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Stone Cell is a companion volume to the translation of Lo Fu’s book-length poem Driftwood published in 2006 by Zephyr. Covering fifty years, the present volume provides an overview of the poetry of one of China’s most important living poets, in all its scope and breadth, from his earliest lyrics to his mature verse. His book Driftwood, which appeared in 2001, is actually a 240-page poem. In a sense Lo Fu has come full circle from Death of a Stone Cell, the anti-epic of his youth, to Driftwood, the epic summation of the poet’s artistic journey, life experience, and philosophy. On the poem, Lo Fu says, “It sums up my experience of exile, my artistic explorations, and my metaphysics. I consider it a personal epic, the greatest achievement of my old age, and a landmark of my career.” Lo Fu has won all of the major literary awards in Taiwan including the China Times Literary Award, the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Literary Award, the Wu San-Lien Literary Award, and the National Literary Award. His poetry has been translated into English, Swedish, French, German, Japanese, and Korean.


John Balcom holds a PhD in Chinese and Comparative Literature from Washington University in St Louis. An award winning translator of Chinese literature, philosophy, and children’s books, he teaches translation at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, where he ran the Chinese program for many years. His translations include Taiwan’s Indigenous Writers: An Anthology of Stories, Essays, and Poems, After Many Autumns: An Anthology of Chinese Buddhist Literature, There’s Nothing I Can Do When I Think of You Late at Night by Cao Naiqian, and Trees without Wind by Li Rui. He is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association.

Stone Cell, by Lo Fu

  • Stone Cell 
    Lo Fu
    from Chinese by John Balcom
    ISBN 978-0981552118 (paper) 
    6 x 8½
    208 pages

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