My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems

My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree: Selected Poems

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Author: Yi Lei

Translators: Tracy K. Smith and Changtai Bi

Publisher: Graywolf Press (2020)

Yi Lei published her poem “A Single Woman’s Bedroom” in 1987, when cohabitation before marriage was a punishable crime in China. She was met with major critical acclaim―and with outrage―for her frank embrace of women’s erotic desire and her unabashed critique of oppressive law. Over the span of her revolutionary career, Yi Lei became one of the most influential figures in contemporary Chinese poetry.

Passionate, rigorous, and inimitable, the poems in My Name Will Grow Wide Like a Tree celebrate the joys of the body, ponder the miracle of compassion, and proclaim an abiding reverence for the natural world. Presented in the original Chinese alongside English translations by Changtai Bi and Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith, this collection introduces American readers to a boundless spirit―one “composing an explosion.”