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Duo Duo or Duoduo ( , 1951 - ) is the pen name of contemporary Chinese poet, Li Shizheng (栗世征), a prominent exponent of the "Misty" or "Obscure" school of modern Chinese poetry (朦胧诗).


Duo Duo was born in Beijing, Chinamarker. As a youth in the Cultural Revolution, he was sent down to the countryside in Baiyangding (白洋汀), where he began reading and writing poetry. Several of his schoolmates would also become famous as members of the underground poetry movement described as "Misty" by the authorities: Bei Dao, Gu Cheng and Mang Ke.

Duo Duo's early poems are short and elliptical, in which some see barbed political references. In his early poems, there are numerous intertextual links to Western poets such as Charles Baudelaire, Marina Tsvetaeva and Sylvia Plath. His style underwent a shift in the mid-1980's to longer, more philosophical poetry. In contrast to the clipped, image-based style of Bei Dao, Duo Duo tended to use longer, more flowing lines, and paid more attention to sound and rhetoric. Some of his poems border on the essayistic, such as the 1984 Lessons also translated as Instruction (诲教), which spoke for China's "lost generation" as much as Bei Dao's Answer.

In 1989, Duo Duo was witness to the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989marker, and as fortune had it, he was booked on a plane on 4 June to Londonmarker where he was due to give a poetry reading at the British Museummarker. He went on to live for many years in the UK, Canada, and the Netherlands. His poetic language went through another shift, taking up the themes of exile and rootlessness. In the absence of a Chinese-speaking community, Duo Duo began to use the Chinese language more self-consciously. Sometimes his poems border on the impenetrable yet are highly effective, such as the poem Watching the Sea (看海).

In 2004, with the nationality of Netherland, Duo Duo returned to China where he was honored both by a younger generation of poets and by the literary establishment. He now teaches at Hainan University on the tropical Hainan Islandmarker where the Chinese poet Su Dongpo (Su Shi, 1037–1101) was once exiled by the Chinese authorities.


In 2009, a jury representing nine countries selected Duo Duo as the 2010 winner of the $50,000 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, making him the award's 21st laureate and the first Chinese author to win the prize.


The author and academic Gregory B. Lee has translated many of Duo Duo's poems into English, and has written about the poet's work, most recently in his book China's Lost Decade[328745].


  1. Poet from China awarded $50,000 Neustadt prize
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