“Without poetry, how can we live?” said Confucius to his son, who whined about having to study and write poetry every day.
Why do we write? What’s the need to write? What’s the meaning of writing?
For me, it’s the condition to be alive, after the basic needs for food and shelter are met: to be alive as a human, a conscious, conscientious being. It marks me as a person aware of who I am, why I am, how I am, and what connects me to the world outside my consciousness.
Writing is our daily mirror: we face our beauty and shadows up close, no shame or fear, no judgment or grandiose.
Words can hurt and kill. They also soothe and heal. We are warriors who bring peace, unity and joy together through poetry, stories, and memories.
When we write poetry, we are on the highest level of consciousness and joy. Our brain becomes the quantum field where anything and everything is possible, where we step into the two rivers at the same time, where magic is a norm.
We are ambassadors of joy. We are messengers of harmony. We are warriors of peace.
~ Wang Ping
Wang Ping was born in Shanghai and came to USA in 1986. She is the founder and director of the Kinship of Rivers project, a five-year project that 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 and food. She paddles along the Mississippi River and its tributaries, giving poetry and art workshops along the river communities, making thousands of flags as gifts and peace ambassadors between the Mississippi and the Yangtze Rivers.
Her publications include Ten Thousand Waves, poetry book from Wings Press, 2014, American Visa (short stories, 1994), Foreign Devil (novel, 1996), Of Flesh and Spirit (poetry, 1998), The Magic Whip (poetry, 2003), The Last Communist Virgin (stories, 2007), all from Coffee House, New Generation: Poetry from China Today, 1999 from Hanging Loose Press, Flash Cards: Poems by Yu Jian, co-translation with Ron Padgett, 2010 from Zephyr Press. Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China (2000, University of Minnesota Press, 2002 paperback by Random House) won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities. The Last Communist Virgin won 2008 Minnesota Book Award and Asian American Studies Award. She had many multi-media exhibitions: “Behind the Gate: After the Flooding of the Three Gorges” at Janet Fine Art Gallery, and “All Roads to Lhasa” at Banfill-Lock Cultural Center, and “Kinship of Rivers” at the Soap Factory in St. Paul and Minneapolis, Great River Museum in Illinois, Fireworks Press at St. Louis, Great River Road Center at Prescott, Wisconsin, Emily Carr University in Vancouver, University of California Santa Barbara, and many other places. She collaborated with the British filmmaker Isaac Julien on Ten Thousand Waves, a film installation about the illegal Chinese immigration in London. She is the recipient of 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.
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