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Yu Ouyang Yu Ouyang i(A19154 works by) (a.k.a. 欧阳昱; Ouyang Yu)
Also writes as: Richard O'Young ; Bin Bin ; Zuo Yu ; Ouyang Xiu ; 'Ouyang Malley'
Born: Established: 1955 Huangzhou,
East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: Apr 1991
Heritage: Chinese
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Ouyang Yu graduated from Wuhan Institute of Hydro-Electric Engineering (now Wuhan University) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and American Literature, then completed a Master of Arts degree in Australian and English literature at East China Normal University in Shanghai. From 1983 to 1986 he worked as an interpreter and translator in China and as a lecturer in English at Wuhan University from 1989 to 1991.

After coming to Australia, Ouyang undertook his Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree at La Trobe University on the representation of the Chinese in Australian fiction. Since then his literary work has appeared regularly in most major Australian and many overseas literary journals. In addition to his poetry, criticism and English translations of Chinese literature, he has translated many major Australian works into Chinese, including The Shock of the New by Robert Hughes and The Female Eunuch and The Whole Woman by Germaine Greer.

In 1995 he was awarded a translation grant by Arts Victoria for The Ancestor Game by Alex Miller and the following year received a major grant from the National Book Council for a translation of The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead. Also in late 1994 he co-founded Otherland (Australia's first Chinese-language literary journal) with Ding Xiaoqi. In 1998 he published his first book of Chinese-language poetry and was awarded the major grant for literary translation from the Australian Society of Authors for a translation of Capricornia by Xavier Herbert. In 2000 he received another translation grant from the Australian Society of Authors. His first English novel, The Eastern Slope Chronicle was completed with assistance from a grant provided by Arts Victoria in 1999. He also won a grant from Arts Victoria to assist him in the writing of his second novel, published in 2010 as The English Class and named one of the Best Books of 2010 in the Australian Book Review and The Age as well as the Sydney Morning Herald. This novel has since won the Community Relations Award in the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literature Award, and was short-listed for the Community Relations Award and Christina Stead Fiction Award in the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literature Award, the 2011 Western Australia Premier’s Literature Award and the 2011 Queensland Premier’s Literature Award. In 2012, it was short-listed for Melbourne Prize. The writing of his third novel, Loose: A Wild History was also supported by an Australia Council grant and was published in 2011, completing his Yellow Town Trilogy of novels.

Ouyang's work has received numerous awards and prizes. In 1988 and 1989 he received third prize in the East China Normal University Award for Social Science Research. In 1990 he won second prize in the First National Ge Baoquan Award for Foreign Short Stories in Chinese Translation for his translation of 'A Report from the Shadow Industry' by Peter Carey. In 1999, he was awarded a grant by AsiaLink to be writer in residence at Beijing University, China, as part of AsiaLink Residence Program, to write his non-fictional book, On the Smell of an Oily Rag: Notes on the Margins. In 2000 his Chinese-language novel The Angry Wu Zili received the Award for Excellence in Fiction from the Federation of Overseas Chinese Associations, Taiwan, as did his critical work Representing the Other: Chinese in Australian Fiction: 1888-1988, written in Chinese, in the category of Social and Humane Studies in 2001. In October 2003 Ouyang's self-published hand-made collection of English poetry, Foreign Matter, received the Award for Self-published Books in the category of poetry in Fastbooks Self-publishing Competition at the 4th Australian Publishers and Authors Bookshow. In 2013, Ouyang was shortlisted for the Translation Prize in the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards and he also won an Honour Prize (for complete works) in Naji Naaman's literary prizes 2013. In 2016, he won an Australia Council grant for writing a book of bilingual poetry and a special award from the Australia-China Council for 'his contributions to Australian Studies in China through major translations and original works of scholarship'.

Ouyang’s poetry has been included in the Best Australian poetry collections 7 times between 2004 and 2011, and has been included in major Australian anthologies, such as The Penguin Anthology of Australian Poetry (2009) and The Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature (2010).

Also a member of AliTra, the Victorian Writers' Centre and the Australian-Chinese Writers Association as well as the Australian Society of Authors, Ouyang has acted as a Coordinator for the Chinese Arts Festival in Victoria. He judged the Victorian Premier's Literary Award in 2000 in the literary translation category and has examined Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) theses on literature for various Australian universities. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Faculty of Arts, Deakin University (1999-2001) and a postdoctoral fellow at Deakin University (2003). He was Professor of Australian Literature in the English Department, Wuhan University, People's Republic of China (2005-2008), as well as writer in residence at ANU, ADFA and UC in 2007. He is now professor of English at Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, China.

