We Play a Game (Yale Series of Younger Poets #112)
The 112th volume of the Yale Series of Younger Poets explores the Vietnamese-American experience
Duy Doan’s striking debut reveals the wide resonance of the collection’s unassuming title, in poems that explore—now with abundant humor, now with a deeply felt reserve—the ambiguities and tensions that mark our effort to know our histories, our loved ones, and ourselves. These are poems that draw from Doan’s experience as a Vietnamese-American while at the same time making a case for—and masterfully playing with—the fluidity of identity, history, and language. Nothing is alien to these poems: the Saigon of a mother’s dirge, the footballer Zinedine Zidane, an owl that “talks to his other self in the well”—all have a place in Doan’s far-reaching and intimately human art.
Praise for We Play a Game (Yale Series of Younger Poets #112)
“These are intimate, mischievous poems, alternately wry, forthright, vulnerable, winking, and sincere.”—Nina MacLaughlin, The Boston Globe
“Refreshingly unshowy, Doan’s collection is not an obvious choice for a big prize, but it reveals itself to be a deserving one.”—Publishers Weekly
“Bold, bright, yet decidedly unsettled and unsettling, this first collection . . . doesn’t so much explore Doan’s Vietnamese American experience as defy it.”—Library Journal (starred review), Top Spring Poetry
Winner of the 2019 Lamda Literary Awards, Bisexual Poetry category