艾青 (1910 - 1996)
Ai Qing (1910 - 1996)
Born in Jinhua, Zhejiang province. Originally named Jiang Haicheng; pseudonyms include E Jia, Ke A, and Lin Bi. He studied at West Lake Art College in Hangzhou in 1928, and went on to France on a work-study programme in the year after. In 1932, he joined the Union of Chinese Left-Wing Artists and engaged in revolutionary literary and art activities. He was soon arrested by the authorities. He started writing poetry during his stay in the prison, and became well-known with the publishing of the poem “Ode to Dayanhe – My Wet Nurse”. He was set free in 1935. In 1936, he published his first collection of poems under the title Dayanhe – My Wet Nurse, in which he gave full expression to a poet’s deep love for his motherland. After the outbreak of the War of Resistance against Japan, he entered the Anti-Japanese and National Salvation Movement. In 1941, he left for Yan’an to take up the post as editor-in-chief of Poetry Magazine. After 1949, he worked as the associate editor for People’s Literature. In 1957, he was wrongly denounced as a rightist and was sent down for reformation in labour camps in regions around Heilongjiang and Xinjiang provinces. He remained silent for two decades. In 1979, he was fully reinstated. In the years that followed he worked in a number of capacities including the vice-chairman of the Chinese Writers’ Association and the vice-president of the China PEN Centre, and made visits to many countries across the Asian, American and European continents. Apart from Dayanhe – My Wet Nurse, he published poetry collections including The North, Facing the Sun and Songs of Return, and a collection of critical essays on poetry, including On Poetry and Ai Qing on Poetry.