reviews: poetry


“…incisive in its call for a productive conversation about oppression and its remedies”
– Five Poets Offer Eloquent Views of the American Experience | The New York Times


“In this song of his very American self, every poem Mr. Phi writes rhymes with the truth.”
– Lyrical Renegades and Free-Range Sages | The New York Times


“Minneapolis poet Bao Phi’s new collection “Song I Sing” was one of three new poetry books reviewed by Dana Jennings in the Times.”
– Bao Phi gets potent recognition | MPR


“There’s sparkling range within these poems, and the reach is fluid.”
– Must-Read Poetry: July 2017 | The Millions


“…equal parts heartbreaking and bitingly funny….Phi’s linguistic virtuosity is astonishing, especially when set against moments of stunning directness.”
– Review: ‘Thousand Star Hotel: Poems,’ by Bao Phi | Star Tribune


“…a fierce, burning indictment of racism and xenophobia…In a time when everything new we learn about the world may seem terrible, this book is a reminder of the power and value of truth.”
– ‘Thousand Star Hotel’ Is A Fierce, Burning Indictment | Chicago Review of Books


“Even without his voice, [Phi’s] words are loud in all the right moments, and quiet when they need to be…once you hear them they will stay locked in your head, always dancing.”
Poetry Review: “Sông I Sing” – Star Tribune


“At once tender and taboo-busting, pithy and sprawling, effulgent and expository.”
“To Speak of the Things that Haunt Me Most”: Review of Thousand Star Hotel – Kenyon Review


reviews: children’s books

“…a simple, lovely story, shot through gracefully with themes of immigration, hard work, racism and the uniting power of nature.”
Minneapolis Poet Bao Phi Wins Award for Best Picture Book in the Country – Star Tribune


A Different Pond by Bao Phi (illustrated by Thi Bui) is one of my favorite picture books of the last couple years because of its wonderful layers. Not only does it serve as a window into a Vietnamese American experience for me, it also serves as a window for the young protagonist in the story, as he won- ders about his father’s life back in Vietnam.”