Like Yang Mu, Chen Yizhi, and Chen Li, Chen Kehua (Ch'en K'o-hua) was born in the coastal city of Hualian. He trained as an opthamologist at National Taiwan Medical School and has practiced in that capacity since graduation. In recent years he has been a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Chen began writing poetry in 1976, while in high school, and published his first book of poems, Whale Boy, in 1981, followed by eight more. His recent poetry draws extensively on Buddhism, often underlining the conflict between body and soul. In 1997 he published a book titled The Heart Sutra in Modern Verse, which juxtaposes verses of the classic Buddhist text with twenty original modern poems.
A prolific and versatile writer, Chen has also written fiction, essays, plays, film criticism, and song lyrics.