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Unlike many contemporary American poets, Arthur Sze did not attend a traditional MFA program to learn to write poetry. Instead, he turned to translation to hone his craft. His latest collection, The Silk Dragon II: Translations of Chinese Poetry, compiles fifty years of his translations, illustrating the vitality and versatility of the Chinese poetic tradition across nearly two millennia.

In this episode of Tricycle Talks, Tricycle’s editor-in-chief, James Shaheen, sits down with Sze to discuss the ruptures and continuities between classical and contemporary Chinese poetry, the destruction and renewal inherent in the process of translation, and why Sze believes that we need translation now more than ever. Plus, Sze reads a few poems from his new collection.

Tricycle Talks is a podcast series featuring leading voices in the contemporary Buddhist world. You can listen to more Tricycle Talks on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and iHeartRadio.

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Sponsored by St. John’s College

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