In her debut collection, Monica Sok uses poetry to reshape a family’s memory about the Khmer Rouge regime―a memory that is both real and imagined―according to a child of refugees. Driven by myth-making and fables, the poems examine the inheritance of the genocide and the profound struggles of searing grief and PTSD. Though the landscape of Cambodia is always present, it is the liminal space, the in-betweenness of diaspora, in which younger generations must reconcile their history and create new rituals. A Nail the Evening Hangs On seeks to reclaim the Cambodian narrative with tenderness and imagination that moves towards wholeness and possibility.
“Sok’s reflective debut teases out how the trauma of the Khmer Rouge is remembered and retained in the fabric of the country and within her own family… Weaving the threads of her family’s stories, history, place, and identity, these poems glimmer with strength and presence.”
“An unsettling, powerful, important debut.” —Booklist
“Sok has an impressive sense of story… A significant, new voice.”
“Sok honors [her elders] here with the acute, protective tenderness of her gaze, the risks she takes in imagining her way into their lives.” —Literary Hub
“The poet is able to offer quiet wisdom without sentimentality. Ultimately this poet refuses to surrender to victimhood… She has found her way to ‘the healing fields.’” ―Marilyn Chin
Order book at http://www.monicasok.com/book