Chair Professor Yang Mu awarded the 2016 Cikada Prize
Chair Professor Yang Mu was award the 2016 Cikada Prize by the Swedish Institute. In the afternoon of November 11th, the ceremony was held at the VIP room of NTNU. President Chang, Chair Professor Yang and other distinguished guests showed up. The Chairman of the Cikada Prize, Lars Vargö came to Taiwan to give the prize to Prof. Yang in person.
As one of the representative figures in the field of contemporary Taiwanese literature, he is famous for combining the graceful style and writing techniques of Chinese classical poetry with elements of Western culture. Apart from romantic feelings, his works also reflect strong awareness of humanistic concern, which has thus brought him widespread attention and high respect. He was named the laureate of the 2013 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, making him the first poet and the first Taiwanese writer to win the award.
The Cikada Prize was founded in 2004 following the 100th anniversary commemoration of the birth of Nobel Prize winner Harry Martinson, a Swedish poet. Because of his interest in East Asian literature, the prize is awarded to Asian poets.
The name of the prize has been inspired by Martinson's poetry collection 'Cikada', which was published in 1953. In this collection is also included the first 29 poems of his famous work Aniara, 'The Song about Doris and Mima'. The atomic bombs in Japan, followed by the construction of the world's first H-bomb in 1953, had a big impact on Martinson's writing, which is reflected in Aniara. The prize focuses on East Asian poets, writing in Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, not only because of Harry Martinson's great interest in East Asian literature, but also because the initiators of the prize believe poetry written in these languages deserves better recognition.
Chairman Lars Vargö said that “Mr. Yang is a very outstanding poet like Harry Martinson. His great works and achievements are widely praised. We hope to promote Swedish poetry in East Asia and introduce East Asian poetry in Swedish.”
In President Chang’s remarks, he talked about the Global Chinese Writing Center, founded by NTNU. We invited important writers like Mo Yan, Gao Xingjian, Göran Malmqvist as Chair Professors. We hope that students can learn from them and become future writers.