THOUSAND STAR HOTEL by Bao Phi Coffee House Press (2017) 110 pages reviewed by Brian Satrom What authors empathize with in their work can reveal a great deal about their perceptions of themselves. The poem “Not a Silverfish,” toward the end of Bao Phi’s second collection, Thousand Star Hotel, has the speaker imagining the perspective of […]
BAO PHI has been a performance poet since 1991.
A two-time Minnesota Grand Slam champion and a National Poetry Slam finalist, Bao Phi has appeared on HBO Presents Russell Simmons Def Poetry, featured in the live performances and taping of the blockbuster diasporic Vietnamese variety show Paris By Night 114: Tôi Là Người Việt Nam, and a poem of his appeared in the 2006 Best American Poetry anthology. His poems and essays are widely published in numerous publications including Screaming Monkeys and Spoken Word Revolution Redux. He has also released several CDs of his poetry, such as Refugeography and The Nguyens EP. A short story of his, Revolution Shuffle, appeared in the anthology Octavia’s Brood: Stories from Social Justice Movements, AK Press, 2015, and an essay of his was included in the anthology A Good Time for the Truth, edited by Sun Yung Shin, Minnesota Historical Society Press.
His second collection of poems, Thousand Star Hotel, was published by Coffee House Press on July 5, 2017, of which the Chicago Review of Books wrote “this is a different kind of poetry, a volume written by an experienced orator who understands how to tell a story. These poems don’t happen, they elapse. They add on to a story that isn’t yet over.” It was nominated for a Minnesota Book Award, and was named the best poetry book of 2017 by San Francisco State’s Poetry Center.