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River Pearls: River Pearls

River Pearls
River Pearls

River Pearls celebrates the first Pearl River Poetry Conference, held in Guangzhou, south China, in June 2005. The conference brought together Chinese and British poets and scholars for events at four different universities in the city, including readings, keynote speeches and debates. River Pearls centres on the contributions of Che Qianzi and J.H. Prynne, which are presented in full. It also includes excerpts from readings by other poets and a sample of the debate following a keynote speech by Keston Sutherland.

With the generous support of

The Boehnen Fund for Innovation in the Arts, University of Notre Dame

Center for Creative Computing, College of Arts & Letters, University of Notre Dame

Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies, University of Notre Dame

John Wilkinson
Jonathan Noble

Editorial Services and DVD authoring
Christian Jara
Center for Creative Computing

John Wilkinson

English Subtitles by
Jonathan Noble
Su Jing

Chinese Poetry translated by
John Wilkinson
Jonathan Noble

John Wilkinson

The First Pearl River Poetry Conference
Filmed on location at
Guangzhou University of Commercial Studies

Special Thanks to
EPSI (English Poetry Study Institute) Guangzhou
Dr Li Zhimin, School Of Foreign Languages, Guangzhou University of Commercial Studies
Mr J.H. Prynne

Conference organizers, and people
Professor Ou Hong, Department of English, Sun Yat-sen University
Professor Yong Hemin, Guangzhou University of Commercial Studies
Professor Cao Shanke, Guangzhou University of Commercial Studies
Dr Gordon Gao
Dr Zhang Guangkui

All Poems Used with Permission
Copyright asserted and retained by the authors and translators

© Copyright 2007 John Wilkinson

£9.00, May 2008


from “Cloth No. 7”

Trans. by Jeff Twitchell-Waas, Yang Liping and


Four stanzas of a poem

Are just four separate poems: peeling an onion

And a compass. A fish is a printing press:

A fish is a printing press

Again and again

A lonely empty road.

It’s a great trip hunting for food.

Compass, onion, this spiral action of “peeling”,

An onion enclosed (from big

to small, rosy red) in parentheses. This word “onion”
in parentheses

Has become the gist of smells, colours, documents and

X is parentheses, it speaks.

Website by Phil Meades