Pilsen Community Review

There are some works in literature that attempt to express the ineffable. Kafka was one of the practitioners of this dark art. Joyce, Beckett. The Modernist canon contains some of these heroic attempts to make intelligible a sense of the absurd that has crept into the consciousness and conception of human history, of human existence itself. Some writers, like the existentialists of the mid-20th century, used almost conventional narrative devices to convey to the reader what is being attempted.

Tarpaulin Sky

It took me days to recover from soak up the first page of Vi Khi Nao’s The Old Philosopher (Nightboat Books, 2016), especially the line in the first poem “dear god I am god”: “I am am washing myself in dew,” in which we have the visible seam of a shift from identity to action.

New Pages

Vi Khi Nao, born in Long Khanh, Vietnam in 1979, came to the United States when she was seven years old. In her book, The Old Philosopher, she has given us poems in vigorous experimental language.

Chicago Review

Bhanu Kapil’s latest book begins with an annotated list of its contents, although some of those contents are only present in the list itself. Even “annotated list” might be misleading—each item appears on its own page, and the annotations are not just glosses but impacted narratives of each component’s genesis or eventual excision.


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