Book Talk: Afterland: Poetry of Mai Der Vang

Afterland depicts the “flight of the Hmong People, and their Survival as refugees.”

Thursday, May 25, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
2270 Public Affairs Bldg.
UCLA Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Mai Der Vang’s Afterland is a powerful collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. By telling the story of her own family, Vang also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture’s ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after US forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them. That history is little known, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of its aftermath. With poems of extraordinary force and grace, Afterland holds an original place in American poetry and lands with a sense of humanity saved, of outrage, of a deep tradition broken by war and ocean but still intact, remembered, and lived.

Mai Der Vang is an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle and coeditor of How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology. Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and the Washington Post.

Cost : Free and open to the public.

Barbara Gaerlan

Sponsor(s): Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Asian American Studies Center, English, Asian American Studies Department , UCLA Office of Instructional Development (OID), Writing Success Program | UCLA Community Programs Office (WSP/CPO)