Duy Doan is a Vietnamese American poet from Texas. A Kundiman fellow, he received his MFA in poetry from Boston University. His poems have appeared in Slate, The Cortland Review, Best Emerging Poets: Stay Thirsty Magazine, Amethyst Arsenic, and elsewhere. A recipient of awards from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the St. Botolph Club Foundation, Duy has taught at Boston University, Lesley University, and the Boston Conservatory. He is the director of the Favorite Poem Project, which celebrates the role of poetry in the lives of Americans. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
We Play a Game
Duy Doan’s striking debut reveals the wide resonance of the collection’s unassuming title, in poems that explore—now with abundant humor, now with a deeply felt reserve—the ambiguities and tensions that mark our effort to know our histories, our loved ones, and ourselves. These are poems that draw from Doan’s experience as a Vietnamese-American while at the same time making a case for—and masterfully playing with—the fluidity of identity, history, and language. Nothing is alien to these poems: the Saigon of a mother’s dirge, the footballer Zinedine Zidane, an owl that “talks to his other self in the well”—all have a place in Doan’s far-reaching and intimately human art.