Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival Report

On August 5 Meredith and I left for Beijing and after a one-night stop there, we were dropped in to an international “City of Poets” to use C.A. Conrad’s phrase. This was in Xining at the Qinghai Hotel. All my expenses were covered and Meredith only had to cover her plane fare for this journey and that’s just the first example of the considerable generosity with which China treats poets.

It helps to have a high ranking Government official who is a poet. This is the Director for the Qinghai Provice Department of Information, Jidi Majia, the visionary behind this conference:

 

 

 

 

 

Jidi is a poet who came from the Nuosu people of SW China. That’s me holding a copy of his book of poems translated into English by our guide, Denis Mair:

 

 

 

 

 

Denis had to almost translate on the fly the short version of my essay on Pacific Rim Poetics but did a wonderful job, though our presentation went about 19 minutes. (The long version of the essay is here.)

Among the inspiring poets I have met here are: Jami Proctor, who has a wonderful sense of humor, is a fine poet who studied with Brenda Hillman, speaks Mandarin and was one of the people who translated into English at some conference events.

 

 

 

 

 

Javier Bello, from Santiago, Chile, has a wicked sense of humor and hit it off with Meredith right away. I told him about C.A. Conrad and thought he would like his work a lot.  Jose Kozer calls him a true poet.

 

 

 

 

Xi Chuang was one of several people who enjoyed my presentation and he gave me a copy of the galley for his new book Notes on the Mosquito to be published in English by New Directions. He’ll be in Seattle in late September. Mai Mung teaches at Connecticut College and did a presentation: In Search of the Absolutely Blind Encounter which was very thought-provoking. Sun Xiaoya teaches at Peking University and read the Chinese version of Elegies for Slaughter (X). (Audio here.) She will be our guide for a day in Beijing and has asked me to lecture at Peking University, but I can’t stay until September. Ugh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun took a photo of me after the reading at the Qinghai-Guide National Geological Park, which has been open for less than two years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mer (who did almost all the photos you’re going to see) got a magnificent one of the mountains in Guide County.

 

 

 

 

 

We have certainly been off the beaten path, from the mountains in Guide County, to the huge and magnificent Qinghai Lake. And many other nearby holy sites, including Kum Bum Monastery, more photos to come here, or on our Facebook page, which we cannot access here.

And don’t even get me started on the Chinglish we’ve encountered. It’s inspired many an American Sentence, to be revealed later.  Here’s a sneak preview:

 

About Splabman

Poet/interviewer Paul Nelson:

Founded: SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) & the Cascadia Poetry Festival

Wrote: American Sentences (2015), A Time Before Slaughter (2010) and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies (Lumme Editions, Brazil, 2013). His 2015 interview with José Kozer was published in 2016 (Ranchos Press) as Tiovivo Tres Amigos.

Interviewed: Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Joanne Kyger, Robin Blaser, Anne Waldman, Ed Sanders, Diane di Prima, Nate Mackey, George Bowering, Brenda Hillman, among others
and is engaged in a 20 year bioregional cultural investigation of Cascadia, including the festival, a MOOC (Innovative Cascadia Poetry), interviews with Cascadia poets indigenous elders and activists, and the anthology Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia. Paul is co-editor of that anthology as well as 56 Days of August the poetry postcard anthology and writes an American Sentence daily.

*MOOC = Massive Open Online Course

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6 Responses to Qinghai Lake International Poetry Festival Report

  1. jose kozer says:

    how happy to see you both happy, enjoy, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, however it will be centuplicated, love
    jose

  2. Peter P says:

    Sounds like a wonderful trip. Great photos!

  3. Roy R Seitz says:

    Crispy Pimp? Hmmm…Chinese translation of Splabman??

  4. scott galasso says:

    what a great opportunity, glad you and meredith
    got to take advantage of it…scott

  5. broo says:

    Ni Hao, Splab baby! dig the zen homeland schtick….!

    -/:}>

  6. Kitty says:

    As usual,Paul, you are making the most of this life. I tip my straw hat to you. Hugs, Kitty

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