May 6, 2-4pm
Instructor: Mong-Lan, MFA
Tuition: Free (Members); $45 (Non-members)
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Join Mong-Lan in an innovative writing workshop that explores the secret inner workings of poetry and the poetic psyche through the power of voice and power of place. To begin, the workshop will engage in close readings of contemporary poets and talk about strategies employed. Workshop participants will write poems based on prompts and particular strategies discussed during the class. Poems may be shared and discussed.
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:
Multi-artist Mong-Lan, poet, writer, painter, photographer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, singer, dancer and teacher of Argentine tango, left her native Vietnam on the last day of the evacuation of Saigon. Winner of a Pushcart Prize, the Juniper Prize, the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Awards for Poetry, and other awards, Mong-Lan’s poetry has been nationally and internationally anthologized to include being in Best American Poetry and The Pushcart Book of Poetry: Best Poems from 30 Years of the Pushcart Prize. She is the author of six books and two chapbooks which contain her poetry and artwork — the most recent of which is One Thousand Minds Brimming: poems & art. Other books include Song of the Cicadas (Juniper Prize, finalist for the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber First Book Award); Why is the Edge Always Windy?; Tango, Tangoing: Poems & Art; the bilingual Spanish / English edition, Tango, Tangueando: Poemas & Dibujos; and the chapbooks Love Poem to Tofu and Other Poems and Love Poem to Ginger & Other Poems: poetry & paintings. Her book Force of the Heart: Tango, Art, which includes drawings, paintings, and a poem, was inspired by the tango.
A Stegner Fellow in poetry for two years at Stanford University and a Fulbright Fellow in Vietnam, Mong-Lan received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arizona. A former university professor, her poetry has been frequently anthologized to include in Asian American Poetry —The Next Generation; Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond (Norton); Force Majeure (Indonesia); Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry; Jungle Crows: a Tokyo Expatriate anthology and has appeared in leading American literary journals. She has read her poetry, lectured and/or given academic presentations in the U.S., Switzerland, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Argentina. She has taught at the University of Maryland in Tokyo, Stanford University and the University of Arizona. In addition to writing poetry, she has finished a novel with an excerpt currently in the North American Review and elsewhere.
Mong-Lan plays the piano and guitar, sings in five languages, and also writes songs. Her nine albums of jazz piano and tangos also showcase her poetry.
Mong-Lan’s jazz piano album releases can be found here: Diary: Voyages; Visions: Diary; and City of Dreams – Ciudad de Sueños; Equivalences / Synchronicities; Under 13 Moons; The Cosmic Blues ~ Dragonfly Dances; and her latest, New Orleans of My Heart. Dreaming Orchid: Poetry & Jazz Piano is her newest album, spoken word poetry coupled with Mong-Lan’s enchanting Jazz piano.
Mong-Lan’s paintings and photographs have been exhibited for one year at the Capitol House in Washington D.C., for six months at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, in galleries in the San Francisco Bay Area, in public exhibitions in Tokyo, Bali, Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Seoul. In conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, she was the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts’ inaugural Visual Artist and Poet in Residence.
Mong-Lan as a dancer has studied ballet, jazz, flamenco, modern, and for twenty years has specialized as a tango dancer, performer, teacher, having performed and taught in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, New York City, Tokyo, Bangkok, and elsewhere. Visit her tango website.