“The Way to Cái Răng Floating Market” by Samantha Lê published by Bayou Magazine

The child rides on the backseat of the family’s bicycle and takes stock of Vietnam’s ravaged countryside after the revolution—its people and animals, its landscape and violent history.  “The Way to Cái Răng Floating Market” captures the complicated adult world through the eyes of a child—the humming poverty and hunger, the trembling of the land.  … Continue reading “The Way to Cái Răng Floating Market” by Samantha Lê published by Bayou Magazine

“Visions of the Aging Poet” by Samantha Lê published by The Lullwater Review

In “Visions of the Aging Poet,” the young writer glimpses visions of her aging poet teacher outside the halls of academia where he’s god.  Under the light of an ordinary day, she realizes the evolution of their relationship, how she’s poised to take his place on the world’s stage, but he’s not ready to let … Continue reading “Visions of the Aging Poet” by Samantha Lê published by The Lullwater Review

Quote: Kurt Vonnegut

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college. And I realize some of you may be having trouble deciding whether I am kidding or not. So from now on I will tell you when … Continue reading Quote: Kurt Vonnegut

“To Myself at Eight” and “The Disappearance” by Samantha Lê published in Hypertrophic Literary, 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

“Second Name” by Samantha Lê published in the anthology Spring Mother Tongue, May 2017

Thank you Arlene Biala and the office of the Poet Laureate of Santa Clara County for putting together this inspiring project. About “Second Name” My journey started with the fall of Saigon when my family became refugees in a country that was once our home.  During the decade of waiting and failed attempts to leave, … Continue reading “Second Name” by Samantha Lê published in the anthology Spring Mother Tongue, May 2017

George Saunders on Revising

If you’re a writer, then revising is a religion you must actively practice.  I joined a writing group recently, and for the critique session, most of the members brought in their first draft.  No one should see your first draft but you, and even then, you should be cringing and giving that first draft the … Continue reading George Saunders on Revising

Quote: Charles Bukowski

“When I begin to doubt my ability to work the word, I simply read another writer and know I have nothing to worry about. My contest is only with myself, to do it right, with power, and force, and delight, and gamble.”

In Honor of World Poetry Day

I arrived at the downtown café after the lunch crowd had already gone back to their nine-to-five desks.  I ordered an iced soy latte and sunk into a seat at one of the outdoor tables that butted up against the busy sidewalk, drinking up the passing attention and sunshine.  The café’s regulars were subdued in … Continue reading In Honor of World Poetry Day

On “The Hanging Family Tree”

“The Hanging Family Tree” employs what Robert Pinsky, in his book The Sounds of Poetry, calls “like and unlike sounds” in order to intensify the meaning of key thematic lines and to create shifts in the musical effects of the poem.