Dear Sweet Baby, / I thought of you last night. / Your memory hit me with / A pierce and an ache, / And I sobbed longingly for you. Deep belly crying, / The kind that howls. / Three years ago today / I found out that after 13 weeks of carrying you, / I had lost you.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Dear Sweet Baby

Dear Sweet Baby, / I thought of you last night. / Your memory hit me with / A pierce and an ache, / And I sobbed longingly for you. Deep belly crying, / The kind that howls. / Three years ago today / I found out that after 13 weeks of carrying you, / I had lost you.

Once upon a mythic mundi: Five Poems by Lawdenmarc Decamora

who / deserves a perfect night, you in reverse / i will see us aged in reverse in Calauit Island / safari park the mid-resort of life upon life / quietly underneath

Not Everything Can Be Said: Artist Profile of Benedict Nguyen

The idea of motion does help me understand the sense of urgency I feel towards many things and the rhythm I’ve built around dancing and writing over the past few years.

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Arriving at Joy, with Ocean Vuong

The first time I read On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, I got off the bus three stops early and cried outside of a 7-Eleven. So, when Ocean Vuong came to Seattle for a collaborative event hosted by the Seattle Public Library and The Elliott Bay Book Company, I knew I had to attend.

Textures of April 30th: Confessions of a Vietnamese Refugee

Yesterday, my history professor ordered me to stay after class and then apologized to me. “We are sorry for everything that we did. Vietnam was such a beautiful place with beautiful people.” I shifted awkwardly, unsure if this was the beginning or the end of the conversation.

Book Review: When Everything Was Everything

The displacement felt in these moments is like a gut punch, and I can feel my children feeling it, through my feeling it. They watch me as I read to them. I, too, am a refugee, I tell them. What a thing it is to be removed from a land, to flee from it, to begin again.

con ăn cơm chưa? | have you eaten yet?

an uncle would come in and ask me to write up a paragraph of the latest chef’s specials / so I felt very fortunate to be able to write in our language when he asked / he’d point out my misspellings / and I’d have to reassure myself that they didn’t make me any less of my parents’ child

quiet thương: Jessica Nguyen in Conversation with Vi Khi Nao

My favorite Vietnamese word is “thương,” which is actually the very word that I incorporated in 'queer lost love'... “Thương” is like a love that can be romantic but more familial, and connotes a deeper, more genuine connection that’s emanating from the feeler. “Thương” is innocent, pure, raw, wholesome, honest love. But because it’s often used in a familial context, the romantic appeal of its use gets overshadowed and lost.
June 2019 Featured image

News & Events: June 2019

Socio-cultural, literary, and political news and events relating to Việt Nam and to the Vietnamese diaspora. ■ News from the Diaspora ■ American citizen from Orange County detained in Vietnam gets trial date Vietnamese brothers of dying...

THIS IS FOR MẸ: With Love I Rise

I was only a child when the war began / Just six years old when they came for a “meeting” / I saw Ma tremble as Ba ran to hide / He squeezed behind the armoire, “Hush, my child” / The space was so narrow, “Don’t say a word” / Something was wrong, I’d never seen him there before

Textures of April 30th

I didn't expect to be challenged by a history I had long preferred not to think about: that so many people we eventually lived alongside in Australia had initially celebrated our demise.

Book Review: The House I Inherit

Paul Bonnell reviews Phuong T. Vuong's The House I Inherit. In “What my father gives me,” Vuong writes: my father who gives me / salted lemons / makes offerings / when my silence seems / too prickly for much else / my father so good / at surviving / even his preserved lemons / stay afloat in salt water

Legible Language: Artist Profile of Hieu Minh Nguyen

My writing, therefore, uses inviting language—language some might call accessible—to make the world legible to subjects like my mother, and to make subjects like my mother legible to the world.

140LBS for Mother’s Day

A single woman supplied with a folding chair and multiple voices was able to render an entire audience paralyzed with grief. By the end of the show, it seemed clear that while this began as a tale seeking revenge, it was actually a tale of a daughter seeking to understand, connect, and honor her mother by any means necessary, even if it meant ripping apart scars by uncovering her and her family’s unaddressed trauma.

SPEED 2: Sheep Machine @ Malmö Konsthall, Sweden

Vi Khi Nao's ekphrastic poetry, Sheep Machine, on exhibit at Malmö Konsthall, Sweden, in conjunction with the video art by visual artist Leslie Thornton that Nao's textual experiment "narrates".

THIS IS FOR MẸ: Saying Goodbye to Fear with Trinh Mai

There is a lot of conversation around inherited trauma. They are so very real. We’ve lived with them and through them. But I wanted to also cradle our inherited strength in our other hands, holding them side by side as a reminder that we are given this very strength that will walk us through the trauma.