These are unusual times. These poets are tale-tellers of their world. Their poems are for real people.
  • I'm waiting in the land of poetry. Waiting in hope for its clanging sounds and forceful roaring past! -Ren Xianqing, Issue 1
  • Now we are on board, let's not bring up any depressing topics; no more debates about the pet peeves in those capitalist countries.

The journal of

21st Century Chinese Poetry 《廿一世纪中国诗歌》is an independent journal committed to showcasing the best of contemporary Chinese poetry. We exist to discover and celebrate poetry and the Chinese poets that write them with the largest possible Anglophone audience.

In the early twentieth century, The May Fourth Movement (1917-1921) launched an era where vernacular Chinese was for the first time accepted as a legitimate poetic voice. This was followed by an outpouring of verse written in 'plain speech' by people from all walks of life in contrast to the classical, elitist poetic forms of imperial China.

A century has now almost passed since these 'new' poetic voices emerged. Vernacular poetry has continued to blossom in poetry journals and in cyberspace.

The editor and translators at 21st Century Chinese Poetry are committed to translating poets from across China who would otherwise remain virtually unknown to Western audiences.

All enquiries, suggestions and corrections regarding 21st Chinese Poetry should be directed to Meifu Wang at:

Founder and Editor
Meifu Wang

Poem of the day 一日一首

The Poet's Indignation

  • by Wei Xue

  • Previously I thought
  • they took opposing stands only on paper.
  • Their indignation sounded more or less feeble and
  • too weak to withstand any headwinds.
  • Those in power laughed, and the rich mocked:
  • “Let them go crazy.”
  • Their screams were as pale as their complexions.
  • But in fact there are tiny eternal flames in their hearts
  • that still shine with Gu Cheng’s(1) black eyes
  • and Haizi’s springtime garden.
  • There will come one midnight
  • when everyone is awakened by Beidao’s(2) fatal gunshot,
  • God knows who will be the one
  • hanging upside down from the tree this time!

  • (1): Gu Cheng, Haize were two poets who committed suicide in recent history.
  • (2) Beidao is a widely admired contemporary Chinese poet.

  • from 21st Century Chinese Poetry, No. 1