Great River Writes: Wang Ping

The Kinship of Rivers: A Multi-Media Presentation

Saturday | November 10 | 11:00am-2:00pm
Winona Public Library

Wang Ping is a novelist, poet, scholar and performance artist. Her program in Winona is titled “The Kinship of Rivers: We Are Water,” and will feature excerpts from her new memoir Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and the Mississippi as well as other pieces including short films,  related to the theme of living between the physical presences of the two rivers and between the two cultures. After her presentation she will lead a workshop in making prayer flags. Her Kinship of Rivers project builds a sense of kinship among the people who live along the Mississippi and Yangtze Rivers through exchanging gifts of art, poetry, stories, music, dance, food, and thousands of prayer flags.

Wang split her childhood partially on an island of the People’s Republic of China in the East China Sea and as a farm laborer during the Cultural Revolution. Despite having only a primary education, she graduated from Beijing University with a BA in English Literature. She emigrated to the United States and eventually earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University.

She has published three books of poetry, a novel, a book of stories and a scholarly work about footbinding and she has received numerous awards and fellowships for her writing. Her many performance pieces and collaborations are always compelling.

Her books include Ten Thousand Waves (poetry), American Visa (short stories), Foreign Devil (novel), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry), The Magic Whip (poetry), The Last Communist Virgin (stories), New Generation: Poetry from China Today (editor), Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian (co-translator), and Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (a scholarly work). She has won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities. the Minnesota Book Award and the Asian American Studies Award. She is also the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York State Council of the Arts, Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Artist Fellowship, Lannan Foundation Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center Fellowship, and the McKnight Artist Fellowship. Her work has been published widely and her performance pieces and collaborations are numerous and always compelling.

Gretel Ehrlich says “Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi is free-wheeling, unusual, and always charged as it swings back and forth in time and cultures. These are mountain and river tales wound together like eels navigating the muddy waters of political, cultural, and personal displacement and wars waged against the human spirit.”

This event is co-sponsored by Winona Public Library and The Great River Review.

The River Arts Alliance is a collaborator of the Great River Writes Series.


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