Yang Lian was born in Switzerland in 1955, and grew up in Beijing. He began writing
when he was sent to the countryside in the 1970s. On his return to Beijing he became
one of the founders of the Misty school of contemporary Chinese poetry. Among other
things, Yang Lian is known for his poem sequences and long poems which display a
profound understanding of, and creative links with, Classical Chinese poetry.
His poems became well-known and influential inside and outside of China in the 1980s,
especially when his sequence ‘Norilang’ was criticized by the Chinese government
during the ‘Anti-Spiritual Pollution’ movement.
Yang Lian was invited to visit Australia and New Zealand in 1988 and became a poet in
exile after the Tiananmen massacre. Since that time, he has continued to write and
speak out as a highly individual voice in world literature, politics and culture.
Yang Lian has published twelve collections of poems, two collections of prose and many
essays (selected into several selections) in Chinese.
His work has also been translated into more than thirty languages, including English,
German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic, Central and Eastern European