The result is an incredibly emotional journey through the issues that Bao explores—but it’s emotion that’s grounded in quality writing and thoughtful political analysis, not just raw melodrama. [ Guante, Hip Hop artist — via ] Bao’s debut collection, “Sông I Sing,” hit me in a different way. The poems here, at least to me, read like spoken-word pieces, and Bao’s understanding of structure and emotional arcs mirrors some

Yen Le Espiritu

Jagged yet tender, Bao Phi’s poetry mixes rough-edged critiques of racism and imperialism with resolute optimism in the power of love and community. Deeply grounded in Asian American Studies, it eloquently calls for the forging of new ties and lives out of the ruins of America’s ‘war zones’—both here in urban America and in Southeast Asia. — Yen Le Espiritu

Li-Young Lee

Anyone who has been lucky enough to experience his work knows he means to re-adjust our minds, unseat our comfortable assumptions, and teach our hearts to weep and sing. He is our grief-stricken brother howling, moaning, and wailing in remembrance of those who suffer because of inadequate representation. He is our ecstatic shaman, manifesting through his work the oldest sources of passion, imagination, and cosmic joy. Sông I Sing is

Ishle Park

If you listen closely, every poem on Bao’s CD is a love poem: rough-edged, raw, and scalding, or quiet enough to break your heart. Much will be said about his fearless politics and his power, but his words are also threaded with humor, humanity, and beauty – my brother is on a mission to keep us all knit tight, and to remind us how we are quilted together in this

Dwight Hobbes

City kids have a hard, often despairing way to go: Thien-bao Phi delivers a lyrical testament to how they do it and still find magic in their world. – Dwight Hobbes, Pulse

Graydon Royce

Phi packs his rap with clear images and emotion, painting his city through your mind with a palette of words that tumble effortlessly out of his mouth – close to the street, breathing with the anxious verve of kids surviving the alley and tender with love stolen in an abandoned store. – Graydon Royce, Star Tribune

Jeremy Swanson

Phi smoothly combines familiar rhyme with subtle, insightful metaphors. -Jeremy Swanson, CD Review of “Flares”, City Pages

Rohan Preston

Bao Phi delivers work that has the urgency of fire. -Rohan Preston, Star Tribune, Free Time Section

Eliza Hoyt

At 24 years old he is nationally recognized for his turbulent, thought provoking poetry on stage. – Eliza Hoyt, Asian American Press

Kristin Tillotson

Poets aren’t generally known for their infectious charm… but Bao Phi isn’t just any poet…Phi’s tone can shift easily from serious to humorous, although many of his funny lines are delivered with bite. – Kristin Tillotson, Star Tribune, Variety Cover Story