2019 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature Winner – Xi Xi
Hong Kong literature has for too long been relegated to a secondary position, or even worse—it is as though the city is incapable of producing significant literary works and writers of note. Hong Kong poetry is to many perhaps an even more abstract and chimerical concept. Xi Xi’s poetry, at times whimsical and at times serious, speaks to the character of the city and its people. Her poems also demonstrate how stories of a city can be told through narratives that are at first glance insignificant, allegories and fairy tales instead of grand statements. Feminine, tender, witty, observant, and capable of tugging at the heartstrings, Xi Xi’s poetry reminds us Hong Kong poetry should not be ignored in any discussion. – Dr. Tammy Lai-Ming Ho, Xi Xi’s nominator (Hong Kong Baptist University)
The Newman Prize for Chinese Literature is hosted by the University of Oklahoma’s Institute for US-China Issues, which seeks to advance mutual trust in US-China relations. Literature and other cultural products can promote understanding through their celebration of our common humanity. OU is also home to World Literature Today, a leading journal of world literature, and the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. The Newman Prize honors Harold J. and Ruth Newman, whose generous endowment for a chair at the University of Oklahoma enabled the creation of the OU Institute for US-China Issues.
2009 Inaugural winner Mo Yan, paving the way for his 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature
Jonathan Stalling interviewing Harold J. and Ruth Newman, the donors of the Newman Prize for Chinese Literature