Jam Alerts by Linh Dinh
“Linh Dinh is one of the most consistently surprising writers around. One can find sources & roots for his writing, explain the traces of surrealism through the presence, say, of the French in Vietnam (tho they were driven out a decade before he was born), note that he is hardly the only good or successful Vietnamese American poet, let alone the only poet to come from a working class background, yet he is not writing ‘about’ or even ‘toward’ nor ‘from’ any one of these contexts so much as he is through them—they are lenses, filters, that condition his perspective on everyday life. Imagine what any other poet with this strong a sense of form would have had to become in order to write such poetry. Ted Berrigan, for example. Berrigan shares Linh’s class background, which enables him to be as ruthless in a different way as Linh is in his. But the comparison stops there. Linh is writing straightforward poetry, but from a perspective shared by almost no one else. This kind of exile is far deeper than mere geography…you can feel Linh’s deep loneliness on every page & realize that there are aspects of his poetry that you can’t find anywhere else. We probably haven’t had a writer this singular since the death of William Burroughs.”—Ron Silliman
Linh Dinh was born in Saigon, Vietnam in 1963, came to the US in 1975, and has also lived in Italy and England. He is the author of two collections of stories and four books of poems. His work has been anthologized in Best American Poetry 2000, Best American Poetry 2004, Best American Poetry 2007 and Great American Prose Poems from Poe to the Present, among other places. Linh Dinh is also the editor of the anthologies Night, Again: Contemporary Fiction from Vietnam (Seven Stories Press, 1996) and Three Vietnamese Poets (Tinfish, 2001), and translator of Night, Fish and Charlie Parker, the poetry of Phan Nhien Hao (Tupelo, 2006). Blood and Soap (Seven Stories Press, 2004) was chosen by the Village Voice as one of the best books of 2004. His poems and stories have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Japanese and Arabic, and he has been invited to read his works all over the US, London, Cambridge and Berlin. He has also published widely in Vietnamese. He lives in Philadelphia. His works from Chax Press are AMERICAN TATTS (2005), JAM ALERTS (2007), and SOME KIND OF CHEESE ORGY (2009).