Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies. In his first full-length collection, GRUEL, Bunkong Tuon documents the lives of Cambodian refugees and explores the poetic landscape of a Cambodian America. Written tenderly, with honesty, intelligence, and occasional humor, Gruel is populated by survivors such as a boy who loses his mother to the Khmer Rouge regime, a grandmother who risks her life to steal a few grains of rice for her grandson, an uncle who is beaten by Thai military police for night fishing outside a refugee camp, an aunt who leaves the East Coast to buy a donut shop in California, a father who re-experiences the traumas of the Cambodian Genocide, a young man who discovers Charles Bukowski in a Long Beach public library, a professor who teaches about the horrors of war to college students at a private college in Upstate New York, to name a few. It's a book about memories, ghosts and haunting, personal loss and historical traumas, losing and finding home, discovery and self-invention; above all, it's a book about love, sacrifice, and hope.
Bunkong Tuon is a writer, critic, and associate professor of English at Union College, in Schenectady, NY. His criticism on Southeast Asian American literature has been published in Comparative Literature Studies, MELUS, Mosaic, Children's Literature Quarterly, among others. His poetry has appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Chiron Review, Consequence, Poetry Quarterly, The Mekong Review, Numéro Cinq, and others. He is a contributor to Cultural Weekly. GRUEL, his first poetry collection, was published in 2015 (NYQ Books) and AND SO I WAS BLESSED is his latest book (NYQ Books, 2017).Author City: SCHENECTADY, NY USA