Tea with Poet Yang Lian
date: October 17, 2018
location: Villa Sassetti
Elisa Biagini
Poet and Lecturer, NYU Florence

Elisa Biagini lives in Florence, Italy, after having taught and studied in the United States for several years. Her poems have been published in several Italian and American reviews and anthologies. She has published seven poetry collections, some bilingual, such as L’Ospite (Einaudi, 2004), Fiato. parole per musica (Edizionidif, 2006), Nel Bosco (Einaudi, 2007) and Da una crepa (Einaudi, 2014; translations: The Plant of Dreaming, Xenos books/Chelsea Editions, 2017, and Depuis une fissure, Cadastre8zero, 2018, which won the Prix Nunc, 2018). A selection of her poems came out in New York in 2013 (The Guest in the Wood, Chelsea Editions, which won the Best Translated Book Award, 2014). Her poems have been translated into several languages and she has been featured at many international poetry festivals. She teaches Writing at NYU Florence.

Yang Lian

Chinese poet Yang Lian was born in Switzerland, grew up in China, and now lives in London. He has published 13 volumes of poetry, 2 volumes of prose and 1 volume of essays. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages. His representative works include YI, Where the Sea Stands Still, Concentric Circles, Riding Pisces: Poems from Five Collections, and Lee Valley Poems. Lian´s works have been described by reviewers as "like MacDiarmid meets Rilke with Samurai sword drawn!´", "one of the most representative voices of Chinese literature" and "one of the great world poets of our era´". His latest publication in English was Jade Ladder, an anthology of contemporary Chinese Poetry, which he edited along with W.N. Herbert and others. Among his many prizes, Yang Lian was awarded the 2018 Premio Internazionale NordSud (the NordSud International Prize) for Literature in Italy. In 2017, Narrative Poem, Yang Lian’s autobiographical book-length poem was selected as a recommended translation by the UK´s Poetry Book Society and won the English PEN Award. Lian won the Pacific International Poetry Prize in Taiwan in 2016, four poetry prizes in China in 2015, the International Capri Prize in 2014, the Tian Duo (Heavenly Bell) prize for long poem in 2013 and the Nonino International Literature Prize in 2012 (the prize jury was presided by V.S. Naipaul). He was elected a board member of PEN International in 2008 and 2011. Lian is a guest professor in 4 Chinese universities and was invited to become a member of The Norwegian Academy for Literature and Freedom of Expression in 2013. He was a DAAD fellow in Berlin in 1991-1992 and a fellow of Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in 2012-2013.