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THE SECRET OF HOA SEN featured on hour-long radio show

Nguyen Phan Que Mai's The Secret of Hoa Sen (2014), translated from the Vietnamese by the author and by poet Bruce Weigl, was recently featured on Melodically Challenged, a weekly radio broadcast on Georgia State University’s radio station.

Commemorating Vietnam’s 15th Poetry Day, which falls on the 15th day of the first month of the Vietnamese Lunar New Year (February 11 on the Gregorian calendar), the show featured Que Mai as she read her poems in Vietnamese, followed by English translations read by K. B. Kincer.

"Vietnamese folksongs, songs, and music performed by Ngo Hong Quang, including 'Biển,' a composition from Mai’s poetry, were also showcased.

"The show organizer said it chose to feature Mai’s work because of the quality of her poetry, noting that her poems evoke the beauty of Vietnam and its people.

"Que Mai also used the show as an opportunity to address the turbulent histories of both Vietnam and the United States."

Melodically Challenged said in a press release, "'To be better citizens of America and the world, we believe it’s important to understand other cultures and there can be no better path to understanding a person’s culture than through their poetry. We hope our show embraces Americans of Vietnamese descent and celebrates Vietnamese people everywhere. Our aim is to promote art work that has important educational and entertainment value for our audience.'"

Nguyen Phan Que Mai is among the most exciting writers to emerge from post-war Vietnam. Bruce Weigl, driven by his personal experiences as a soldier during the war in Vietnam, has spent the past 20 years translating contemporary Vietnamese poetry. The penetrating poems in The Secret of Hoa Sen, presented bilingually in English and Vietnamese, build new bridges between two cultures bound together by war and destruction. The Secret of Hoa Sen, Que Mai's first full-length U.S. publication, shines with craft, art, and deeply felt humanity.

Click here to read the full article on the Melodically Challenged radio show.

To learn more about The Secret of Hoa Sen, visit the BOA Bookstore.

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