Bei Ling / 贝岭
Bei Ling is a poet and essayist and the founder and editor of Tendency, an exile literary journal founded in late 1993 and published in Chinese Until 2000. Tendency has also been involved in the translation of international writers including Vaclav Havel, Wole Soyinka, Susan Sontag, Nadine Gordimer and Seamus Heaney. Bei Ling is also the founder of the Independent Chinese PEN Center in 2001, an organization of Chinese writers and intellectuals and dedicated to the freedom of expression. In August 2000, Bei Ling was arrested & briefly jailed in Beijing for "illegally publishing" his journal in China. The arrests prompted an immediate international protests. PEN International and the writers Susan Sontag, Arthur Miller, Nadine Gordimer, Czeslaw Milosz, Seamus Heaney, Gunter Grass, Kurt Vonnegut, and Homero Aridjis called for his release while defending the freedom to publish and urging Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and President Clinton to intervene. He was later released and exiled to America. He is on the Executive Board of the International Center for Writing and Translation (ICWT), at the University of California, Irvine, and a Research Associate at Harvard University's Fairbank Center for East Asian Research.
Bei Ling's poetry, essays and book reviews have been published in The Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Times Book Review, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Harvard Review. His poetry has been translated from Chinese into English, Japanese, German, French and Spanish, and his collected poetry book: Old Days was publish in 2006. He is currently working on his memoir of those experiences and the underground literary scene in China.
Bei Ling has been a research associate at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research and was a Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Center for Scholars and Writers (2002-2003). He was a winner of the PEN Center US West 2000 Freedom to Write Award. Since 1995, he has received the Hellman Hammett Award (1995 and 2001), the Kunstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf Fellowship (1998), the German Academic Exchange Service Fellowship (DAAD, 1997) and Brown University's Critical Writing Program Fellowship (1990-1993). Bei Ling writes: "I am one for whom personal freedom is a precondition for survival".