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. 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.
He has two collections of poems, both published by Coffeehouse Press, Sông I Sing and Thousand Star Hotel, the latter of which was nominated for the Minnesota Book Award, named by NPR as one of the best books of 2017, and was chosen as 2017’s best poetry book of the year by San Francisco State’s Poetry Center.
His first children’s book, A Different Pond, received six starred reviews and won multiple awards including a Caldecott Honor, an Ezra Jack Keats Honor, Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association award for best picture book, the Minnesota Book Award for picture books, and the Charlotte Zolotow Award for excellence in children’s book writing. It made several best books of the year lists, including Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Shelf Awareness. His second children’s book, My Footprints, was release by Capstone in 2019.