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Born in Saigon, South Vietnam, Mong-Lan left her native Vietnam on the last day of evacuation of Saigon. While having grown up and educated in the United States, she has lived for five years in Japan, numerous years in Argentina, and continues to divide her time between the United States and Argentina.
Of her poetry, Robert Creeley has commented, "Mông-Lan is a remarkably accomplished poet. Always her poems are deft, extremely graceful in the way words move, and in the cadence that carries them. One is moved by the articulate character of ‘things seen,’ the subtle shifting of images, and the quiet intensity of their information. Clearly she is a master of the art."
Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards for Poetry, Mong-Lan’s poetry has been nationally and internationally anthologized to include being in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize. Author of seven books and chapbooks, Mộng-Lan's books include Song of the Cicadas; Why is the Edge Always Windy?, Tango, Tangoing: Poems & Art; the bilingual Spanish-English edition, Tango, Tangueando: Poemas & Dibujos; Love Poem to Tofu & Other Poems (poetry & calligraphic art, chapbook); Love Poem to Ginger & Other Poems: poetry & paintings (chapbook); and Force of the Heart: Tango, Art.
She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona, was the recipient of a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship in poetry for two years at Stanford University, and was a Fulbright Fellow in Vietnam. In addition to being anthologized in Best American Poetry and the Pushcart Prize Anthology her poetry has been included in Asian American Poetry: the Next Generation; Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond (Norton); Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women;Force Majeure (Indonesia); Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry; Jungle Crows: a Tokyo Expatriate anthology, and and has appeared in numerous leading American literary journals such as The Kenyon Review, The Antioch Review, and the North American Review.
Her paintings and photographs have been exhibited for one year in the Capitol House in Washington D.C., for six months at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, in galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in public exhibitions in Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, and Bali. In conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, she was the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts’ inaugural Visual Artist and Poet in Residence in 2005. An exhibition of her paintings and photographs, “The World of Mong-Lan,” ran for six months.
Mong-Lan has read her poetry, given lectures, performances, and presented her artworks at many universities and festivals/workshops in a number of countries to include Buenos Aires, Argentina; the World Poetry Festival in Heidelberg, Germany; Lavigny, Switzerland; Fukuoka, Nagoya, and Tokyo, Japan; and in the U.S. to include: Harvard University, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, University of Nevada, VA Festival of the Book, University of Maryland University College, SUNY Purchase, Kenyon College, DePauw University, Hope College, the Asia Society in NYC, and the Poetry Society of America's Festival for New Poets.
She has taught at the University of Arizona, Stanford University, the Dallas Museum of Art, the San Diego State University Writers' Conference and in the Asian Division of the University of Maryland University College in Tokyo, Japan.
- Song of the Cicadas (Juniper Prize)
- Why is the Edge Always Windy?
- Love Poem to Tofu & Other Poems (chapbook of poetry & artwork)
- Tango, Tangoing: Poems & Art
- Tango, Tangueando: Poemas & Dibujos (Spanish-English bilingual edition)
- Force of the Heart: Tango, Art
- Love Poem to Ginger & Other Poems (chapbook of poetry & artwork)
- One Thousand Minds Brimming: Poems & Art (2014)
- Juniper Prize, for Song of the Cicadas
- Great Lakes Colleges Association's New Writers Awards for Poetry, for Song of the Cicadas
- Poetry Society of America's Norma Farber First Book Award, Finalist, for Song of the Cicadas
- Pushcart Prize, inclusion in Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize, 2006.
- Inaugural Visual Artist and Poet in Resident at the Dallas Museum of Art, through a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.
- Fulbright Fellow to Vietnam
- Wallace E. Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University for two years
- Inclusion in Best American Poetry Anthology, 2003
- LAN Tango: La Voz de Mong-Lan, independent.
- Mong-Lan's Website (English)
- Mộng-Lan's website (Vietnamese) một nhà thơ Mỹ gốc Việt
- Mong-Lan Singer / Music
- Poem, "Three-Auricled Heart,"
- Poem, "Keel of Earth's Axis,"
- Poem, "Coyote,"
- Poem, "A Bamboo Knife,"
- Interview, University of Maryland University College
- UMASS Press Author Page
- Tupelo Press Author Page