behind the image, the imagination  --Mong-Lan




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Mong-Lan, poet, novelist, essayist, former Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Fulbright Scholar, has published seven (7) books of poetry & artwork, three (3) 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 and various Norton anthologies. She has finished a novel, with an excerpt in the North American Review.

Mong-Lan as a musician plays the piano and guitar, sings in six languages, and also composes. Her eleven 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 an Argentine tango dancer, performer, and teacher, having over twenty years of tango dance experience, in Buenos Aires, San Francisco, New York City, Houston, Tokyo, Bangkok, Hanoi, and elsewhere.

As an educator, Mong-Lan has taught at the Univ of Maryland in Tokyo, Stanford University, the Univ of Arizona in Tucson, and has been an invited guest teacher and speaker on numerous campuses, festivals, schools, cultural organizations, and at U.S Embassy sponsored lectures, in the United States and internationally.

Mong-Lan left her native Viet Nam on the last day of the evacuation of Sai Gon. Her 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.




Arrabal de Tango: Tango por Siempre, 2020

Arrabal de Tango: Tango por Siempre

Valiant Productions, 2020

click above to listen

Tango from their barrios, their neighborhoods, Almagro, Avellaneda,
Buenos Aires: Mong-Lan and Enrique Santillán’s new album of tangos
with guitar and voice. Mong-Lan, Vietnamese-born singer and guitarist,
and Enrique Santillán, virtuoso guitarist, from Avellaneda, Buenos Aires,
interpret the classic tangos with passion, ingenuity, and brilliance.








Mong-Lan books

Dusk Aflame: poems & art

January 2018

ISBN-13: 9780982822746
Valiant Press, full-length collection

Poetry and artwork


Tone of Water in a Half-Filled Glass

May 2018, Foothills Publishing, chapbook
ISBN: 978-0-921053-18-7


What's New:





". . . 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.


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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 October 2020.

Copyright © 2001-2020 by Mong-Lan. All rights reserved. Website created by Mong-Lan. Please respect the fact that all artwork, writing, poetry, and music (except where indicated), on this website are copyrighted by Mong-Lan. It may not be stored, displayed, published, reproduced, without her written permission.