As a translator, he has also translated Robert Hughes's Nothing If Not Critical: Selected Essays on Art & Artists into Chinese (Nanjing University Publisher, 2016). In 2018, he translated Eve Herold's Beyond Human: How Cutting-Edge Science Is Extending Our Lives (Beijing United Publishing Company, February 2018) and Elephant: Poems of D.H. Lawrence (Sichuan Art and Literature Publishing House, April 2018).

For additional information on works not individually indexed on AustLit, see Notes.

Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages:ENGLISH, CHINESE
  • Additional Works (Original Poems):

    In addition to works individually indexed on AustLit, Ouyang Yu has also released the following works:

    • ‘The Quongs’, #11, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Ward’, #10, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘They left’, #9, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘The tree’, #8, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Australian-bashing’, #7, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Done’, #6, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Like’, #5, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Pauline Hanson: Multiply Translated’, #4, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Bad Translation (2)’, #2, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • ‘Bad Translation’, #1, by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • six Chinese poems under a general title, ‘bei tiankong zhebi de ren’ [被天空遮蔽的人](One Concealed by the Skies): respectively, ‘shenye yuji’ [深夜雨霁] (Rain stopped late at night), ‘yige xiazi geiwo suanming’ [一个瞎子给我算命] (A blind fortune-teller tells me that), ‘ao xiao liya’ [澳小利亚] (Aus[mall]tralia), ‘tou’ [头] (Head), ‘zhebi’ [遮蔽] (Concealed), and ‘100 duonian hou’ [100多年后] (In a 100 years), all published in Yunjian Arts and Literature [云间文艺], No. 3, 2016, pp. 64-66.
    • six Chinese poems, titled, ‘feizhou’ [非洲](Africa); ‘Bach’; ‘27’; ‘Andi de hansheng’ [安迪的鼾声](Andy’s Snoring Sound); ‘baokuo’ [包括](Included); and ‘weixin’ [微信](We Chat), published in Pujiang Literature [浦江文学], No. 5, Spring issue, 2018, pp. 38-41.
    • 'Bad English' (poem), Voice & Verse, no. 39-40, 2018, p.9.
    • ‘Translator’s heart carving an insect’ (Part 246), (an essay with a Chinese title, yi xin diao chong), Pacific Times(Chinese title: dayang shibao), 16/3/2018, p. A13.
    • 'Translator’s heart carving an insect’ (Part 245), (an essay with a Chinese title, yi xin diao chong), Pacific Times(Chinese title: dayang shibao), 9/3/2018, p. A13.
    • ‘Translator’s heart carving an insect’ (Part 244), (an essay with a Chinese title, yi xin diao chong), Pacific Times (Chinese title: dayang shibao), 23/2/2018, p. A12.
    • 'Tanshi duihua lu jiantan yi sha' (《谈诗对话录兼谈伊沙》) [ A Self-dialogue about Poetry and Yi Sha], published in Hong Kong, in Qianshao (《前哨》) [Front Post], December 1998, pp. 112-4.
    • '[Untitled]' (first line: 'I hate spring'], Narcissus [ANU] no. 10, 1994, p.6.
    • five Chinese poems, titled ‘ershiqi sui’ [二十七岁](27 Years of Age), ‘pangde shuo’ [庞德说] (Pound Seth), ‘shijie wenxue’ [世界文学](World Literature),  ‘jiushi’ [旧事](Things old), ‘huiqu zaishuo’[回去再说](We’ll talk about it when we go back), published in An Anthology of Pioneering Chinese Poetry [中国先锋诗歌年鉴], 2017, pp. 557-565.
  • Additional Works (Translations):

    In addition to works individually indexed on AustLit, Ouyang Yu has also translated the following works:

