“Phôi Pha (Wither)” is a poem about old age, about being the only one left to tend to the dead, about there being no one left to send you off when your journey begins again. no one left to burn spirit money and paper houses incense dust grows into ant hills The subject of the … Continue reading “Phôi Pha (Wither)” by Samantha Lê published in The Journal
In “Watching Dad’s Porn on the VCR,” a poem about girlhood, the speaker of the poem searches for her identity in the images reflected back at her from the television screen “…Mouth of a prophet, tongue of a poet….” Her sense of self is tangled up in what she believes to be the definition of … Continue reading “Watching Dad’s Porn on the VCR” by Samantha Lê published in The Minnesota Review
In “Border Crossing,” the speaker of the poem laments about being labeled an “illegal.” She remembers a life, before the change in geography, where she was a complete person, “but between the leaving and entering they changed how they look at me—objects once labeled can’t be relabeled, you know.” Somehow in the border crossing, her … Continue reading “Border Crossing” by Samantha Lê published in The Minnesota Review
An excerpt from the Author Q & A session for The Suburban Review #8 on the subject of lust and the poem "Fourteen" by Samantha Lê. By: Dinu Kumarasinghe, associate editor. DK: How is lust dangerous? How does youth affect that danger? SL: Whether it’s a lust for life, art, food, sex, or adventure, lust is one … Continue reading On the Subject of Lust
I’m honored to be a Featured Poet of the Aurorean Spring/Summer 2017 issue, and that my poems “La Comédie,” “Tongue Tied,” and “Your Absence” were selected for publication. [This issue of the Aurorean is now available for purchase.] About “La Comédie” A villanelle. The refrains in this French form create a sing-song quality that contrasts with the bleakness … Continue reading Samantha Lê ~ Featured Poet in the Aurorean, Spring/Summer 2017 issue
I’m happy to announce that my poems “To Myself at Eight” and “The Disappearance” are featured in the beautiful Summer 2017 issue of Hypertrophic Literary. [Available online and in print]. About “To Myself at Eight” In the passing along of female traditions, the cost of such inheritance is often freedom. Mothers packaged their seasoned fears and self-imposed limitations … Continue reading “To Myself at Eight” and “The Disappearance” by Samantha Lê published in Hypertrophic Literary, Summer 2017 Issue
Ai is the only name by which I wish, and indeed, should be known.
Ai constructs the experience of dread and pours it into the reader’s mouth. We swallow, “thinking it tastes like blood.”
“How free is a woman?” To be a woman is to be in conflict with one’s own desires, as well as society’s desires to put woman neatly away in her place. In contemporary poetry and literature, female desire is often viewed simultaneously as a force of mysterious power and as a source of evil and corruption. A woman’s desires and her identity are linked. This is her sense of self. The self in Ai’s personae is often broken, but is always present, dictating the direction in which her characters take.
Anne Sexton, a voice trying to define itself in a society where male voices have always been more powerful.