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4.82  ·  Rating details ·  11 ratings  ·  5 reviews
In his first full-length collection, GRUEL, Bunkong Tuon documents the lives of Cambodian refugees and explores the poetic landscape of a Cambodian America. Written tenderly, with honesty, intelligence, and occasional humor, GRUEL is populated by survivors such as a boy who loses his mother to the Khmer Rouge regime, a grandmother who risks her life to steal a few grains o ...more
Paperback, 130 pages
Published June 25th 2015 by NYQ Books
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Sambath Meas
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Are We Our Own Guiding Light?

Gruel, poems by Professor Bunkong Tuon, is about a refugee child, raised by his grandmother and extended family, coming of age and growing up in dilapidated parts of America. Like the majority of Cambodian refugees, Bunkong and his family, having survived the paranoid, draconian dictatorship of Pol Pot’s Democratic Kampuchea, dodged predators and landmines to escape our war-torn motherland to find a better place to live and thrive—only to be thrust into abandoned or
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and moving. Bunkong Tuon's debut collection, Gruel, is honest, spirited, meaningful poetry with a straightforward economic style that cuts like a weed zapper across the overgrown and pretentious landscape of contemporary American poetry. Buy this book. You won't be sorry.
Greg Santos
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and intimate poetry by Cambodian-American poet, Bunkong Tuon. Tuon's debut poetry collection is a haunting read.
Scott Holstad
Bunkong Tuon is a very good and skilled poet. This, his first book, is an excellent start to what will likely be a long and talented career. It's a biographical book arranged largely chronologically about his life as a Cambodian refugee escaping the Khmer Rouge with his grandmother, coming to America to a new life and the challenges that presented. He describes growing up on the East Coast, being teased and bullied because of his Asian heritage. He describes his family's dedication to one anothe ...more
John Grochalski
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
this is an incredibly warm and rich debut collection of poetry. honest, straight narrative lines throughout. this is family, this is life, and Bunkong Tuon has captured it with an elegant simplicity of language (but not of thought) that you find yourself going back to read a line or so and, in many cases, and entire poem over again. a collection of standout poems.
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