Qi Dong Poetry Salon
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Poetry is language at its finest. For generations, Taiwanese have woven poetic threads deftly through songs, stories, and life aesthetics and, in the process, given poetry its critical importance in Taiwan' s literary foundations. In 2009, the Council for Cultural Affairs (today' s Ministry of Culture) commissioned Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs to restore the cluster of Japanese colonial-era houses along Qidong Street (Nos. 25 & 27 Qinan Road, Section 2). Once work was finished, these buildings were opened as a new public literary venue, named “Qi Dong Poetry Salon” by then-Culture Minister Lung Ying-tai. In July 2014, the National Museum of Taiwan Literature (NMTL) assumed management of the campus and began planning regular exhibition and literature-promotion activities.

Qi Dong Poetry Salon, at the epicenter of a poetry renaissance, draws on the area’s long relationship with literature and poetry, including regular Independence Evening Post poetry contributors Chang Dar Shiou, Chou Ch’i-tzu, Szto Wai, Tu Wen-ching, Yang Tzu-ch’iao, Lin Wen-yi, Shen Hua-mo, Hsiang Yang, Liu Ka-hsiang, and Chen Fei-wen and its role in publishing literary journals such as Independent Poetry and New Poetry Weekly. Cheng Kung Senior High School and its dormitories nearby echo with the memories of modernist poet Chi Hsien, while the area between the salon and Xinsheng South Road is the neighborhood where Lee Jui-teng and Lee Min-yung spent their childhood.

Qi Dong Poetry Salon, the “north garden” of southern Taiwan's NMTL, is the cradle of Taiwan’s postwar poetry heritage. Qi Dong Poetry Salon is also a cornerstone of Taipei urban renewal. It is hoped that, while exploring these magnificent, poetry-permeated Japanese colonial homes, visitors may experience the vitality that continues to sparkle in these historic buildings and enjoy the “literary banquet” that has been lovingly prepared.

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