EAS-MA Alumnus Releases Book of Poetry, Music Album

April 30, 2018

Mark-To-Joe(马克吐舟)is an avant-garde Chinese poet and folk-rock singer-songwriter. He graduated from Peking University with a bachelor's degree Chinese Literature, and earned his M.A. in East Asian Studies from Duke University (2015). He was the leader of the poetry society at Peking University, and focused on post-humanism in Chinese contemporary literature during his study at Duke. After graduation, he picked up his pen and guitar, and started a career of music and creative writing. Recently he released his first music album Empty Fire and the homonymous poetry collection.

Empty Fire attempts to break through the insipidity of nowadays’ folk platitude and re-injects into the folk-rock tradition a profound, novel and most importantly, “euphonic” humanism. Appropriating the elements of Metal, Post Rock, and Ambient music, this album portrays the underside of modern daily life, the dark side of our hearts, imaginative salvation, and our persistent existence, like a fire that burns for no reason but nevertheless attempts to perpetuate itself.

Joe's poetry collection is a continuation of his academic reflections at Duke, intending to challenge the normative presumptions on body, sex, and humanity. His language flows between delicate lyrical expressions and hyperbolic irony, forming a unique theatrical style. He invited two young Chinese artists to draw more than 30 illustrations, making it the final product an interactive artwork.

For additional information, please refer to Mark-to-Joe's website (in Chinese).