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FINALIST: 2015 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize

LONGLIST: 2015 Best Translated Book Award


The first complete English translation of the celebrated Hsia Yü collection


Originally published in Chinese in 1999, Salsa has been Hsia Yü’s most successful collection of poetry, selling thousands of copies in Taiwan and Hong Kong alone. Zephyr’s 2001 edition Fusion Kitsch includes a generous selection of material from Salsa, but this marks the first time that an entire Hsia Yü volume has been translated into English.


"At times Yü's work reads like a frenzy, a spiral into demise with the promise of rebirth. In fact, given Yü's ideas on memory and temporality, I hardly expected the book's delightful end: a treatise on the human soul, a familiar yet unfamiliar territory that the poet leads us down, pointing out strange sights along the way: everyday objects and beings somehow distorted." — Rajiv Mohabir, Jacket2


Hsia Yü (sometimes spelled Xia Yu) is the author and designer of six volumes of groundbreaking verse, among them a bilingual collection of English-language poems and computer-generated Chinese translations printed on crystal clear vinyl, entitled Pink Noise, as well as several hundred song lyrics, many of which are enormously popular in the Chinese-speaking world, and a Chinese translation of Henri-Pierre Roché’s Jules et Jim.


She currently lives in Taipei, where she co-edits the avant-garde journal and poetry initiative Xianzai Shi [Poetry Now], but she lived for many years in France, where the poems in the Salsa collection were composed. Originally published in 1999 and now in its tenth printing, Salsa is Hsia Yü’s most successful collection of poetry to date. This bilingual version contains the first and only complete translation of her poetry in any language other than Chinese.


Steve Bradbury lives in Taipei and teaches British and American poetry and fiction at National Central University, where he formerly edited Full Tilt: a journal of East-Asian poetry, translation and the arts. This bilingual edition of Salsa is his fifth book of translations from Chinese.

Salsa, by Hsia Yü

  • Salsa
    Hsia Yü
    from Chinese by Steve Bradbury
    ISBN 978-1-938890-05-5 (paper)
    7 x 10
    200 pages

  • FINALIST: 2015 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.

    LONGLIST: 2015 Best Translated Book Awards.


    "Bradbury's handling of Hsia Yü's often acrobatic Chinese is masterful... In addition to the creative energy Bradbury has invested in the English, there may even be instances in which his creative interpretation adds weight to the poem as a translation from the source text... Bradbury has allowed the English to be beautiful after its own unique fashion." — Canaan Morse, Modern Chinese Literature and Culture

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