In her debut collection, Monica Sok uses poetry to reshape a family's memory about the Khmer Rouge regime--memory that is both real and imagined--according to a child of refugees. Driven by myth-making and fables, the poems examine the inheritance of the genocide and the profound struggles of searing grief and PTSD. Though the landscape of Cambodia is always present, it is the liminal space, the in-betweenness of diaspora, in which younger generations must reconcile their history and create new rituals. A Nail the Evening Hangs On seeks to reclaim the Cambodian narrative with tenderness and an imagination that moves towards wholeness and possibility.
About the Author
Monica Sokis a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. She is the author of Year Zero winner of a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her work has been recognized with a "Discovery" / Boston Review Poetry Prize. Currently, Sok is a 2018-2020 Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. She lives in Oakland, California where she teaches poetry to youths at Banteay Srei and the Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants.
"The poet is able to offer quiet wisdom without sentimentality. Ultimately this poet refuses to surrender to victimhood. The chapbook ends optimistically in the borough of Brooklyn, where the young speaker lives happily, sometimes seen in the neighborhood eating bagels with friends and writing new poems. She has found her way to 'the healing fields.'" -- Marilyn Chin