Wang Ping (author)

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Wang Ping
reading at Split This Rock, 2014
reading at Split This Rock, 2014
Born (1957-08-14) August 14, 1957 (age 62)
Alma materBeijing University;
Long Island University;
New York University
GenrePoetry, stories, novel, cultural studies, photography, performance art, installation art, dance, singing
Notable worksAching for Beauty: footbinding in China, Last Communist Virgin, Ten Thousand Waves
Notable awardsEugen Kagin Award for Best Book in Humaninity, Minnesota Book Award, others
Chinese name

Wang Ping (born August 14, 1957) is a Chinese-American poet, writer, photographer, performance and installation artist, dancer, singer, and professor of English at Macalester College.

Life and education[edit]

Wang was born in Shanghai,[1] and spent her childhood on an island of the People's Republic of China in the East China Sea.[2] Despite having only a few years of primary education, she was admitted to Beijing University, from which she was awarded a BA in English Literature.[3] Wang emigrated to the United States in the following year, obtaining her MA in English Literature from Long Island University. It was at LIU that a professor inspired her to write fiction. She obtained her PhD in Comparative Literature from New York University in 1999.[3]

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 Life of Miracles along the Yangtze and Mississippi, a memoir (forthcoming from Calumet Press), 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 Flood of the Three Gorges" at Janet Fine Art Gallery, and "All Roads to Lhasa: The Qinghai-Tibet Railroad" 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.

Wang's poetry, fiction and essays are frequently published in journals and anthologies.

Wang is also a photographer and multi-media artist. She had many photo and multi-media exhibitions since 2007: "Behind the Gate: After the Flood of the Three Gorges" at Janet Fine Arts Gallery, St. Paul, "All Roads to Lhasa: The Qinghai-Tibet Railroad" at Banfille-Locke Culture Center, "Kinship of Rivers" at the Open Eye Figure Theatre, Great River Museum, Ohio, Red Wing Art Gallery, All My Relatives Gallery, Minneapolis, Soap Factory Gallery (2012, 13) and a one-month exhibition "We Are Water: Kinship of Rivers" at the Soap Factory, 2014, as the lead artist and curator.

Wang was a judge for the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Academic career[edit]

Wang spent much of the 1990s as a writing instructor or poet in residence, and in 1999 she obtained a position as assistant professor at Macalester College. She is currently a full Professor of English at Macalester, and teaches courses in creative writing and poetry.[2]


Wang has been the recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts and the New York State Council for the Arts for poetry, the Minnesota State Arts Board for fiction, Bush Foundation for the Arts (poetry), McKnight Fellowship for creative non-fiction, Lannan Foundation residency in Marfa, Vermont Studio Center residency. Her books have won Eugene Kaden Award for the Best Book in Humanity, Fiction Award for the Asian American Studies, Minnesota Book Award.,[2] Mid-west Distinct Immigrant Award, Long Island University distinct alumni award.


  • American Visa: Short Stories. Coffee House Press. 1994. ISBN 978-1-56689-025-0.
  • Foreign Devil: A Novel. Coffee House Press. 1996. ISBN 978-1-56689-048-9.
  • Of Flesh and Spirit: Poems. Coffee House Press. 1998. ISBN 978-1-56689-068-7.
  • Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China. University of Minnesota Press. 2000. ISBN 978-1-4529-0487-0.
  • The Magic Whip: Poems. Coffee House Press. 2003. ISBN 978-1-56689-147-9.
  • The Dragon Emperor: A Chinese Folktale. Lerner Publishing Group. 2008. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-0-8225-6744-8.
  • Flashcard: Poems by Yu Jian tr. Wang Ping & Ron Padgett. Zephyr Press. 2012.
  • Ten Thousand Waves: Poems by Wang Ping. Wings Press. 2014.

Further reading[edit]


External links and sources[edit]