Saturday, April 6th, 2019
15 S Dubuque St, Iowa City, IA 52240
About the Event: Hai-Dang Phan will be having a debut showcase reading with Mesha Maren at Prairie Lights; free and open to the public.
About the Author: Hai-Dang Phan was born in Vietnam in 1980 and grew up in Wisconsin. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, Best American Poetry 2016, and the chapbook, Small Wars. He is the recipient of an NEA Literature Fellowship, the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry, and the New England Review Award for Emerging Writers. He currently teaches at Grinnell College and lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Reenactments is his first book.
PRAISE FOR REENACTMENTS:
"In Phan’s strong, enlightening debut collection, without flinching from pain or turning away from history's critical gaze, he binds his birth country, Vietnam, to his adopted one, the United States. . . . Phan is a poet who should be read widely."
"Phan's debut unflinchingly presents the trauma inherited through cultural memory as a kind of endless war reenactment. In these poems, even the most mundane setting is haunted by living ghosts. . . . These poems are unadorned and ominous in their vision of memory, a clarion that never ceases to alarm or awe."
“'To make things worse, they are extremely supportive of my choices' is such a strange and quintessentially immigrant utterance. . . .What to do with the guilt we feel that our lives are often so much easier than the lives of our parents? How can any of our fears, anxieties, lonelinesses be worth mentioning when theirs have been so great? For you (and often, for myself), I prescribe Hai-Dang Phan’s “My Father’s ‘Norton Introduction to Literature,’ Third Edition (1981).”
—Kaveh Akbar, The Paris Review