Nhã Thuyên


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Nhã Thuyên writes, translates, edits books and sometimes organizes literary events. She has authored several books of poetry, short fiction and some tiny books for children. Her most recent poetry book words breathe, creatures of elsewhere (từ thở, những người lạ) was published in Vietnamese (Nha Nam, 2015) and in English translation by Kaitlin Rees (Vagabond Press, 2016). With Kaitlin Rees, she currently co-edits AJAR, a bilingual literary journal-press based in Hanoi, and together they co-organized the inaugural mini poetry festival in Hanoi 2016. She is shaping a book of essays on Vietnamese contemporary poetry and making some nonsense writing. 

About AJAR

AJAR is dedicated to the discovery of poetry and art in both ordinary and hidden places, providing a space for these works to be exhibited, loved, and challenged. As a bilingual journal and independent small press based in Hanoi, AJAR provides an opening for questions, imaginings, and poetic (im)possibility to be shared across borders, inhabiting language as it moves between worlds and words. In bringing fresh and critical voices of Vietnamese literature and art into English, and welcoming those voices from everywhere into Vietnamese, we focus on quality translations and envision books as artifacts of artistic collaboration. 

To be developed

I am working on two book-projects that can be available for publications in 2017-2018, in Vietnamese and in English translations: a book of essays on underground voices in contemporary Vietnamese poetry, a book of poetic prose that was awarded PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants 2017 given to my translator Kaitlin Rees. I also start a multimedia poetry project Uprooted Vietnamese Poetry: The Poetics of Personal Voices which aims to open a discussion of “uprooted beings” that emerge from the (de)positioning of Vietnamese poetry in its historical and cultural contexts. 

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