"The Secret of Hoa Sen, translated by the author and Bruce Weigl, takes us along the streets of Vietnam where we meet women bearing 'stars in the shape of carrying poles' and women who are the collectors of garbage who 'mend their lives whole from debris.' Que Mai takes us deep into the earth with 'earthworms who know how to sing the eternal song of emerald grass.' She brings forth the music in each rice plant blossoming in the lullaby of her grandma who died during the Great Famine. Through the suffering of war and greed and the celebration of life, these poems originate in the depths of mud and rise, like the lotus flower whose petals magically take flight, bringing us its truth and freedom." -Teresa Mei Chuc, author of Red Thread: Poems
About the Author
NGUYEN PHAN QUE MAI: Born in a small North Vietnamese village in 1973, Nguyen Phan Que Mai is the author of three poetry collections and translator of six. Her literary awards include the Poetry of the Year Award from the Hanoi Writers Association; First Prize in the Poetry about Hanoi competition from Vietnam's Literature Newspaper and Hanoi Radio & Television; the Capital's Literature & Arts Award from the Hanoi Union of Literature & Arts Associations, among others. Her poems have been featured at major international poetry festivals including the First Asia-Pacific Poetry Festival; the Qinghai International Poetry Festival; and the International Poetry Festival of Medellin, Colombia. Que Mai is the Honorary Fellow of Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. BRUCE WEIGL: Bruce Weigl's most recent poetry collection The Abundance of Nothing was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2013. The author of thirteen poetry collections, and the best-selling memoir The Circle of Hanh, Weigl is past President of the Associated Writing Programs, and has been Chairperson of the Judging panel in Poetry for the National Book Award. He has received such literary awards as the Poet's Prize from the Academy of American Poets; the Lannan Literary Award; the Robert Creeley Award; and a Medal for Significant Contributions from the Vietnam Union of Literature & Arts Associations and the Vietnam Writers Association. Weigl is currently a professor of poetry at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio.