As a boy in Shanghai, Mike Zhai memorized Li Bo’s poems in school. Later, at UC Berkeley, he studied modern Chinese poetry under Bei Dao, as well as German literature and music. He holds an MFA in English from Mills College. A lecturer in English at University of Michigan, he founded One Pause Poetry Salon in Ann Arbor in 2016. His poems have been published in Spectrum magazine, and in 2017 he won the Green House Poetry Prize for emerging poets.