Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Poetic Obituaries: [Nguyen Chi Thien] was released in 1977,

two years after the fall of Saigon.

In 1979, he walked into the British Embassy in Hanoi with a manuscript of 400 poems, according to the Viet Nam Literature Project. British diplomats promised to ferry his poetry out of the country.

Jailed again, he spent the next 12 years at Hoa Lo prison--infamous as the Hanoi Hilton.

While he was locked up, his collected writings were published as "Flowers From Hell," initially in Vietnamese, then translated into English, which helped him win the International Poetry Award in Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1985.

from Los Angeles Times: Nguyen Chi Thien dies at 73; poet, Vietnamese prisoner
then Radio Free Asia: Defiant Vietnamese Poet Dies
then New York Times: Nguyen Chi Thien, Whose Poems Spoke Truth to Power, From a Cell, Dies at 73
then Huffington Post: Remembering Nguyen Chi Thien
then The Age: Vietnamese poet spent years in prison camps for failing to respect Communist Party line


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