Poetry. Fiction. Literary Nonfiction. Asian & Asian American Studies. Women's Studies. Introduction by Merlinda Bobis. All doors are open in Lucy Van's poetry. Ingress and egress are multiple, even coincident. We've just touched what's here, or are about to touch it, when apprehension is quickly unsettled, halted or reconfigured. Because we're only passing through a door or another door is opening, as the poet offers: 'Another thought though (and oh, I think about how thought and though are very similar words).' Hers is a liminal though. Between what's touched and what's yet to be touched. Site of frisson. Contention. Then insight.
"The book opens to Hotel Grand Saigon: 'I have gone back and now I am here.' 'Back' is her father's family and roots in Vietnam, opening the door to his migration history, only a peek, though ('Never write a poem about a boat'), then opening to Vietnam's colonial history. And now we are here where the Vietnamese staff 'are always ready to serve' the French and other holidaying Europeans and white Australians, and herself, the Vietnamese Australian poet 'coming home,' though also waited on or waiting in a gift shop and unable to ask, because she can't speak her father's language. Van's poetry is an ongoing decolonial passage. Each opened space and time takes to task the one just left, then comes home to the poet, her self-reflexive though pointing to her own entanglement. She's inside and outside these pasts and presents, or presences: touched and untouched."—Merlinda Bobis
Lucy Van writes poetry and criticism. She teaches literary studies at the University of Melbourne, where she has also been a Melbourne Research Fellow. In 2019 and 2020, she was a writer in residence at Overland Literary Journal. Figures, her spoken poetry EP, was produced in collaboration with musician Laila Sakini and released by Purely Physical (UK) in 2017. Her work has appeared in publications including History of Photography, Journal of Australian Studies, Southerly, Axon: Creative Explorations, Cordite Poetry Review, Australian Poetry Journal, The Suburban Review, Mascara Literary Review, Peril Magazine and Arc Poetry Magazine.Author City: MELBOURNE AUS