Born in Nanjing in 1928, Professor Yu first studied foreign languages at Jinling University in 1947 and transferred to Xiamen University in 1949 when he started writing poems. During the civil war, Professor Yu flied to Hong Kong with his family and in 1950 settled in Taiwan. There he continued his university education and graduated from Taiwan University in 1952. After obtaining a Master's Degree in Fine Arts from Iowa State University, USA, in 1959, he returned to Taiwan and taught at Taiwan Normal University. As a Fulbright Scholar, he visited and gave lectures in the USA twice, in 1964 and 1969. In 1972, Professor Yu became the Chairman of the Department of English of Chengchi University, Taiwan. He joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1974 as Reader at the Department of Chinese Language and Literature. In 1985, he returned to Taiwan and became Dean of the College of Liberal Arts of National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan and is currently the Professor Emeritus of National Sun Yat-sen University.
Professor Yu is a writer of great influence, especially resourceful in poetry and prose. His poetry crystallizes his feelings and his love for the motherland; and it captures, reflects and expresses the life of a modern society. Professor Yu also writes critiques, edits and translates. A prolific writer active in literary creative work for over 40 years, Professor Yu enjoys high reputation in literary circles and has been awarded numerous prestigious prizes and honours, including the National Award for Literature in poetry, the Wu San-lian Award in prose and four times the Best Book of the Year by United Daily of Taiwan (1994, 1996, 1998 and 2000).