Yu Jian was born in 1954 in Kunming, in southwest China, where he lives today. He is a poet, writer, and essayist, as well as a photographer, documentary film director, editor, university professor, and director of literary festivals. Yu Jian started writing poems in secret during the Chinese Cultural Revolution and did not publish in a journal until 1980. He has won and been nominated for a number of awards in multiple genres. His works have been translated into many languages, including Russian, Polish, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Armenian, English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Korean, and Hindi. His nearly fifty publications include The Collected Yu Jian, The Selected Essays of Yu Jian, and Who Is He: Poems 2007–2011.
Shuyu Guo is currently translating a selection of Yu Jian's poetry. She is a PhD student in UConn’s comparative literature and cultural studies program. She obtained her MA degree in comparative literature from Indiana University Bloomington. Her research engages the problem of trauma with a focus on modern Chinese poetry. Aside from her strong interests in lyric and trauma studies, Shuyu’s general interests include translation studies, affect theory, and the problem of violence.