Susan Nguyen, in conversation with Sara Sams, discusses Dear Diaspora

Susan Nguyen, in conversation with Sara Sams, discusses Dear Diaspora

Dear Diaspora is an unapologetic reckoning with history, memory, and grief. Parting the weeds on a small American town, this collection sheds light on the intersections of girlhood and diaspora. The poems introduce us to Suzi: ripping her leg hairs out with duct tape, praying for ecstasy during Sunday mass, dreaming up a language for buried familial trauma and discovering that such a language may not exist. Through a collage of lyric, documentary, and epistolary poems, we follow Suzi as she untangles intergenerational grief and her father's disappearance while climbing trees to stare at the color green and wishing that she wore Lucy Liu's freckles.

Winner of the Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry, Dear Diaspora scrutinizes our turning away from the trauma of our past and our complicity in its erasure. Suzi, caught between enjoying a rundown American adolescence and living with the inheritances of war, attempts to unravel her own inherited grief as she explores the multiplicities of identity and selfhood against the backdrop of the Vietnamese diaspora. In its deliberate interweaving of voices, Dear Diaspora explores Suzi's journey while bringing to light other incarnations of the refugee experience. (University of Nebraska Press)

Sara Sams is a writer and translator from Oak Ridge, Tennessee. She currently works as a Lecturer of English at the University of Arizona. She is a graduate of Davidson College (B.A.) and Arizona State University (M.F.A.), and has received teaching fellowships from the Ministry of Education of Spain and the National University of Singapore.  Her first book of poems, Atom City, is forthcoming from Finishing Line Press. 


Event date: 
Thursday, September 23, 2021 - 6:00pm
Event address: 
Dear Diaspora (The Raz/Shumaker Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry) By Susan Nguyen Cover Image
ISBN: 9781496227904
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of Nebraska Press - September 1st, 2021

Atom City By Sara Sams Cover Image
ISBN: 9781646624966
Availability: Usually arrives at our store within 4-7 days
Published: Finishing Line Press - May 14th, 2021