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‘Unpacking the Vietnamese Refugee Experience’ with authors Bao Phi and Thi Bui

  • Minnesota State University Moorhead , Gaede Stage Moorhead, Minnesota 56563 (map)

Monday, April 8 | 7 p.m. | Gaede Stage

The award-winning authors Bao Phi and Thi Bui will discuss their work, their experiences as refugees of the Vietnam War, and as Asian Americans. Bao Phi has written books of poetry and authored the Caldecott honor book, A Different Pond. Thi Bui illustrated A Different Pond and is the author/illustrator of the graphic memoir, The Best We Could Do. Both books reflect the authors’ experiences and their families’ lives as refugees after the Vietnam War. 

A book signing and light refreshments will follow their presentation.

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Bao Phi was born in Saigon in 1975 and was just 3 months old when his family fled Saigon and the War. Phi grew up in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis. He graduated from South High School and later Macalester College with a degree in English. He is both a poet and spoken work artist and a two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion. His collections of poetry include Thousand Star Hotel and Sông I Sing. Phi lives in Minneapolis and is the program director of The Loft Literary Center. His new picture book, My Footprints, is set to be released fall 2019.

Thi Bui was born in Vietnam 3 months before the end of the War and migrated to the U.S. in 1978 with her family. They were boat people refugees from Southeast Asia after the fall of South Vietnam. Bui studied art and legal studies and began her career as a public school teacher in New York City. She was a founding teacher of the Oakland International High School, the first public school in California for recent immigrants and English-language learners. Bui lives in Berkeley with her husband, her son and her mother. Her next book project centers on climate change and the impact on Vietnam. 

Northern Lights Library Network (NLLN) is a partial sponsor of this event. Events sponsored by NLLN are made possible by the voters of Minnesota from legislative appropriation through the Minnesota Department of Education.