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Zhang Er was born in Beijing, China, and moved to the United States in 1986. Collections of her work in Chinese include Seen, Unseen, published by QingHai Publishing House of China in 1999, and Water Words, published by New World Poetry Press in 2002. She has published the chapbooks in English translation Winter Garden (Goats and Compasses), Verses on Bird (Jensen/Daniels), The Autumn of Gu Yao (Spuyten Duyvil), Cross River, Pick Lotus (Belladonna Books), and Carved Water (Tinfish Press). She teaches at Evergreen State College, Washington.