Bender completes poetry lecture tour

March 22, 2019

Mark Bender, chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, and internationally known indigenous poet Aku Wuwu, dean of Yi Ethnic Studies at Southwest Minzu University of China, recently visited Middlebury College, Williams College and Harvard University on a poetry lecture tour. As an advocate for cultural recognition and education for the 9-million strong Yi ethnic group, Aku Wuwu writes poems in both Northern Yi language and Chinese. After a brief introduction by Bender, Aku recited some of his best-known poems in either Yi or Chinese, followed by an oral delivery of translations in English by Bender. The pair also introduced their latest project, a translation of a Yi folk epic called The Nuosu Book of Origins, which will be published by University of Washington Press this year.