top of page

2020 Patrick D. Hanan Translation Prize WINNER


Zang Di (臧棣) is widely acknowledged as one of the leading poets and literary critics of his generation. In this new bilingual collection of his work, The Roots of Wisdom, he uses rich, emotional language to explore the natural world, including his beloved Weiming Lake at Peking University — his “Walden.” The lake has been a muse for him for more than 30 years. While Zang Di’s detailed observations often begin in nature, they go on to unearth insights into human psychology, relationships, contemporary life, and the mysteries of language.
Zang Di’s maintains a prolific writing practice (he composes one poem each day), and his unique style draws not only from nature but also from his extensive reading of Chinese and Western literature, and his travels through several continents.

Zang Di was born in Beijing in 1964, and received his undergraduate degree and PhD from Peking University, where he now teaches. In addition to publishing several books of poetry, he has edited a number of anthologies of Chinese poetry, and a collection of Chinese translations of Rilke’s poetry. He is the editor of the journal New Poetry Criticism. Zang Di has been honored three times as one of China’s top ten poets.


Translator and poet Eleanor Goodman is a Research Associate at the Fairbank Center at Harvard University. Her translation of Something Crosses My Mind: Selected Poems of Wang Xiaoni (Zephyr, 2014) won the 2015 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, was short-listed for the 2015 Griffin International Poetry Prize, and was the recipient of a 2013 PEN/Heim Translation Grant. Her first collection of her own poetry, Nine Dragon Island, was published in 2016 by Enclave Publishing (Hong Kong) and Zephyr Press. She translated Iron Moon, an anthology of Chinese migrant workers (White Pine Press).

Roots of Wisdom, by Zang Di

  • The Roots of Wisdom
    Zang Di
    Translated from Chinese by Eleanor Goodman

    160 pages | Bilingual: Chinese English

    Paperback | ISBN 978-1-938890-98-7

bottom of page