November 4, 2005

Nobel Prize Nominee Bei Dao Brings Poetry To Samford

"... Long associated with China's democracy movement, Bei Dao helped found the short-lived pro-democracy literary journal Jintian, and was one of a group of popular pro-democracy poets derided by the government as the Menglong or 'Misty Poets'...."

Midnight's Gate, by Bei DaoExiled Chinese poet Zhao Zhenkai, best-known by his pen name Bei Dao, will read his poetry at Samford on Monday, November 7 as part of the University's new Samford Writers Series. The event, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Brock Forum Auditorium in Dwight Beeson Hall, is free-of-charge and open to the public.

Bei Dao has been nominated several times for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and his poetry has been translated into more than 25 languages. Long associated with China's democracy movement, Bei Dao helped found the short-lived pro-democracy literary journal Jintian, and was one of a group of popular pro-democracy poets derided by the government as the Menglong or "Misty Poets."

Bei Dao's call for the release of political prisoner Wei Jingsheng began a chain of events leading to the famous Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, in which Bei Dao's poetry figured prominently. Bei Dao was out of the country at the time of the protests and the Chinese government's subsequent violent crackdown on the democracy movement, and has lived in exile since then.

On his visit to Samford, Bei Dao will read selected poems in Chinese, with English translations provided by English professor Julie Steward. Afterwards, the author will sign copies of his new collection of essays, Midnight's Gates.

For more information contact the Samford University Department of English at 726-2946.

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