Thursday, September 28, 2017
The Writing University conducts is a series of interviews with writers while they are in Iowa City participating in the International Writing Program's fall residency. We sit down with authors to ask about their work, their process and their descriptions of home.
Today we are spaeking with CAI Tianxin  蔡天新, a poet and essayist from China.
1. Do you have a plan or project in mind for your time at the residency?
Cai: Not clearly in my mind, but I think I will write dozens of poems, take some beautiful photos and revise my travel book of North America, also I will try to make some friends and attend the seminar of Prof. Yang-bo Ye in math department. 
2. What does your daily practice look like for your writing? Do you have a certain time when you write? Any specific routine?
Usually I write poems on my trip, e.g., at the residency, on the plane or on the train. And when I stay at home, I write more essays. A beautiful title is half done. 
3. What are you currently reading right now? Are you reading for research or pleasure?
I am reading a book titled "Prime Obsession", it is a biography of great Germany mathematician Bernhard Riemann. Usually, I read both for research and for pleasure.
4. What is something the readers and writers of Iowa City should know about you and/or your work?
24 years ago, I passed through Iowa three times as a traveller, by train and by greyhound.  I write three things: poetry, essays and travels, mathemtical culture.
5. Tell us a bit about where you are from -- what are some favorite details you would like to share about your home?
I was born in Taizhou, a city on southeast China shore, and now a professor of mathematics in Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, which is the most beautiful city in China and around 100 miles away from Shanghai.
Thank you Tianxin!
CAI Tianxin  蔡天新  (poet, essayist; China) is a professor of mathematics at Zhejiang University and the author of some 30 books of poetry, essays, and mathematics texts in China and abroad, including Every Cloud Has Its Own Name (2017) and Antologia Poetica (2014). A translator and editor of several poetry anthologies, he is the winner of the 2013 Naji Naaman Poetry Award (Beirut) and the 2017 National Award of Science and Technology (Beijing)  for his book of essays [Mathematical Legends]. His participation is made possible by the Paul and Hualing Engle Fund.