Tahir Hamut with Darren Byler
As part of a Seattle visit initiated by the China Studies Program at the University of Washington, we are pleased to present here this bilingual reading program by visiting Uyghur Chinese poet, filmmaker, and literary critic Tahir Hamut. He will read poetry and discuss the fraught political situation in the Uyghur homeland of northwest China. The Distance and Other Poems is a recently published collection done in China (not currently available in the US).
Tahir Hamut first began writing poetry in the late 1980s when he was in Beijing studying with the Chinese language "misty" poets. During that time he was one of the leaders of the Tiananmen Square protests and became an acquaintance of the late Liu Xiaobo. He spent a number of years in prison as a result of his political and cultural work. His writing has been published throughout China and in translation in a number of outstanding poetry journals in the US including Words Without Borders, Berkeley Poetry Review, Asymptote, Crazy Horse, Gulf Coast, and Banango Street among others.
Darren Byler, who has been part of other programs by visiting Chinese writers, is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Washington.