Poet, essayist, and democracy activist Yi Ping was born in 1952 in Beijing. As a teenager during the Cultural Revolution, he was sent to the countryside, where he met his wife, translator Lin Zhou. After returning to Beijing, he participated in the Students’ Democracy Movement and was permanently banned from working in education and forbidden to publish his work. In 1991, Yi Ping fled to Poland, and in 1997, he was granted political asylum by the U.S. government. From fall 2001 to summer 2003, Yi Ping was the first writer-in-residence for Ithaca City of Asylum, where he taught Chinese at Cornell University and worked with students in the writing program at Ithaca College. Since the end of his residency, Yi Ping has stayed in Ithaca with his wife and son; he currently works as an editor at Human Rights in China.