Huan Fu 1922-
Born Chen Wuxiong, 1922, in Nantou County, Taiwan. Known as Chen Qianwu.
Huan Fu is the pen name under which he published his poetry. He also published novels and criticism using the name Chen Qianwu. He served in the Taiwanese special volunteer forces during the Japanese occupation of Taiwan. After the war, he worked 26 years in the personnel department of the forestry bureau. He also worked in the government offices in Taizhong for 5 years. At the establishment of the municipally-funded cultural centre in Taizhong in 1976, he was appointed director.
Chen Qianwu is a writer of the so-called ‘trans-linguisitic’ generation. Beginning from the publication in 1939 of his first new poem ‘One moment on a summer’s night’ in the arts column of the ‘New Taiwanese Journal [tai wan xin min bao] edited by Huang Deshi, he started his compositions in Japanese. His works of this time mostly expressed the honest and simple feelings of his youth, tinged with a little sadness. After the outbreak of the Second World War he was posted to Malaya and hence stopped writing.
After the War, he made a renewed study of Chinese due to the abandonment of the use of Japanese. After ten years he at last published his first poem in Chinese ‘The view outside [wai jing]’ on the Blue Star poetry page of the Kung Lun Pao. After this, as well as working hard at his own compositions, Chen at the same time was translating modern Japanese poetry, thus beginning his literary life of both composition and translation.
His first collection of poetry in Chinese was ‘Forest Poems [mi lin shi chao] published in 1963. Following this, together with other poets(it lists their names, but some are illegible) he founded the ‘Straw Hat Poetry Bimonthly’ in April of 1964. His poetic skills gradually achieved maturity through exchanges with his fellow poets. At the same time he was editing the page ‘Poetry Outlook [shi zhan wang] in the fortnightly literary magazine put out by the Min Sheng Jih Pao newspaper. Starting in September 1965 he founded a poetry magazine also called ‘Poetry Outlook’, publishing 28 editions in all. In the eight years between 1966 and 1974, Chen entered his richest creative period, publishing ten books of poems in quick succession. Collections such as ‘Matsu’s Footbindings [ma zu de chan zu]’ and ‘Wild Deer [ye lu]’ expressing strong dissatisfaction and criticism for reality, are representative of this period of his work. His recent work has gradually become more gentle and steady. Aside from poetry, Chen’s creative achievements in novels are also considerable. In 1979 he won the Wu Taoliu Literature Prize for his short story ‘Hunting Down the Woman Criminal[lie nu fan]’. Chen has also been active in the translation of contemporary Japanese and Korean poetry, helping poetic exchanges between China, Japan and Korea.
Chen Qianwu’s creative life spans two generations, but the difficulties of a linguistic transformation were no obstacle to his creative enthusiasm, indeed in the end he was able to use Chinese to make achievements in several different languages, applying giving his intellectual vigour to cultural and literary exchanges between China, Korea and Japan. Chen’s persistence in and enthusiasm for literature deserve our praise and emulation.
[The above is my translation of some biographical notes about Huan Fu. I collaborated on some translations of his work for an anthology of contemporary Taiwanese poetry. This has never appeared in English anywhere else I'm aware of.