Three of China’s most promising emerging poets and two award-winning Australian poets will present an afternoon of public poetry readings in Nowra.
This free literary event will be held from 2pm until 4pm on 24 July at the Manse on Kinghorn Street Nowra, (opposite Aldi). The readings from Debby Sou Vai Keng, Iris Fan Xing and Chris Song Zijiang, (in English) from the three poets from the University of Macao, China will interest local writers and readers who are welcome to come. This event will also feature readings from two renowned Australian poets: Kit Kelen, who is currently teaching creative writing at the University of Macao and local writer Chris Mansell, who runs the Berry-based publishing house PressPress.
These readings celebrate an innovative translation project which is part of the Bundanon Trust’s artist in residence program. Debby Sou Vai Keng, Iris Fan Xing and Chris Song Zijiang are working with Kit Kelen to translate a range of contemporary Australian poetry into Chinese. This exciting translation project is the first of its kind in Australia, and it is being undertaken with the generous support of the Bundanon Trust and the Australia China Council.
The poets from Macao who are working on this project are among China’s most exciting literary talents. Debby Sou Vai Keng is a painter and writer whose first volume of English-language poetry Everybody Has a Pet was published last year. Iris Fan Xing has worked on translating the works of contemporary Aboriginal women poets into Chinese and has also translated Chinese classical poetry from the Yuan dynasty into English. She also published her first volume of poetry, Lost in the Afternoon (a bilingual English/Chinese parallel text) last year.
Chris Song Zijiang has translated the works of the women poets of the Tang and Song Dynasties into Chinese and his first volume of poems, Wiping the Dim Sky (a bilingual English/Chinese parallel text) was published last year.
Kit Kelen is a well-respected Australian writer who has published nine books of poetry and two novels. His first volume of poetry The Naming of the Harbour and the Trees won the Anne Elder award in 1992 and established Kit as an important voice in Australian poetry. Chris Mansell is one of the Illawarra’s key literary figures. She has written eleven collections of poetry and was the winner of the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.