David R. Knechtges is an American sinologist and professor of Chinese literature at the University of Washington. An expert on Han dynasty and Six dynasties period literature, Knechtges' studies of Chinese fu poetry are largely responsible for the revival of Western academic interest in the subject, a major genre which had become largely neglected until the mid-20th century.
Knechtges was born in Great Falls, Montana, but grew up in Kirkland, Washington. After graduating from Lake Washington High School in 1960, Knechtges earned a BA in Chinese from the University of Washington in 1964, followed by an MA from Harvard University in 1965 and a Ph.D from Washington in 1968. He taught at Harvard and then Yale University for several years before joining Washington's Asian Languages and Literature faculty in 1972.
Knechtges has written or edited a number of books on ancient Chinese literature, and is best known for his ongoing translation of the Wen xuan, a major collection of early Chinese literature, which is the work's first ever full translation into English. His wife, Tai-ping Chang Knechtges, is an affiliate assistant professor at Washington, and often serves as Knechtges' co-editor. They have one daughter together.