New Project: Books by Nguyen Chi Thien-Jean Libby


Jean Libby

Vietnamese dissident poet Nguyen Chi Thien spent 27 years in prison in North Vietnam between 1961 and 1991 for refusing to agree to Communist Party doctrine. Denied pen and paper, his poems were memorized. During a brief period of release in 1979, he wrote down 400 poems and brought them to the British Embassy in Hanoi. A bilingual Vietnamese/English translation by Professor Huynh Sanh Tong at Yale University earned the Rotterdam Poetry Prize in 1985. The poet was released due to international outcry in 1991. He came the United States in 1995, then toured the world and wrote prose stories about prison life at Hoa Lo –the Hanoi Hilton–with an Int. Parliament of Writers Fellowship. The poet Nguyen Chi Thien’s passing in October 2012 brought major obituaries in the New York Times and The Economist. Produced by Jean Libby of Palo Alto, California, who assisted Mr. Thien with his English language materials.