Skip to main content

Wai-Lim Yip Collection


Called by Jerome Rothenberg, "The linking figure between American modernism (in-the-line-of-Pound) and Chinese traditions and practices,” Wai-lim Yip (葉維廉,1937- ) is known for his work as a transpacific poet, translator, critic, and theorist between Taiwan and America for over 45 years. Born in Kwangtung Province, China, he spent his early years in Hong Kong before moving to Taiwan, where he received his BA (1959), and MA (1961) in English. He became a leading modernist poet and theorist and has won many literary prizes, including an award from the Ministry of Education and recognition as one of the Ten Major Modern Chinese Poets. In 1964, he received an MFA from the University of Iowa for a volume of original English poems, and in 1967 he obtained a Ph.D. in comparative literature at Princeton University. 

More Info

Yip is most well-known for his attempts to synthesize the heritage of the Chinese poets of the 1930's and 1940's and Western modernism and elements of classical Chinese poetry. Yip’s work as a translator helped introduce classical and contemporary Chinese poetics to American poets from the late 1960's through the present. Likewise, his work and his translations of English poetry into Chinese are widely accredited as having a major influence on contemporary Chinese poetry in both the mainland and Taiwan. The Wai-lim Yip collection includes many first editions, publications from throughout his career, correspondence, unpublished manuscripts, and teaching materials that span the three decades of his work as a professor at the University of California, San Diego.