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.