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The Ghost Book of China’s Misty Poets

Date: March 1, 2016

Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Location: UMF Mantor Library

A new exhibition, "Ghost Book", will run from March through May at UMF Mantor Library.

Beijing, 1978: three young artists hurriedly post on city walls the still-damp pages of Today, the first unauthorized publication in the People’s Republic of China. Produced by mimeograph, bicycle, and paste brush, the pages vanish quickly, making the magazine a “Ghost Book.” No first edition survives.

Three poets from Today—Gu Cheng, Shu Ting, and Bei Dao (also the editor)—soon become famous, symbolizing new freedoms for artists following the death of Mao. With others they become known as the “Misty Poets”.

The exhibition will include rare later editions of Today, poetry from the movement, praise from the world press, and Ann Arbor’s photographic portraits of the poets, who collectively create a new Chinese literature.

The exhibition is a production of the Shiretown Bookers. An opening reception will be held on Tuesday, 1 March, 5:30 to 7:00 and will include comments by John Rosenwald, curator of the exhibition and translator of the featured poets.

In conjunction with the exhibition, a choral reading of Gu Cheng’s poem “The City” will be held at the UMF Emery Center at 7:00 pm on 3 March.