Contemporary mainland-Chinese poetry displays a great deal of diversity and dynamism. Battlers poetry (dagong shige)—writing by members of the underclass of domestic migrant workers—is a relatively recent arrival. This essay delves into the discourse surrounding battlers poetry and its interactions with other poetry “departments,” particularly that of avant-garde poetry. It does so from the perspective of cultural translation. I argue that this is especially helpful for understanding the dynamics of battlers poetry, and of “poetry” at large as a discursive space in China today. The essay offers a discussion of translated people, texts in transit, commentary as conflict and battlers poetry’s representation outside China. In closing, it asks how this poetry might affect the genre’s habitual conceptualizations.



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