Renxin Yang (Sociology and Social Work) recently published a book of poetry titled Floating Willow Flowers, a collection of more than 130 poems from a sociologist's perspective on life, nature, society and the interactive relationships among the diverse elements in an era of globalization. The book consists of three parts: On family, friends and personal experience as a first-generation immigrant; On society, social environment and individuals and nature; and English poems on diverse topics. The first two parts are in Chinese, which is Yang's "mother tongue." She plans to translate the full book into English and publish it in the United States.

"I started writing poetry as a teenager in China," said Yang. "It's more than a hobby. When I feel strongly and get passionate about my observations of certain social issues, I just have to express myself. My feelings just flow out in the form of poems. It's like using poetry for a diary. After studying sociology in the U.S. and teaching sociology at NMU for the past 16 years, I've learned a lot and became aware of many aspects both in depth and scope about society, human social behavior and the inter-relationship between individuals, family, society and the natural environment. I thought it would be beneficial to share my thoughts, as a sociologist who writes poetry, with other people."

The book project was supported by Sociology and Social Work, with additional grants awarded by the College of Graduate Studies and the College of Professional Studies. It was published by Northeastern University Press in China.

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