Poetry Night Thursday Features Davis Literary Giants

Pos Moua. reads from podium; and book cover, "Karst Mountains Will Bloom"
Pos Moua, featured poet, and his new book.

Pos Moua, along with professors emeriti Gary Snyder and Sandra McPherson, will appear at the John Natsoulas Gallery at 8 p.m.

Retired UC Davis poetry professors Gary Snyder and Sandra McPherson will be on hand to introduce notable Hmong poet Pos Moua at the Poetry Night Reading Series at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the John Natsoulas Gallery, 521 1st St., Davis.

Snyder and McPherson will give brief readings, but their main purpose is the introduction of Moua, whose collected works, Karst Mountains Will Bloom (Blue Oak Press), came out in April.

Moua, a refugee of the Secret War in Laos, is a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at UC Davis. A resident of Merced, he is a member of the Hmong American Writers Circle. His first chapbook is Where the Torches are Burning (Swan Scythe Press, 2001). In the foreword to that book, Snyder writes that the poet gives “an account of love and family and identity in the poet's new land.”

Moua's poems have appeared in the anthologies Tilting the Continent: Southeast Asian American Writing (New Rivers Press, 2000) and How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Heyday Books, 2011). His new book will be available for sale during Poetry Night.

Gary Snyder and Sandra McPherson mugshots
Snyder and McPherson

Snyder, a Pulitzer Prize winner, taught at UC Davis from 1986 to 2001 and has authored more than 30 books, including The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry and Translations (1999). He was inducted into the California Hall of Fame in 2017. McPherson, of Davis, has authored more than 20 books, and taught for many years at UC Davis and the Iowa Writers Workshop.

Guests are invited to arrive to Poetry Night early (by 7:45 p.m.) to sign up for a spot on the open mic that will follow the readings by the featured authors. Please bring poems, short stories, monologues and songs. Performers with instruments are especially welcomed. Participants will be asked to limit their performances to five minutes or two items, whichever is shorter.

The Poetry Night Reading Series is hosted by Davis poet laureate emeritus, Andy Jones, who is also a writing lecturer at UC Davis. Poetry Night is held every first and third Thursday at the gallery. Future performers include Lisa Abraham and Lauren Frausto.

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