Zheng Chouyu (Cheng Ch'ou-yü), pen name of Zheng Wentao, was born into a military family in He'nan Province and as a child traveled all over China with his father. He grew up in Xinzhu in northwestern Taiwan and graduated from National Zhongxing University with a B.A. in foreign languages and literatures. He received an M.F.A. from University of Iowa and for many years has been teaching Chinese at Yale University.
Zheng started writing poetry in the early 1950s. The lyricism of his work from the '50s and early '60s has made him one of the most widely read Chinese poets in Taiwan and China. Many of his poems from that period have been made into songs. After a hiatus of ten years, he resumed writing in 1975; to date he has published a dozen books of poetry.