All week long, Paperback Paris will be covering the longlist for the 2017 National Book Awards.
Today’s NBA announcement unveils the contenders for the longlist for Poetry, which features Danez Smith, Laura Kasischke, Layli Long Soldier, Leslie Harrison, Marie Howe, Mai Der Vang, Shane McCrae, Frank Bidart, Chen Chen and Sherod Santos. This year’s panel of judges for the longlist for Poetry include Nick Flynn, Jane Mead, Gregory Pardlo, Richard Siken, and Monica Youn (Chair).
See which books made the cut, below, and come back tomorrow for the 2017 NBA longlist for Nonfiction.
Be sure to tune in October 4, when the shortlists will be announced.
All books that appear on this list can be made available for purchase by clicking on its cover.
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Mai Der Vang, Afterland
Synopsis: Afterland is a powerful, essential collection of poetry that recounts with devastating detail the Hmong exodus from Laos and the fate of thousands of refugees seeking asylum. Mai Der Vang is telling the story of her own family and by doing so, she also provides an essential history of the Hmong culture’s ongoing resilience in exile. Many of these poems are written in the voices of those fleeing unbearable violence after U.S. forces recruited Hmong fighters in Laos in the Secret War against communism, only to abandon them after that war went awry. That history is little known, but the three hundred thousand Hmong now living in the United States are living proof of its aftermath. With poems of extraordinary force and grace, Afterland holds an original place in American poetry and lands with a sense of humanity saved, of outrage, of a deep tradition broken by war and ocean but still intact, remembered, and lived.