Tourane Poetry Press proudly announces the fifth anniversary of Perfume River Poetry Review. For this milestone, we’ve released a double issue celebrating Vietnam, my homeland, my heritage, my heroic people.
Hard copies are available for $15. For a copy of our “Vietnam Forever” double issue or other inquiries, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I understand now why my father spent all those nights listening to those old [Vietnamese] songs. Having just lost Vietnam, it was the music and poetry of his homeland that gave him enough light to carry on into the next day. ” –Editor’s note
Inevitably, I’ve become my father, listening to old Vietnamese songs late into the night. Here are some songs that inspired me while I assembled this double issue:
This achingly beautiful song is sung by two of my heroes, the great Phạm Duy and Steve Addiss, whom I am privileged to include in this issue. (The video is part of Peter Seeger’s music series, Rainbow Quest: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gfLofsXPZ0)
In this song sung by Thái Thanh, the diva of Vietnamese music, a young woman laments: “Em đã, đã có chồng / Như chim, chim vào lồng” (I have a husband / like a bird entering into a cage).
If there is a song that could break me, it is this poetic gem from Trịnh Công Sơn, a call for peace and reconciliation: “Mẹ trông con mau bước về nhà / Mẹ mong con lũ con đường xa / Ôi lũ con cùng cha quên hận thù” (Mother wishes for you to hurry home / Mother wishes for all her children from far away / O, we are children of one common Father, forget our hatred).
Even after all these years, we still have not found true peace.
Copies of past issues are also available:
Issue 1: Inaugural Issue: Where We Begin
“When did poetry begin for you? When was it you first discovered that words could bring you joy, give comfort, sustain you, and create hope and beauty? When was it you first discovered this magic?”
Free pdf: Perfume River_Issue 1_Where We Begin
Issue 2: Ars Erotica
Ars Erotica explores aesthetics of love, sex, sexuality, and intimacy and how it makes us human.
Free pdf: Perfume River_Issue 2_Ars Erotica
Issue 3: Night Terrors
What are your fears of the dark? What keeps you up at night–be it ghosts or hauntings in your heart?
Free pdf: Perfume River Issue 3_Night Terrors
Issue 4: A New Philosophy
“I have a new philosophy: to do things less, do things smaller, to do things closer to the heart.”