First Language(s): Chinese Sichuan, Mandarin
Second Language(s): English
Aiden Heung is a Chinese poet born and raised on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. He writes about his personal past in a Tibetan Autonomous Town and the city of Shanghai where he currently lives. His words appeared or are forthcoming in Australian Poetry Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Poet Lore, Hobart, Parentheses and other places. He can be found on twitter @AidenHeung or http://www.aidenheung.com/
What was your favorite book as a child?
“The Childhood” by Maxim Gorky. I grew up with my grandmother, and I found myself extremely related to this autobiographical story when I chanced upon it in the shabby small-town library. I was so transported to the world of child Gorky because of the simple diction, but also due to his extremely detailed account of rural life in Russia, both new and familiar to me. The story is moving, and the characters are endearing... especially Gorky’s grandmother. Whenever I think of this novel, I’m thinking of both Gorky’s grandmother and mine (may she rest in peace). Such great women!
Do you remember the original reason or motivation why you started writing creatively?
Back in high school we had the weekly assignment to write a diary as homework to submit to the Chinese language teacher. I fell in love with it, and started to practice different kinds of writings. My teacher was extremely encouraging and gave back detailed and helpful feedback every week for three years. That’s when I started to enjoy writing.
What was the most adventurous or thrilling thing you ever did/experienced?
In Nepal, we were driving from Pokhara to Katmandu. We stopped at a little village on a mountain for lunch. After lunch, I decided to take a short hike up to the mountain from the village. After one hour of strenuous hike, a temple rose up before me out from the mapping mountain fog. There was no one around, just me and this temple with its praying flags flying in the wind. I’ve never felt more purified.
Do you listen to music while reading or writing?
Nope, I need to concentrate as good as I can since I have a really short attention span... I need to be in my zone.
The Man I’ve Never Met
Issue Fall '20