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Afterland : Poems
by Mai Der Vang


Overview -

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry

The 2016 winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Carolyn Forche

When I make the crossing, you must not be taken no matter what
the current gives.  Read more...


 
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More About Afterland by Mai Der Vang
 
 
 
Overview

Longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry

The 2016 winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets, selected by Carolyn Forche

When I make the crossing, you must not be taken no matter what
the current gives. When we reach the camp,

there will be thousands like us.
If I make it onto the plane, you must follow me to the roads
and waiting pastures of America.

We will not ride the water today on the shoulders of buffalo
as we used to many years ago, nor will we forage
for the sweetest mangoes.

I am refugee. You are too. Cry, but do not weep.

--from "Transmigration"

Afterland is a powerful, essential collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the story of her own family, and by doing so, she also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture's ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them after that war went awry. That history is little known or understood, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of its aftermath. With poems of extraordinary force and grace, Afterland holds an original place in American poetry and lands with a sense of humanity saved, of outrage, of a deep tradition broken by war and ocean but still intact, remembered, and lived.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781555977702
  • ISBN-10: 1555977707
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press
  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 96
  • Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Poetry > American - General

 
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