By Mai Der Vang

The 2016 winner of the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of yank Poets, chosen via Carolyn Forché

When I make the crossing, you need to now not be taken regardless of what
the present provides. once we achieve the camp,

there should be millions like us.
If I make it onto the aircraft, you need to keep on with me to the roads
and ready pastures of America.

We won't experience the water at the present time at the shoulders of buffalo
as we used to a long time in the past, nor do we forage
for the sweetest mangoes.

I am refugee. you're too. Cry, yet don't weep.

—from “Transmigration”

Afterland is a robust, crucial choice of poetry that recounts with devastating element the Hmong exodus from Laos and the destiny of hundreds of thousands of refugees looking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the tale of her circle of relatives, and via doing so, she additionally presents an important heritage of the Hmong culture’s ongoing resilience in exile. lots of those poems are written within the voices of these fleeing insufferable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong combatants in Laos in the key battle opposed to communism, in simple terms to desert them after that warfare went awry. That heritage is little identified or understood, however the 3 hundred thousand Hmong now residing within the usa reside evidence of its aftermath. With poems of notable strength and beauty, Afterland holds an unique position in American poetry and lands with a feeling of humanity kept, of shock, of a deep culture damaged via struggle and ocean yet nonetheless intact, remembered, and lived.

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Afterland: Poems by Mai Der Vang

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