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Chen Li

Chen Li (1954- ), born and raised in Hualien, on the east coast of Taiwan, is one of the best representatives of contemporary Chinese poetry in Taiwan. He started writing poetry in the 1970s, under the influence of modernism. He turned to social and political themes in the 1980s, and in the 1990s explored a wide range of subjects and styles, combining formal and linguistic experiments with concern for indigenous cultures and the formation of a new Taiwanese identity. He subtly mixes in his poetry the elements of Western modernism and postmodernism with the merits of Oriental poetics and the Chinese language. A winner of many important poetry prizes in his country, he is regarded as "one of the most innovative and exciting poets writing in Chinese today."

To date he has published seven books of poetry. He is also a prolific prose writer and translator. In collaboration with his wife, Chang Fen-ling, he has translated into Chinese the work of a large number of Latin American, East European, and English poets, including Neruda, Paz, Szymborska and Heaney. In 1999, he was invited to the Rotterdam Poetry International Festival. In 2004, he was invited to Salon du Livre in Paris. His poems have been translated into English, French, Dutch, Japanese and other languages.

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