Fighting the Erasure of Poet Liu Xia

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Liu Xia is a Chinese poet. Her husband, Liu Xiaobo, the Nobel Laureate and dissident, died recently in prison. Liu Xia, who has been under strict house arrest for ten years, remains unable to speak or travel freely. Friends who have tried to contact her have failed. Reporters who have tried to visit her home have been forcibly stopped. Two of her poems were shared at Scoundrel Time on Monday, with an introduction written by her co-translator Jennifer Stern. In an effort to draw attention to the life and work of Liu Xia at this critical moment, Liu Xia’s poems and Stern’s introduction are also being published in Bat City Review, Four Way Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Poetry Northwest, and Tupelo Quarterly. The poems, translated by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern, are reprinted from Empty Chairs: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015) with the permission of the translators and Graywolf.

PEN America has made Liu Xia their featured case for August, and suggests we join in making appeals on Liu Xia’s behalf by following this link or by sending a tweet to US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad.


Lyz Lenz is Managing Editor at The Rumpus. Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. More from this author →