“[L]et the voices / around you spread beyond what is unknown,” writes Andre Yang in “Off the Blossom Trail,” the latest featured poem in Writing from the Absence: Voices of Hmong American Poets, a five-part series curated by 2016 Walt Whitman winner Mai Der Vang featuring poems by and discussions with Hmong American poets.

In this month’s installment, Yang paints a lush picture of Fresno, California, in the springtime in “Off the Blossom Trail,” a poem that makes its way through its growing sense of loss. In the interview that follows, Vang and Yang discuss the poem as a means of understanding the Hmong experience in America, his involvement in the Hmong American Writers’ Circle, and his first poetry manuscript. 

read more