Pei Pei the Monkey King

Wawa (also published as Lo Mei Wa) is a Hong Kong poet. She received degrees in Philosophy from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands. She has been a singer, a lyricist, an art and design magazine editor, and a cowherd. Her poems have been featured in various art exhibits, and in a Radiophrenia Glasgow broadcast. She has lived in Köln and Pengchau, and now lives in Honolulu.

Henry Wei Leung is the author of Paradise Hunger (Swan Scythe, 2012) and the recipient of Kundiman, Soros, and Fulbright fellowships. His poems, essays, and translations have appeared in such journals as the Berkeley Poetry Review, Drunken Boat, and The Offing. He is currently the Managing Editor of the Hawai‘i Review.

Pei Pei the Monkey King
by Wawa. 90 pages; $15; ISBN 978-0-9891861-9-3


Pei Pei the Monkey King, Wawa’s first book, is a playful book about painful subjects in contemporary Hong Kong, namely the Umbrella Revolution of 2014, the Fishball Revolution of 2016 and an on-going epidemic of suicides among young people. The author, who has recently moved to Honolulu, knows internal and external exile. The translator, Henry Wei Leung, has written a clear and perceptive introduction to the language and politics of Hong Kong. He also addresses the difficulties in translating Chinese poetry into English, noting that even people who speak “Chinese” can often not understand each other. The book ends with an interview between poet and translator that elucidates the book’s private concerns. This is a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary Chinese poetry, Hong Kong, or writing in the Pacific more generally. The book includes the original Chinese, as well as the translations.