Gu Gang 古冈

Gu Gang was born in 1962 in the Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. He went to college in Shenzhen of southern China and is currently living and working in Shanghai. He was the editor of an independent literary journal called Zero Degree Writing. He has written over three thousand poems since 1987.

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Earthly Burdens

Gu Gang 古冈

Publication Date: August 1, 2013

$10 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-59709-804-5


Earthly Burdens is Gu Gang’s first collection of poetry with ISBN, meaning he has previously self-published two books of poetry without ISBN. A poet from grass-roots, Gu Gang has experimented with various styles over the last thirty years on his own. He has never belonged to the intellectual writing, nor the spoken language group. He has overcome shallow lyricism early on and found his individual voice with a dual feature of both contemporary and classical tones. He focuses on the metropolitan city where he lives but presents a wasteland like Shanghai. With the publication of this careful selection of poems over a 30-year span, his work has finally caught nationwide attention in China.


“As an experimental poet, Gu Gang has tried many different ways and modes. His writing is unusual compared with most poets nowadays in that he might have restricted his imagination within his sensual experience, with a perspective focused on a few major streets in the center of Shanghai city where he lives and works. But this narrowness seems very unique and personally motivated. His dull style turns out to be penetrating and straight to the point. Literature has always been pointless stories. Gu Gang’s writing has proved that when poetry takes over life, we don’t really lose much— even if we do, we do it more directly.”—Xiao Kaiyu 萧开愚 (poet and professor of Chinese Literature at Henan University)