American poet to introduce English translation of Nguyen Trai poems

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"Beyond the Court Gate," an English translation of poems by noted poet Nguyen Trai (1380-1442) will be released in Vietnam on May 20.


The book, translated by poet Nguyen Do and edited by Prof. Paul Hoover of the  University of California, includes 150 poems by Nguyen Trai, an illustrious Vietnamese Confucian scholar, a skilled politician and a master tactician.


Hoover, a poet himself, will hold several talks in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City as well as the central provinces of Nghe An and Quang Ngai from May 20-31. The first will talk, to introduce the book published by the Counterpath Press Publishing House, US, in 2010, will take place at Hanoi's Culture University. 


Prior to "Beyond the Court Gate," Paul Hoover, 65, and Nguyen Do, 52, together published a collection of contemporary Vietnamese poems others works by outstanding writers and poets of Vietnam. The collection was released by non-profit publishing firm Milkweed Editions from the US in 2008. 


Hoover said that since he does not know Vietnamese, he asked Nguyen Do to translate the poems into English and then rewrote them in a poetic style.


Hoover has won several poetry awards, including the Frederick Bock Award for poems that appeared in the June 2010 issue of Poetry last year, the PEN-USA Translation Prize for Selected Poems of Friedrich Holderlin in 2009, the Jerome J. Shestack Award for the best poems to appear in American Poetry Review in 2002.


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