Mi Shisen, who writes under the pen name Xin Yu (Hsin Yü), was born in Hangzhou, although his ancestors came from Cixi, Zhejiang Province. In 1948 he ran away from home and enlisted in the Nationalist army in Beijing; he moved to Taiwan in 1950 and was honorably discharged in 1969. Since then he has been engaged in promoting science education through the publication of Science Monthly.
Xin Yu started writing poetry in 1951, having been inspired by fellow poet Sha Mu. He joined the Modernist School in 1956 and later associated himself closely with the Epoch Poetry Society. To date he has published six books of poetry, in addition to fiction, essays, and television scripts. He has served as the chief editor of the Epoch Poetry Quarterly since 1996.