This seventh volume in Vagabond’s Asia Pacific Poetry Series brings together a selection of poetry from three contemporary Vietnamese poets living in Australia: Lê Văn Tài, Nguyễn Tôn Hiệt & Phan Quỳnh Trâm. Introduced by Nguyễn Hưng Quốc and with an ‘After words’ by Nhã Thuyên, this collection opens a window on contemporary writing from the Vietnamese diaspora and insights into the evolution and realities of transnational literature. Cover art by Nguyễn Hưng Trinh.
Lê Văn Tài came to Australia as a refugee in 1984. As a visual artist, he has held numerous exhibitions, individual and collective, in Vietnam, Hong Kong and Australia. As a poet, he has published three collections of poetry, two in English, Empty Arms Surrounded by Warm Breath (1987) and Waiting the Waterfall Falls (1996), and one in Vietnamese, Thơ Lê Văn Tài (2013).
Nguyễn Hưng Quốc is coordinator of the Vietnamese program at Victoria University, Melbourne. As a critic, he has published nearly 20 books on Vietnamese language, literature, culture and politics, including Vietnamese Literature in Australia: Politics and Poetics of Diaspora (in Vietnamese, 2013).
Nguyễn Tôn Hiệt arrived in Australia as a political refugee from Vietnam in 1983. He has been actively working as a musician, writer, poet, playwright, essayist, translator and editor. He has published several books on literary and art criticism. His creative writings have appeared in many overseas and Australian journals and anthologies, including Tienve and Kunapipi.
Phan Quỳnh Trâm came to Australia as an overseas student at the University of New South Wales in 2000 and is now living and working in Sydney. Her translations, short stories, essays and poems, written in Vietnamese and English, have been published in Ajar, Kunapipi and Tienve literary webzine.
Nhã Thuyên is a poet, a writer, and sometimes an amateur filmmaker. She is the author of several books of poetry and flash fiction and some tiny picture books for children. She currently co-edits AJAR, a bilingual literary and art journal based in Hanoi.