    • poem by Wu Suzhen, 'Raising a tigress', translated from the Chinese by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • poem by Yang Xie, 'What Did they Say When They were Talking about Miłosz', translated from the Chinese by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • poem by Mo Xiaoxie, 'We didn't owe each other anything anymore', translated from the Chinese by Ouyang Yu, published in Project 366, at:
    • seven poems by Bakhytzhan Kanapianov, translated into Chinese by Ouyang Yu, in Shilin (诗林) 195.4 (2016): 93-96.
    • twelve poems by American poet Jack Gilbert, translated by Ouyang Yu into Chinese, published in Shikan (《诗刊》)(Poetry Monthly),11 (2016): pp. 68-72.
    • one poem by Li Suo, 'My Fire Is There within You', translated by Ouyang Yu, published in The Australian, 2-3 September 2017.
    • one volume of poem by Ardakh Nurgaz, A Garden of Trees and Other Poems, translated by Ouyang Yu and self-published by Nurgaz in Kazakhstan, 2017.
    • 'Island', 'Death Be Not Proud', and 'The Flea', by John Donne, translated by Ouyang Yu and published in Sanjiaofan (《三角帆》), No. 33, Spring issue, 2017, pp. 94-6.
    • Beyond Human: How Cutting-edge Science is Extending Our Lives by Eve Herold, translated by Ouyang Yu (Beijing Xirong Books, 2018).
    • Chinese Englishes: A Sociolinguistic History, by Kingsley Bolton, translated by Ouyang Yu, Shanghai Literature and Arts Publishing House, 2011.
    • 7 poems, translated from English into Chinese, including《在过去那些日子里》(‘In Those Old Days’)by John Freeman,《气质》(‘The Temperaments’)by Ezra Pound,《回忆半夜在镜中看到的演员》(‘A Memory of the Players in a Mirror at Midnight’)by James Joyce,《恋人》(‘The Equilibrists’)by John Crowe Ransom,《事实》(‘Fact of the Fact’)by Robert Graves,《数心跳》(‘Counting the Beats’)by Robert Graves and《纯洁的死亡》by Robert Graves,published in Poem Reference(《诗参考》),No. 1, 2002, pp. 207-210.
    • Six poems translated from the Chinese into the English, including “A casual poem composed after my return to my hometown”, by He Zhizhang, ‘The Traveller’ by Wang Jiaxin, ‘The Soil and the Letter’ by Song Xiaoxian, ‘The Waking of Insects’ by Fei Ya, ‘Someone with Tooth-ache’ by Song Yaozhen, and ‘Wood Ear’ by Luruo Diji, in Modern Poetry in Translation (London), no. 21, 2003, pp. 231-236.
    • ‘“When the lines...” Boris Pasternak’ (《“当诗行……”鲍里斯•帕斯捷尔纳克》), ‘And through’(《而穿过》), ‘Ostankino’(《奥斯坦金诺》), ‘Almaty, Kazakhstan’(《哈萨克斯坦阿拉木图》), ‘The Tourist Trip’(《游客之旅》), ‘The Song of the Vagabond’(《浪游者的歌》), ‘Somnabulic Sonnet’(《梦游者的商籁诗), ‘On the Melody of My Childish Books’(《伴着孩子气的书的乐曲》), all in English by Bakhytzhan Kanapyanov, a Kazakh poet, and translated into Chinese, published in shijie wenxue(《世界文学》)[World Literature], No. 3, 2017, respectively, pp. 100-115.
  • In 2018, Verse Vagrant published an interview with Ouyang Yu in Russian: view interview. (Sighted: 30/7/2018)

Awards for Works

Fainting with Freedom 2015 selected work poetry

Fainting with Freedom displays Ouyang Yu's characteristic wrestlings with absurdity, the quotidian and the pain of history, while maintaining a distinctly different take on what constitutes 'the self'. The poems shimmer with language-play - through slippages between English and Chinese, a more illuminating existential truth arises. – John Kinsella

'Why,' asks Ouyang Yu in this stunning new collection, is fame 'never associated with failure?' From the great consensus challenger of our age, Fainting with Freedom skewers all the truisms we have been forced by culture to hold too dear, its language abundant with the honesty, percipience and pith we know to expect from this major writer. – Nicholas Birns, Editor, Antipodes

'Ouyang Yu has mellowed but is by no means tamed. Anger has given way to sadness, occasional bitterness, but also acceptance; his linguistic fireworks explode on the page. This collection cements Ouyang's position as one of Australia's most innovative poets. Wenche Ommundsen.' (Publication summary)

2016 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Kenneth Slessor Prize for Poetry
The English Class 2010 single work novel 'At the end of the Cultural Revolution in China in the late 1970s Jing, an educated youth (zhishi qingnian) who has spent a few years as a peasant in the countryside, becomes a truck driver in a provincial shipyard. He manages to teach himself English in adverse circumstances while driving his truck, eventually passing the examination to get into the English Class at Donghu University. There, he meets with classmates from vastly different cultural backgrounds and falls in love with Deirdre, the estranged partner of Dr Wagner the English teacher. This engaging and masterful novel explores the aspiration of many to migrate to English speaking countries. Like much of Ouyang's work it subtly deconstructs the mechanisms of colonialism against an increasingly vibrant Chinese economy. The vivid fictional life of a Chinese truck driver who aspires to the western life is beautifully and evocatively realised.' -- From the publisher's website
2012 finalist Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award
2011 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
2011 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Community Relations Commission Award
2011 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction Fiction
2010 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction
Foreign Matter 2003 selected work poetry The book contains twelve long sequences, totalling about sixty poems that were written over a period of eight years from 1995 to 2002 in Australia.
2003 winner Wild & Woolley Prize for Best Independently Published Australian Books Poetry
Last amended 27 Sep 2018 08:01:25
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