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Dusk Aflame by Mong-Lan

Dusk Aflame: poems & art

Just released: January 2018

ISBN-13: 9780982822746
Valiant Press
134 pages of poems & artwork

Mong-Lan, writer, former Stegner Fellow at Stanford Univ, Fulbright Scholar, has published seven books of poetry & artwork, three chapbooks, has won prizes such as the Juniper Prize and the Pushcart Prize. Poems have been included in numerous anthologies such as Best American Poetry Anthology. She has finished a novel, with an excerpt in the North American Review.

Mong-Lan plays the piano and guitar, sings in five languages, and also composes. Her nine albums of jazz piano and tangos also showcase her poetry.

As a visual artist, Mong-Lan has had her paintings and photographs exhibited in museums such as the Dallas Museum of Art and galleries in the U.S., and in public exhibitions in Tokyo, Seoul, Bangkok, Bali and Buenos Aires.

Mong-Lan as a dancer has studied ballet, jazz and flamenco, and has specialized as a tango dancer, performer, and teacher, having over twenty years of tango dance experience, in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, New York City, Tokyo, Bangkok, Hanoi, and elsewhere.

Mong-Lan left her native Viet Nam on the last day of the evacuation of Sai Gon. Mong-Lan's new solo show, Ocean of Senses: Dream Songs & Tangos: one woman's journey from Sai Gon to Buenos Aires via America, blends original poetry, jazz piano, guitar, dance, story and song. Watch the trailer here.


Perfumas de Amor - Mong-Lan

Perfumas de Amor: de Argentina y Viet Nam, Tango por Siempre

Just Released, March 2018.

From the four corners of the earth, the tango is sensual, melancholic, and sublime. Mong-Lan, Vietnamese-born artist, singer and musician, with remarkable dexterity and talent, interprets the tango with deep feeling as if she were a porteña, from Buenos Aires. With Enrique Santillan, Argentine virtuoso guitarist accompanying her, they form a captivating and memorable duo.

What's New:



Dusk Aflame by Mong-Lan


Dusk Aflame: poems & art

January 2018

ISBN-13: 9780982822746
Valiant Press
Pages: 134


Buy at Amazon

at Barnes & Nobles, at your nearest bookseller

or buy autographed copies from Mong-Lan =>


Mong-Lan's new collection, Dusk Aflame: poems & art, is a bittersweet melange, a delirium of experiences and memories. Buenos Aires looms large with elegiac, nocturnal footsteps:  on the edge of chaos and accidents waiting to happen. Where European majesty once molded lives its dying whimper, is resurrected in Latin American brusqueness in a histrionic city towards the end of the world.  Buenos Aires, womb and capital of the tango, a melancholic music and sultry dance created by men and women who felt a need for the embrace. Death aspires to be a character here, and Dusk, too, female, animistic. An elegy for all that exists only in memory.  On a lighter note, Mong-Lan continues with her cherished theme--love poems to nourishing delectables, like persimmon, rice, and sesame seed.  Dusk Aflame includes odes to the body, to the South, New Orleans, Houston, Galveston, and an island off the coast of Thailand. Jazz in poetry, in rhythm to the syncopations of life, to the tango, all comes together in a voice and world vision that is uniquely Mong-Lan's.

Mong-Lan's lyrical brush and ink paintings accompany her poems in a poetic dance of movement, providing a visual resonance and portent to her work. Her vital virtuoso strokes assume their own characters and lives of their own.

". . . A true original, unafraid of sentiment and at the height of her artistic prowess, Mong-Lan’s new book proves she remains one of our leading poets.”—Ravi Shankar, editor of Drunken Boat.

“Mong-Lan’s poems are fresh and real as a street, full of the seriousness of pleasure. She has the same sense of joy that Kenneth Koch loved in the courage to sing, happiness of St.-John Perse. . . . I praise these poems of praise which collapse distance and makes us feel, as O’Hara seemed to say, poetry is just a telephone call away.”—David Shapiro, poet & professor.

"Mông-Lan is a remarkably accomplished poet. Always her poems are deft, extremely graceful in the way words move, and in the cadence that carries them. One is moved by the articulate character of ‘things seen,’ the subtle shifting of images, and the quiet intensity of their information. Clearly she is a master of the art."  --Robert Creeley

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 Background drawing of the Mekong river, in Vinh Long, Vietnam, by Mong-Lan, 1996.

Website created on May 19, 2001.  Last modified February 2018.

Copyright © 2001-2018 by Mong-Lan. All rights reserved.  Website created by Mong-Lan. Please respect the fact that all artwork and writing (except where indicated) and poetry on this website are copyrighted by Mong-Lan. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, without her written permission.