Yellow Rain: Poems

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Yellow Rain by Mai Der Vang is a timely collection providing a personal account of the displacement, erasure, and trauma Vang carries as the daughter of Hmong refugees. As a means of protest, she reveals her people as a refusal of secrecy. She refers to herself, her family, and others like them “among the fled,” laying bare the generational pain that remains despite time and physical distance.

Throughout the book, she begs the audience to “believe me,” cultivating a sense of self, not only for herself but for her people as well through remembrance. Vang takes on the herculean task of educating the reader on the Hmong people’s history with a preface to each section or composition. She includes varying quotes and images, interlocking and overlapping her poems. All of the reference text and images are cited at the end, as if providing “proof” of her people’s experience. These additions make the book considerably thick for a poetry book, creating a tangible metaphor for the reader; the horrors done to the Hmong are an emotional and physical weight.

Released during an uptick in violence toward Asian communities, Vang’s voice is a testament to a people’s ability to persist and endure.


Reviewed By:

Author Mai Der Vang
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 176 pages
Publisher Graywolf Press
Publish Date 21-Sep-2021
ISBN 9781644450659
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2022
Category Poetry & Short Stories
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