Hsia Yu (夏宇) is a pioneering poet and playwright who has broke free from the conventions of women's writing with her witty use of postmodern techniques. Taking inspiration from everyday life, her poetry employs provocative language and whimsical words, refreshing readers through her unique insights and interpretation about life.
Holding a degree in film and drama from the National Taiwan University of the Arts, Hsia Yu started writing poems when she was nineteen. In 1984, she self-published 500 limited editions of her first poetry book "Memo (備忘錄)." Collecting works she composed from 1976 to 1984, all 500 copies were sold out in a year.
Hsia Yu's unique and avant-garde style soon drew many readers into her musical poetry and language puzzles following her poetry debut. As much as she has developed a distinct form of poetry, she avoids establishing a signature style and constantly experiments with new techniques in her composition without fitting herself into any culture or theory.
"Ventriloquy (腹語術)," her second self-published poetry collection, again challenged the traditional restraints of Chinese-language poetry, layering texts and images to create a new aesthetic style and another way of expression that is free from categorization.
Hsia Yu's third poetry collection, "Friction．indescribable (摩擦·無以名狀)," is a book comprised of rearranged text collages that are cut from “Ventriloquy." She elevated the use of text to another level by giving it new life and meaning, and the intentional repurposing of her poems show boldness and creativity.
Her next book "Salsa," which collects poems she wrote in Paris from 1991 to 1998, is a deckle-edge book that requires readers to tear or cut pages before reading a poem inside. The fragmented organization and abstract structure of text give vibrant voice to each poem and encourage readers to reinterpret.
"Pink Noise (紅色噪音)," Hsia Yu's latest book, is another breakthrough creation. The book collects a total of 33 "translated poems" printed in both Chinese and English on plastic see-through pages. First collecting English phases online, she then translated the text through a software called "Sherlock" to create bilingual poetry.
In recent years, Hsia Yu continues to challenge traditions and has tried her hand at combining music, recitation, and painting with poetry. Her new releases include an album titled "Yu-hun Band (愈混樂隊)" that presents integration of music lyrics and poetry through song and recital.