Taiwanese Poetry Vespers

"Taiwanese Women's Poetry: Enlivening the Island Imagination"



This event will present bilingual readings of contemporary Taiwanese women poets, accompanied by various possibilities of French translations. This presentation is a continuation of the Chinese poetry translation workshop that has been held at ITEM since 2014 and will be offered by the participants of this workshop; the reading will be followed by a discussion on poetic translation.

Coordination: Sandrine Marchand, lecturer at the University of Artois and member of the Institut des textes et manuscrits modernes (ITEM – UMR 8132)

With the participation of : Emmanuelle Péchenart, Wou Yanan, Wang Chien-hui, Olivier Janin.

  • Emmanuelle Péchenart is a professional literary translator, having translated Chang Eileen’s work, Chinese novels and poetry;
  • Wou Yanan is a doctoral student working on her thesis on Henri Michaux, and is also a translator;
  • Wang Chien-hui is a doctoral student in French and comparative literature at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle, and is devoting her thesis to Taiwanese literature;
  • Olivier Janin came back to France at the end of 2018, after more than twenty years of professional career in the United States, very far from the world of poetry, Taiwanese or otherwise.

This event is organized as part of the Spotlight Taiwan Program.

Exhibition (畫展)

Hsi Muren (席慕蓉)

Poem read by Wou Yanan and Sandrine Marchand.

Hsi Muren is Mongolian by origin, born in 1943 in Sichuan. Her parents left China for Hong Kong, then Taiwan. There, she continued her studies at the Fine Arts Department of the Taiwan Normal School, then began a career as a painter and exhibited in various countries, crowned with numerous awards, including the first prize of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels. She taught at the Hsinchu Normal School in Taiwan before becoming a full-time artist, devoting all her activity to painting and poetry. In addition to volumes of essays and poetry, she has published over fifty collections of paintings. For the past twenty years, she has devoted herself to the study of her native land, and ancient Mongolian culture has become her favorite theme.

The wind is not the wind (風 非風)

By Chen Yu-hong (陳育虹)

Poem read by Wang Chien-hui and Olivier Janin.

Born in 1952 in Kaoshiung to parents who came from China, Chen Yu-hong speaks Shanghainese, Mandarin, English and a little French. She lives between Vancouver and Taipei. She has been influenced by American women’s poetry. Her poetry is also influenced by music. The collection Je te l’ai déjà dit was published by Circé in 2018.

Typhoon (颱風)

By Ling Yu (零雨)

Poem read by Wang Chien-hui and Olivier Janin.

Born in Taipei in 1952, Ling Yu graduated in Chinese literature from the National Taiwan University and then studied and taught in the United States. She has published a dozen collections of poetry including The Associated Compositions of Cities, 1990, The Light of the Skin (膚色的時光), 2018. Along with Hsia Yu 夏宇, she is one of the most influential poetesses of her generation. She handles rhythm, syntax and humor with great dexterity. In French, her poems can be read on the Terre à ciel website. A collection entitled Terres sauvages will be published by Circé in 2022.

The Hole (洞)

By Yan Ai-ling (顏艾琳)

Poem read by Wou Yanan and Sandrine Marchand.

Yan Ai-ling was born in 1968 in Tainan. With a degree in history and creative writing, she then taught at various universities, and worked in magazine publishing. She is interested in popular music and theater, and has written many collections of poetry and received numerous literary awards.


The Lovers (戀人們)

By Liao Mei-hsuan (廖梅璇)

Born in 1978, Liao Mei-hsuan graduated in History and Foreign Languages. She runs a magazine, writes prose and book reviews, translates, and leads a normal life. A collection entitled Dialogues des oreilles (雙耳的對話) was published both in French and Chinese in 2015.


By Tung Shu-ming (董恕明)

Poem read by Wou Yanan and Sandrine Marchand.

With a Puyuma mother and a Han father, Tung Shu-ming was born in 1971 in Taidong district, and belongs to the Pinaseki tribe. She graduated from the Chinese literature department of Tunghai University, and teaches at Taidong University, having written a doctoral thesis on aboriginal literature. She writes poems and essays. She has already published several collections.

The First Two Seconds of Spring (在春天的前兩秒鐘 )

By Lin Yu-hsuan (林禹瑄)

Poem read by Wang Chien-hui and Olivier Janin.

Lin Yu-hsuan was born in 1989 in Tainan. She has already published several collections of poems and received several awards. She is also a member of the poetry journal Fengqiu 風球詩雜誌.

Discussion and conclusion

Discussion sur la traduction poétique et conclusion de l’atelier.