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Poet, Vietnam veteran to read from work, discuss craft

October 05, 2011

Poet Bruce Weigl was awarded a Bronze Star for his service during the Vietnam War, and came home with ties to that country that remain unbroken.

Weigl will read his work and sign books at at 7:45 p.m., Oct. 13, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), 7374 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale.

The reading is in conjunction with the traveling exhibit “Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children’s Paintings,” which is sponsored by the Young Writers Program at ASU and will be on display at SMoCA Oct. 1-Nov. 9.

The museum is offering a guided tour of “Speak Peace” prior to the Weigl reading. The exhibit tour begins at 7 p.m.

Weigl will also discuss his poetry in a free Public Craft Q&A at 1 p.m., Oct. 13, in the Piper Writers House on the ASU Tempe campus. Both the reading and Q&A are part of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing’s Distinguished Visiting Writers Series.

Weigl’s ties to Vietnam include translations of poetry by North Koreans who were captured during the war, and his family’s 1996 adoption of a Vietnamese orphan named Hạnh Nguyễn Weigl.

He is the author, editor, translator or co-translator of more than 20 books of poetry, criticism and memoir. His book “Song of Napalm” (1988) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. His most recent poetry collection is “Declension in the Village of Chung Luong” (2006).

Weigl is past president of the Associated Writing Programs, chaired the judging panel in poetry for the National Book Award, and in 2006 received the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry. In 2010 Weigl received the Peace Medal from the Vietnamese Writers Association.

He is Distinguished Professor in Arts and Humanities at Lorain County Community College in Ohio where he teaches poetry and directs the Creative Writing Institute.

For more information, go to or contact Tom McDermott, (480) 727-0818.