A Christian refugee poet and doctor, based in Norwich
, has just published his first in a series of free poetry booklets to wake people up to some of the profound questions of life.Vietnamese
poet Dr Phuoc-Tan Diep
, who attends Holy Trinity
church in Norwich with his wife Maggie
, has released a free eBook of poems which aim to disturb and move people to thinking about the questions that matter. They are also an expression of his thanks for surviving the experience of being a boat person, when many of his fellow refugees died.
“My desire to wake people led me to write poetry centred on the important topics in life, exploring those places that all of us find difficult to face,” said Phuoc-Tan. “There are more important questions than what's on TV tonight. We threw it out and now talk about life and death, about love and sacrifice, about war and freedom. Then we seek some answers to the questions that arise - before life ends."
Lights Out & Other Poems – Wake Up is a free eBook collection of 17 poems of varying forms, some experimental. Some deal with death and war and the majority have been published in the UK or in the USA.
One of the poems won praise from the judges of The Hamish Canham Poetry Prize 2008, as runner-up. They said: “We had great trouble choosing between the last two poems. Phuoc-Tan Diep’s ‘Portrait of Death as an Artist’ is a powerful evocation of the aftermath of war. Through the metaphor of Death as a painter, we are invited to reflect on how, even long afterwards, the melancholy aesthetics of death persist. Through still and spare language, the pathos and loss of war are wonderfully evoked.”
Phuoc-Tan is a Vietnamese boat person who arrived with his family in the UK in 1978, where decided to live and succeeded in becoming a doctor. Aged 33 years, Phuoc-Tan is currently a Histopathology Specialist Registrar at the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital. His wife Maggie is pregnant and they have a two-year-old daughter.
Pictured above is Dr Phuoc-Tan Diep in Norwich, by Kevin Field.