An eleventh-century Chinese author, poet, artist, and Song Dynasty political figure, he is particularly well known for his essays. He also wrote numerous poems during his lifetime, more than two thousand of which have survived.
During his youth, he studied under a Taoist priest in the village of Meishan. Early in his life, he began working for the Chinese government; one of his first projects was the construction of a pedestrian walkway across a body of water in Hangzhou.
He was a travel writer and a gourmet cooking expert.
His brother, Su Zhe, and his father, Su Xun, were both respected scholars. Su Shi was married twice-- to Wang Fu and, after her death, to Wang Runzhi-- and he also kept a concubine named Wang Zhaoyun.
He was a contemporary of medieval Iranian poet, Omar Khayyam.