Lee Valley Poems, By Yang Lian

Reviewed by Boyd Tonkin

Friday, 13 November 2009

For the Chinese dissident poet Yang Lian, in transit since the repressions of 1989, Stoke Newington starts to become a truly "local" place "the fourth year you see the very last apple on the branch".

This hauntingly beautiful collection, with its Chinese classical sensibility wedded to modernist methods, is a remarkable addition to London's literature of exile.

The bilingual edition sets Chinese originals opposite versions crafted by the author with fellow-poets such as Pascale Petit, WN Herbert and Fiona Sampson. At the confluence of Far East and East End, as mess and mystery meet, dive into the waters of a unique mind.