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Gu Cheng

Gu Cheng (1956-93) was one of the innovative writers of "misty poetry" (menglung shi) who emerged in the immediate post-Mao years. He began writing poetry as a child in Shandong province where his parents had been exiled in 1969, during the Cultural Revolution. Gu Cheng went back to Beijing in 1974 and worked as a carpenter, an industrial painter, and a laborer, then worked as a newspaper and magazine editor. He began writing again and left China for Europe in 1987. In his last years, searching for a new poetics, Gu experimented radically with language, creating tortured and incomprehensible word-puzzles. This set of poems, "Walled Dreams, and an Awakening," represent a time when his poetry began moving away from a relatively naïve lyricism toward a new language of density and play. Gu Cheng's selected poems have been published in Chinese, English, German, French, Swedish and Danish. His drawings, articles, and one novel are also well known.

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