Bei Dao, widely recognized as the foremost poet of his generation, will engage Eliot Weinberger in a conversation about his newly published book City Gate, Open Up, a lyrical memoir of Bei Dao’s childhood and adolescence in Beijing. After many years of exile, the poet returns to the city of his birth and tries to capture its past and present with haunting words and images……

 

Bei Dao is the nom de plume of Zhao Zhenkai, internationally considered one of China’s most important contemporary authors. His poems have been translated into more than 30 languages. In English he is represented by numerous collections of poetry, fiction, and essays, including The August Sleepwalker, Old Snow, Unlock, Landscape over Zero, Midnight’s Gate, and Waves, which have been internationally acclaimed for their subtlety, innovation, and eloquence. Bei Dao has taught extensively in Europe and the United States, was elected an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received many awards in Germany, Morocco, Sweden and other countries.

Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, political commentator, translator, and editor. His books of avant-gardist literary essays include Karmic TracesAn Elemental Thing (named by the Village Voice as one of the “20 Best Books of the Year”) and, most recently, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale. His political articles are collected in What I Heard About Iraq—called by the Guardian the one antiwar “classic” of the Iraq war—and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is the translator of the poetry of Bei Dao, and the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry and the Calligrams series published by NYRB Classics.