Ethnic Minority Poetry in China: A Conversation with Aku Wuwu and Mark Bender
Aku Wuwu is a poet of the Yi ethnic group, one of the largest ethnic minority groups in southwest China. His poems, mixing traditional and contemporary imagery, often inspired by visions and dreams, are written in Northern Yi and Mandarin. He says he is a “cultural hybrid” who writes in “two mother tongues.” Professor Mark Bender of The Ohio State University specializes in traditional Chinese performance literature. His recent book is The Borderlands of Asia: Culture, Place, Poetry (2017), which features poems by poets in North East India, Myanmar, Southwest China, Inner Mongolia, and Mongolia. Aku Wuwu and Professor Bender will discuss the intersection of language, culture and the environment in ethnic minority poetry from southwest China.