Battlefield Blooming, Do Nguyen Mai’s second poetry collection, catalogues and interrogates the Vietnamese American experience. The poems in Battlefield Blooming address issues critical to the Southeast Asian American community, from refugee resettlement to police brutality.
In the opening poem of Battlefield Blooming, “Midnight Notes to the Martyr Nhất Chi Mai,” Do begins the collection by echoing a decades-old plea for peace from a young Buddhist nun. Unlike many, Do refuses to shy away from the gruesome, vivid image of the self-immolating nun, instead confronting it directly: “Martyr, I am your backwards reflection. / My body is a flaming torch / I did not light.”
Mommy Eats Fried Grasshoppers
A mother with a Lao upbringing and a daughter with Lao-american values share their story of the generational and cultural differences between each other. The story is an overwhelming illustration which depicts Mahlee learning the traditional ways mommy lived as a child in Laos versus Mahlee’s own childhood in America. Mahlee is Mommy’s little girl, and does everything with Mommy. But will she eat fried grasshoppers? This book offers an avenue to keep Lao culture alive, and talk about the importance of family history, tradition, and childhood values.
Published in 2018.
Dance Among Elephants
The Personal plight and Historical accounts of Lao Life are merged together in Phounsiri’s stimulating collection, “Dance Among Elephants”. By combining a multitude of literary styles, Phounsiri illustrates his multifaceted talents by delivering incredibly robust recollections, dreams, and aspirations together in a heartfelt collection of love and loss. Poems of his include “Street Masquerade,” “Elephant Dancer,” “Afterlife” and “Ode to Kao Niew.”
Published in 2015.
A Sticky Mess
The story of Xieng Mieng is the story of the famous Lao folk hero that has won the hearts and minds of the Lao people. “A Sticky Mess”, is a comedic origin story that represents the strong personality and perseverance of the Lao culture. A young monk keeps getting in trouble with the head of the monastery who think the boy can’t do anything right. Finally, the young boy decides to turn the tables with the help of a chicken and a little bit of a sticky snack called mieng. What happens next has become the stuff of legend for over 600 years!
Published in 2013. First Printing is SOLD OUT!