Edited and introduced by Nguyễn Tiên Hoàng.
Translated from Vietnamese by Đỗ Lê Anhdao, Lê Đình Nhất-Lang, Như Nam & Lâm Thục Nghi.
A visual artist who lives poetry in Saigon, an illusionist who works theatres and boardrooms across the US, a journalist-translator who mediates new media, in this collection these three prominent voices in contemporary Vietnamese poetry bring to world literature the diversity and richness of poetic expressions in a fast-changing world. Nguyễn Thúy Hằng, in her blistering take on Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, delivers a case study in hallucinations and neurosis; her poems enter the realm of stasis, rearrange and reconstruct dream sequences to bring out a language that moves and dances, rejects and embraces, taking the audience with her movements in a tour de force. With puns and wit, Đỗ Lê Anhdao’s satirical poems speak strongly for many of her generation on transitory-ness, race and gender politics, confusion and dislocation. Satire at its most effective and timely, her poems are anarchistic, mischievous: a show of strength that takes masquerades and irony by the scruff. Lê Đình Nhất-Lang’s poems are meditations on a kaleidoscope of the past and now; they are packed with indelible images and drawn with a delicate touch. “Make it New” and “Make it Real”, the poet writes, being in the zeitgeist, being on the street, being close to the Essence of Things.
This twelth volume in Vagabond’s Asia Pacific series gives readers three of the most formidable voices from the current generation of Vietnamese poetry.
Nguyễn Thúy Hằng was a graduate from the University of Fine Arts of Ho Chi Minh City. Her first book, a triology Current Times, Good Sensations and Reasonable Insanity, written during her two-year stint in the US, was published by Youth Publisher, Hanoi in 2006. On return to Vietnam in 2005, Nguyễn Thúy Hằng moved to Hanoi where she published We Haven't Been Able to Sleep for Some Time with the Literature Publisher in 2008 and They - The Powder of the Illusory, Nhã Nam Publisher in 2013. Nguyễn Thúy Hằng's works often combine various art forms: art installation, contemporary dance, cinema, painting, music. She is currently living in Ho Chi Minh City. Her works can be viewed at www.nguyenthuyhang.com
Đỗ Lê Anhdao (b.1979) is a Vietnamese American poet, writer, translator, photographer, and performer. Born in Vietnam, Anhdao came to the United States in 1992. She studied Psychobiology at UCLA and spent her post-college years doing advocacy work as a sexual violence educator for the Nevada Coalition Against Sexual Violence. In January 2004, she co-founded One Mic with the group Mai Piece, the first open mic space for young Vietnamese-American writers and musicians in Orange County. In 2006, she co-founded damau.org. Her writings can be found on VietSun, Nha Magazine, and literary journals including Tap Chi Tho, Hop Luu, Van Hoc, Viet Weekly, and Talawas. Anhdao currently works as a performance artist and consultant, where she uses deception as a toolset to teach perception. She authors a blog on mentalism and human behavior at Ava-Do.com. Anhdao is based out of Las Vegas and Los Angeles but mostly lives at 30,000 feet.
Lê Đình Nhất Lang (b.1969) is a poet and translator living in Southern California. He writes his poems in Vietnamese and translates poems by others both to and from Vietnamese. Growing up in Vietnam in a post-war period which saw the departure of many hundreds of thousands of boatpeople, he emigrated to France with his family in 1983 and moved to the U.S. in 1985. After graduating from college as a computational linguistic major, he worked for more than a decade in software programming before switching careers to work as a news translator for Vietnamese-language media. His poems and translations have appeared in the printed magazines Thế Kỷ 21, Văn Học and Văn, and the web-based magazines tienve.org and damau.org. He has been on the damau editorial staff since 2007.
Nguyễn Tiên Hoàng is a Melbourne-based poet, translator and poetry editor. His poems appeared in the Saturday Age, HEAT, Cordite, Peril, Black Inc Publishing anthologies of Best Australian Poems, Poetry International website and Contemporary Asian-Australian Poets anthology [Puncher & Wattmann, 2013]. With Vagabond Press he has published Years, Elegy - a chapbook in the Rare Objects series and edited the fourth volume in the Asia Pacific Poetry series. Nguyễn Tiên Hoàng under the pen name Thường Quán over thirty years has published a wide range of essays, poems and short stories on major Vietnamese literary journals inside and outside Vietnam including Van, Van Hoc, Hop Luu, tienve, damau; a collection of poems Ngoai Giac Ngu (Beyond Sleeps) by Van Nghe Publishing, California; and Watermarks on talawas. He was poetry editor of Hop Luu (Confluence) and is currently on the editorial panel of Da Mau.
Poems of Nguyễn Thúy Hằng, Đỗ Lê Anhdao & Lê Đình Nhất-Lang
(Asia Pacific Series 12)
2017. 130pp. 190mm x 120mm. ISBN 978-1-922181-77-0
Release date: February 2017.