Yinchuan Hongpai International Poetry Festival
A belated report…
The festival took place in Sept 2011, organized by Wang Xiping (poet and journalist ) and sponsored by Zhang Shaohua (both from Ningxia, Yinchuan, China)
Twenty five national and international poets and twenty five local poets have been invited.
Going to the Wild Wild West of China (Yinchuan, Ningxia Province) was the first time even for many Chinese poets. On the 2nd day of arrival, they visited the ancient imperial tomb from the West Xia dynasty,
and then to an old castle. This was at the hillside near the castle.
In the picture were Duo Duo, Zhang Shaohua, and Mindy Zhang.
Zhang Shaohua (1980-) , a young entrepreneur and poetry lover, donated 200000 RMB to the poetry festival. Poets had great tours and banquet everyday throughout the festival.
The best part of the festival was going to the well-known Mount Helan. Magnificent! Poets spent one afternoon and evening there, many wishing they could stay there for a whole month.
After a nice meal in the mountain resort area with the local snake wine and deep-fried scorpion (of course there were many other great dishes), a poetry reading took place by a bonfire started by Duo Duo and Li Shaojun.
The reading by the bonfire was curated by Mindy Zhang in Chinese and English.
The next day they visited some caves in another mountain area near the Inner Mongolia and took a ride back to the entrance of the fort.
In the afternoon of the final day, poets were resting in a bar, drinking and chatting and resting after a full schedule in the morning. Mindy translated Ilya’s award acceptance speech in Wang Xiping’s office (close to the bar, in the building of the local newspaper), and joined the poets in the bar in the late afternoon.
After a symposium on “How poets can be ‘involved’ and take social responsibilities” where there was a heated argument and discussion, the final event took place in the TV station where a live show was broadcasted of the poetry reading and award ceremony. An anchor woman from the TV station and poet Mindy Zhang co-hosted the event. (The above picture shows Duo Duo at the ribbon-cutting ceremony which is a normal practice for important events in China.)
Seven awards were given that day (Sept 24, 2011, the World Poetry Day), Ilya Kaminsky(USA) received the grand award — the 21 century International Poets Award, Li Cheng-en received the Gold Young Poet Award, Maryam Ala Amjad (Iran) and Jiang Kuo (Taiwan) shared the silver Young Poet Award, Yang Dian received the Poetry Book Award, Li Li received the Translation Award, and Qi Guo was awarded for “Promoting Poetry for 10 years”.
On Sept 25, most of the poets flew home, all arranged by the festival while Ilay and Mindy flew to Beijing for more readings.
(Many of the photos used here — courtesy of Yinchuan media group)