Bao Phi

Bao Phi has been a performance poet since 1991. A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, Bao Phi has appeared on HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry, and a poem of his appeared in the 2006 Best American Poetry anthology. Read more about Bao Phi.

World Happenings

Posted by: Bao Phi under Society, Disasters, Government, Politics Updated: June 7, 2010 - 10:22 PM

Hello readers, thanks for checking in.  Currently I am struggling with three different writing deadlines, so this will be a quick post.  Mostly it's links to current U.S. and world issues that I am reading about, and thinking about.

First, thanks to everyone who forwarded me this essay on Vietnamese people who work in the fishing industry in the gulf:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/phaedra-ellislamkins/unheard-voices-from-the-g_b_575831.html

With all the hubbub about the oil spill, I am glad to read news about Viet folks in the area.  Back when Katrina hit, I was able to do a small amount of volunteer work in New Orleans, teaching a poetry workshop to Viet youth affected by Katrina.  Of  course my tiny bit of volunteering doesn't entitle me to speak like some expert on race and class - and it was a tragedy that changed the lives of people from many different races, classes, and communities.  What I will say is that, as a Vietnamese person, I was curious about if and how the Vietnamese communities affected by Katrina were reported on by the media.  


Now, with this oil spill, of course it affects many different communities as well as, obviously, the environment - of which we all need to pay a great deal of attention to.  All the same, thanks to those of you who sent me the above link reminding me of our people in the Gulf and their unheard story.

Of course there is the tragedy of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, written about eloquently on Racialicious by LaToya Peterson:

 

http://www.racialicious.com/2010/06/01/open-thread-the-gaza-freedom-flotilla/

 

And last but certainly not least, one of my favorite poems of all time: a collaboration between two local poets and activists, Juliana Hu Pegues and Tatiana Ormaza.  In the current climate of immigrant bashing and the high profile of all the racism coming from Arizona, it's refreshing to see this fearless and unapologetic poem that celebrates coalition across communities:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9fNBF8evxt4

 

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