Zhai Yongming’s Lyrical Topographies: Women, “The Café Songs” and “New York 2006”. Despite the fact that poetry in the classical tradition has always been considered a suitable genre for women, female poets have claimed only a peripheral place in the Chinese literary canon. Chinese and western literary critics studying contemporary Chinese women’s poetry place this heterogeneous category at the intersection of influences of western feminism, indigenous tradition and the output of social and political changes, which took place in the post-Mao period. They led to an ongoing deconstruction of various sets of images of “modern women” which had emerged in the Republican and Maoist iconographies. Female subjectivity and agency have been re-conceptualized in a process of self-questioning. The aim of this paper is to inquire into the question how images and representations of femininity, (imaginary) “womenscapes” and real places have been constructed in Zhai Yongming’s lyrical and essayistic writing.