YA SHI, born in 1966, grew up during the Cultural Revolution and studied mathematics at Beijing University. He embarked on his poetry career in 1990, becoming the editor of an influential underground magazine, winning the prestigious Liu Li'an prize, and publishing several collections of poetry through official and unofficial channels. By remaining in Sichuan province most of his adult life, he has eschewed the Beijing literary scene, and works mainly in seclusion from a larger literary community, engaging with readers online and through the samizdat publications of south China. He has gained a significant following in China of people attracted to his imagination and daring writing. He teaches mathematics in a city near Chengdu.