Litmus Press
Original Language(s)
Additional Credits
Cover art by Qin Feng
Design by E. Tracy Grinnell
Poetry, Translation
Edition, Year
First Edition, 2004
In Print

Another Kind of Tenderness includes translations by Keith Waldrop, Forrest Gander, Stephen Thomas, Ted Deppe, Sue Ellen Thompson with Hu Qian, Wang Ping, Hil Anderson, Waverly, and Iona Crook.

“Imagine you’re in unfolding layers of landscape,” and there you’ll find the materials of Xue Di’s love poems, where lover, beloved, and love itself—at once lost, abandoned and desired—are prone to the elements that shape, shear or lend motion to. Here, “in the raw center of an open wound,” there appears an open world.

Keith Waldrop
Keith Waldrop was born in Kansas and served in the United States military. He studied at Aix-Marseille and Michigan Universities, earning a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1964. His first book of poetry, A Windmill Near ... Read More
Xue Di
The Chinese poet Xue Di came to the United States immediately after the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989 in Beijing, becoming writer-in-residence at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a fellow in Brown's Freedom to Write Program. ... Read More
Forrest Gander
Ted Deppe
Stephen Thomas
Sue Ellen Thomas
Hil Anderson
Wang Ping
Waverly Crook
Iona Crook

During the Cultural Revolution, we basically cut off the connection between ourselves and our tradition. That was one reason I—and my entire generation—did not read or focus on classical poetry… We were so hungry for the fruits of Western society. But now in the United States… I’m paying much more attention to classical poetry, the Tang dynasty, the Sung dynasty… I absorb and draw so much from that.

— Xue Di, Poet Lore


Praise for Another Kind of Tenderness

Xue Di’s poetry is at once fierce and tender. The poems in this collection are charged with ambient details, each one so chosen out of desire and the impossible need to articulate the beloved throughout the perceptual world. The translations are stunning. This is gorgeous work.

— Peter Gizzi

A loveless childhood/makes a man contagious all his life,” Xue Di says in his poem, “Valentine’s Day.” He goes on to chart love’s fevers, despairs, and obsessions in poems whose language is utterly original—and yes, contagious. Having survived a broken home, childhood abandonment, and China’s cultural revolution, he emerges as a vibrant proponent of life’s most essential joys and pleasures, captured in poems that are both lush and piercing.

— Sue Ellen Thompson

This contemporary Chinese poet-in-exile at Brown University effortlessly channels the divine melancholy of the T’ang masters.

— Warren Woessner, American Book Review

These love poems have new complexities, inner balances that however great the vertigo, keep them moving forward. The result is a book that belongs with the greatest books of love poetry — Petrarch, Shakespeare’s sonnets, Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil.

— Tom D’Evelyn, The Providence Journal

The voice of Xue Di in Another Kind of Tenderness is so full, so complete, that it manages to emerge whole from the poems even though they’ve been rendered into English by a large and disparate group of translators. This represents the greatest success of the translators, too: through their own divergent voices they form a chorus that harmonizes with the singular voice of the single poet.… The unity and presence of Xue Di’s voice is indeed truly remarkable. In both Chinese and English, the language of the poems swings between tautness and sentimentalism, and yet one poet’s vocal presence unites it all.

— Lucas Klein, Rain Taxi

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