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Famous Taiwanese poet Yu Kwang-chung dies at 89

2017/12/14 17:28:16

Yu Kwang-chung (余光中, CNA file photo)

Kaohsiung, Dec. 14 (CNA) Renowned contemporary Taiwanese poet and writer Yu Kwang-chung (余光中) passed away Thursday in Kaohsiung at the age of 89, according to a statement issued by National Sun Yat-sen University, where he served as professor emeritus before his retirement.

Yu died in hospital after suffering a stroke and developing a pulmonary infection, according to Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital. He is survived by his wife and daughters.

Yu, a famous litterateur and poet, was born in 1928 in Nanjing and moved to Taiwan in 1950.

A prolific and versatile writer, Yu published 80 books of prose, poetry and other genres, some of which were used as textbooks in high schools and universities in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

He was lauded in literary circles for his "unrivaled achievement in writing poems with his right hand and prose with his left hand."

Yu's poems include the masterpiece "Nostalgia," which is widely acclaimed in ethnic Chinese communities around the world.

His writings were also an inspiration in the folk song movement in Taiwan, having been adopted as songs by musicians Lee Tai-hsiang (李泰祥) and Lo Ta-yu (羅大佑), and the father of Taiwan folk music Yang Hsien (楊弦).

Yu was a recipient of several major literary awards in Taiwan, including the National Awards of Art in Poetry in 1989 and the Executive Yuan Culture Award in 2014, for his longstanding contribution to the enrichment of the local artistic and creative landscape.

In 1991, he was named an honorary fellow of the Hong Kong Translation Society.

Over the course of his career, Yu served as professor and dean at National Sun Yat-Sen University, visiting professor at National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology, and associate professor at Michigan State University in the United States.

(By Lo Yuan-shao and Evelyn Kao)
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