Phan Nhiên Hạo

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Phan Nhiên Hạo (born 1967) is a Vietnamese poet and translator, living in the United States.

He was born in Kontum, Vietnam, came to the US in 1991 and now lives in Illinois. He has a BA in Vietnamese Literature from The Teachers College of Saigon, a BA in American Literature from UCLA, and a Master in Library Science, also from UCLA. He is the author of two collections of poems, Paradise of Paper Bells (Thiên Đường Chuông Giấy, 1998) and Manufacturing Poetry 99-04 (Chế Tạo Thơ Ca 99-04 2004). His poems have been translated into English and published in the journals The Literary Review, Manoa, xconnect and Filling Station, and in Of Vietnam: Identities in Dialogues (Palgrave 2001), and in a full-length, bilingual collection, Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, translated by Linh Dinh (Tupelo 2006). Vince Gotera reviews this book in the North American Review:

: "An overwhelming sense of liminality pervades these poems: "I walk on bridges connecting two alien shores," says the poet; "my country; which country, I asked." Surrealism also suffuses Phan's work, as does jazz: "all I love is jazz jazz jazz and lots of gasoline in my bloody abyss." Phan draws from Vietnamese, French, and American literatures, mixing traditional and modern Vietnamese cultures with French literature, "imbued with philosophy, with lots of experimentations": and American literature "suitable to a consumer society and a pragmatic culture, with that American emphasis on results" (as he told translator Linh Dinh in an interview included at the end of the book). Phan adds, "an investigation into American literature would greatly benefit Vietnamese writers. It would [. . .] improve their sense of humor." All of these qualities are combined in Phan's work, as glimpsed in the book's title Night, Fish, and Charlie Parker—especially humor. Phan's poetry is a distinctly American immigrant text, melancholy and celebratory at the same time. Read this book."


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