The 112th volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets explores the Vietnamese-American experience
Duy Doan’s striking debut reveals the wide resonance of the collection’s unassuming title, in poems that explore—now with abundant humor, now with a deeply felt reserve—the ambiguities and tensions that mark our effort to know our histories, our loved ones, and ourselves. These are poems that draw from Doan’s experience as a Vietnamese-American while at the same time making a case for—and masterfully playing with—the fluidity of identity, history, and language. Nothing is alien to these poems: the Saigon of a mother’s dirge, the footballer Zinedine Zidane, an owl that “talks to his other self in the well”—all have a place in Doan’s far-reaching and intimately human art.
Duy Doan is a Kundiman Fellow whose poetry has appeared in Poetry, Slate, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. He received an MFA in Poetry from Boston University. Carl Phillips is the award-winning author of numerous books of poetry. In 2023 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007–2020. He teaches at Washington University in St. Louis.
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