NGUYEN PHAN QUE MAI with CLAUDIA CASTRO LUNA at Hugo House
Co-presented with HUGO HOUSE and the GARDNER CENTER FOR ASIAN ART & IDEAS. Falling into place at the veritable last minute is what should be a wonderful evening with visiting Vietnamese poet Nguyen Phan Que Mai. She is here from her Brussels home as the author of five award-winning collections, as well as the translator of numerous books into Vietnamese. One year ago, BOA Editions produced her first English-language collection, The Secret of Hoa Sen, translated both by herself and noted poet & translator Bruce Weigl (presented in a bilingual edition). The poetry reading will be bilingual, in Vietnamese and English, with the English translations read by Seattle's Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna.“Nguyen Phan Que Mai, a translator, poet and winner of the Poetry of the Year 2010 Award from the Hanoi Writers Association, collaborated with poet and translator Weigl for this collection focused on the lingering physical and psychological effects of the Vietnam War. These straightforward, personal poems lament and celebrate with the landscape - the smells, colors, and people of her country - that is their touchstone…But Nguyen also sings for the alienated orphans of the Vietnam War; for garment workers in Bangladesh; for the victims of Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines; and for mothers across the globe in perilous circumstances.” -Publishers Weekly. “At the heart of Nguyen Phan Que Mai’s poetry in English is a heightened sense of tradition that allows the past to be very much in our present lives, and the future, a shining world of wondrous possibilities…In order to speak fully and honestly about the people she embraces in her poems, Ms. Nguyen works very hard to see and experience the world from their point of view, and in so doing reveals a lush panorama of the cultural life of Vietnam.” -Bruce Weigl, from the Introduction. Free admission. Hugo House is at 1634 -11th Avenue (one block north of Pine Street).