California Arts Council

State of California

Press Release Detail

October 26, 2016Caitlin Fitzwater

Special California Poet Laureate Poetry Reading and Music Event Celebrating Orange County's Vietnamese Community: Sunday, November 20th in Irvine

Featuring Dana Gioia, California Poet Laureate; Duc Le, poet and translator; and Tina Huynh, musician


 Join California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia in Irvine on Sunday, November 20th for a special poetry event celebrating Orange County's Vietnamese community and their achievements in the arts. The free event will feature poetry readings in English and Vietnamese from Dana Gioia and Duc Le, with live music from Tina Huynh. This is Dana Gioia's first appearance in Orange County as part of his ambitious 58-County California Poet Laureate tour.

Event Details

WHAT: Dana Gioia Poetry Reading in English and Vietnamese with Music
WHEN: Sunday, November 20th at 2:30 PM
WHERE: Irvine Katie Wheeler Library, 13109 Old Myford Road, Irvine, CA 92602
ADDITIONAL INFO: This is a free event. Visit for more information on California Poet Laureate, Dana Gioia.

Presented in partnership with the California Arts Council, the California Center for the Book, and the California State Library. Hosted by the Irvine Katie Wheeler Library.

About the Artists


Dana Gioia is California's state Poet Laureate. Appointed by Governor Jerry Brown in December, 2015, Gioia serves as the state advocate for poetry and literature in libraries, classrooms and boardrooms across California. An award-winning poet, Gioia is the author of Can Poetry Matter?, which is credited for helping revive poetry's role in American public life. He is also the former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts where he championed arts education. As state laureate, Gioia will work to inspire a new generation of writers and celebrate California's great literary legacy. For more information visit (Pictured above on left.)

Tina Huynh is a music educator with 15 years of experience in teaching choral and instrumental music in public, private, and studio settings. A doctoral student at USC's Thornton School of Music, Huynh completed her master's thesis by compiling The Vietnamese Children's Songbook, based on children and folk songs she collected from the Orange County Vietnamese community. She is a concert level flutist. She will both introduce the event and play flute to accompany the readings.(Pictured above on right.)

Duc Le, whose pen name is Khe Iem, was born in Vietnam in 1947 and emigrated to the U.S. in 1990. He is the founder and editor of Tap Chi Tho, a journal of Vietnamese poetry. Duc Le has been an innovator in Vietnamese poetry both in the U.S. and his native country. He is the leader of Vietnamese New Formalism which has brought the form of English blank verse into the Vietnamese language. He also is an active translator of American poetry into Vietnamese and a promoter of literary exchange between the two nations.

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The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Donn K. Harris, Vice Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

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