Award-winning poems discover new audience - Viet Nam News

Award-winning poems discover new audience



Updated: January, 14 2013 10:20:26

HA NOI (VNS) — The English version of Mai Van Phan's award-winning poems Bau Troi Khong Mai Che (Firmament without Roof Cover) has been released both online and in print across Canada, the US and Britain.


Phan's book, which won an award from the Viet Nam Writers' Association in 2010, was translated into English by poet Tran Nghi Hoang who has lived in the US for 30 years. The work was then edited by American poet, professor Frederick Turner.


It took two years to complete the poems which include Cua Mau (Mothergate); Da Trong Long Suoi (The Rock Inside Stream Bed); Com Huong (The Scent of Com); and Giai Dieu Xuan (Spring Tone).


The highlight of the book is Hinh Dam Co (Figure a Patch of Grass) including nine pieces entitled Nhip (Cadence) numbered in Roman numerals from I to IX.


The English Page Addie Press signed a contact directly with Phan to distribute the book online and in print. The online poem has been sold on since November while the print poem was released on December 27.


This is Phan's first book of poetry that has been translated into English. The poet has written 11 previous books of poetry in Vietnamese.


Reviewing the book on, critic Raymond P Keen said: "In this poetry that celebrates our planet in all its physical and spiritual manifestations, poet Mai Van Phan opens his heart to the world, to the firmament. His poetry does not sing so much to the world or for the world, as it sings with and in the world. As it sings in the world, its language renders the living objects of the world as real and alive and as sharing their being with us."


Born in 1955 in the Red River Delta province of Ninh Binh, Phan is a member of the Viet Nam Writers' Association. He has won awards for his poetry, both in provincial and national competitions.


His poems have appeared in journals published in Viet Nam as well as in Vietnamese language magazines and websites published abroad including Thi Luan magazine (South Korean) and Tien Ve, an online centre for literature and the arts based in Australia.


All in all, his poems have been introduced to literary audiences in Sweden, New Zealand, England, the US, South Korea and Indonesia.


In 2010, he was invited to attend the Korea-ASEAN Poets Literature Festival to read his poems in three cities: Seoul, Ansan and Sokcho. — VNS




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