The Saloon’s good friend, Michael H. Brownstein, was in Viet Nam during the spring of 2011 teaching first year English to rural farming students attending the Ha Noi University of Agriculture (HUA).
Vietnamese students receive a free education until age 11 and then each has to either pay on his or her own or find sponsors. Michael writes that his students come from farming families and a farming culture, but all feel the need to get a university education to help their villages. They feel they need English because they desperately desire American assistance.
None of Michael's students had ever written a poem in any language. He had them study “In Bed” by Jeff Flemming and "The Red Wheelbarrow" by William Carlos Williams. Then they wrote their first poems—in English.
Following the publication of the original poems, other young scholars from Southeast Asia have contributed works to this collection.
The Camel Saloon continues to be honored to present the results. Please enjoy these voices.
The English Class, Ha Noi University of Agriculture
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Notice of Copyrights
Original material on this site is copyrighted by the contributors. No original material may be copied or reused without the permission of the respective contributor. Text of "The Red Wheelbarrow" permitted under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Text of "in bed" from the chapbook, "Why Is My Lemon Tea Red?," (Nibbles Press) by Jeffrey Flemming. Used by permission of the author. Photographs of the Temple of Literature and Halong Bay are in the public domain. Class photographs collected and courtesy of Nguyen Sao Mai. Photographs of Agent Orange victims courtesy Michael H. Brownstein. "Images of Sa Pa" by Pham Nhu Trang. "Images of Viet Nam" by Korey Brownstein.
A Books on Blog™ publication issued June 2011 by The Camel Saloon.