese poet Wang Ao (王敖). Ragg is a former Tsinghua University Professor and co-founder, with Fongyee Walker, of Dragon Phoenix Wine Consulting. See www.edwardragg.com for further information.