Born in Nanjing, Yu Guangzhong (Yu Kwang-chung being his preferred spelling) matriculated at Nanjing and Amoy Universities in China. He received a B.A. from National Taiwan University in 1952 and an M.F.A. from University of Iowa in 1959. He has taught at various universities in Taiwan and Hong Kong and was twice a Fulbright scholar in the United States, in 1964–66 and 1969– 71. He is Chair Professor of English at National Sun Yat-sen University in Gaoxiong, Taiwan, where he was also Dean of the College of Liberal Arts from 1985 to 1991.
A prolific and versatile writer, Yu has published fifty books; eighteen are poetry and the others are collections of lyrical essays, literary criticism, and translations (of Oscar Wilde, Ernest Hemingway, Anglo-American poetry, Turkish poetry, etc.). A dozen or so of his poems are well known either as popular songs or as textbook selections, most notably, “Nostalgia,” “Nostalgia in Four Rhymes,” and “A Folk Song.” Recipient of all major literary awards in Taiwan, including the National Literary Award in Poetry, he was president of the Taipei Chinese Center, PEN International, from 1990 to 1998.