Professor Mai Der Vang wins American Book Award

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Mai Der Vang stands in front of a green field and a setting sun.

Author Mai Der Vang, an assistant professor of English at Fresno State, won an American Book Award for her documentary poetry collection, “Yellow Rain.” The award, one of 13 presented this year by the nonprofit Before Columbus Foundation, recognizes outstanding contributions to diversity in American literature.

Vang’s second book of poetry, published in 2021 by Graywolf Press, was previously named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a finalist for the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. “Yellow Rain” integrates archival research and declassified government documents to examine the biological warfare that threads through wars involving Hmong people. Vang teaches creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts program at Fresno State.

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