Contemporary Chinese poet, essayist, literary critic, novelist, editor, photographer, documentary filmmaker, and university professor Yu Jian (1954— ) was born and raised in Kunming, Yunnan Province. Arguably the most prolific Chinese-language poet of our time, he is widely recognized as one of the foremost poets of his generation. His numerous publications, which span more than three decades and various literary genres, include the landmark five-volume Collected Yu Jian (Yunnan People’s Publishing, 2004), the four-volume Selected Essays of Yu Jian (Shaanxi Normal University Press, 2010), and more recently Who Is He: Poems 2007–2011 (Chongqing University Press, 2013). Yu Jian's writings have been translated into fourteen languages, including English as well as major European and Asian languages. Among his documentaries are Hometown (2009) and Jade Green Station (in collaboration with anthropologist Zhu Xiaoyang, 2003), both of which constitute a cinematic expression that allows Yu Jian to extend his poetic, humanistic vision to his ongoing ecological, sociopolitical, and cultural concerns about life in Yunnan. A regular guest at major poetry festivals, Yu Jian has held lectures and readings at leading universities and literary venues worldwide. He has lived his whole life in his native city, Kunming.
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.