A Nail the Evening Hangs On

Monica Sok

Forthcoming February 2020

In this staggering poetry debut, Monica Sok illuminates the experiences of Cambodian diaspora and reflects on America’s role in escalating the genocide in Cambodia. A Nail the Evening Hangs On travels from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, where Tuol Sleng and other war museums reshape the imagination of a child of refugees; to New York City and Lancaster, where the dailiness of intergenerational trauma persists on the subway or among the cornfields of a small hometown. Embracing collective memory, both real and imagined, these poems move across time to break familial silence. Sok pieces together voices and fragments—using persona, myth, and imagination—in a transformative work that builds towards wholeness.

ISBN: 9781556595608

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Monica Sok is a Cambodian American poet and the daughter of former refugees. Her work has been recognized with a Discovery Prize from the 92nd Street Y Unterberg Poetry Center. She has received fellowships from Hedgebrook, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Kundiman, the Jerome Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and others. Currently, Sok is a 2018–2020 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and also teaches poetry at the Center for …

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Reviews

“An unsettling, powerful, important debut.” —Booklist

“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