Lana Bella — Nia to her friends — is a poet from Nha Trang, a city on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. Her poem In the Lenses of the Perceiving features in the recently published America is Not the World.
Who are you? Really, I used to know.
And where in the world are you? Right here, Vietnam.
What is the best thing about your country? Slow brewed Vietnamese-French café.
And the worst? Crossing traffic in the heart of Saigon
How has your country shaped you? Dignity and decency in silence are well-cultivated traits. It is why I find such marvels in the simple, daily moments that can be re-shaped into written words, and that is also another reason why I am a poet.
Tell us about your favorite place in the world. In the fearless joy of my children.
Tell us about your poem, In the Lenses of the Perceiving. America is Not the World, but it has been something akin to the greatest nation at one point in history, for one only has to peel back its first few chapters to see how far ranging the rapine and pillage of American political dynamism over foreign land, nations, cultures, etc…So the thrust of my poem runs against the grains of the brawling past where the act of waging wars, blind ambitions, slavery, had elevated fools into politically greedy heroes, with only the recent revelation through convictions of few that belatedly stirred humanity toward a path of fleeting peace, salvation and hope. And as the words of Dr King ring ever so true: Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows, there is no virtue in war, for war is humanity’s gold and mud in the most plebeian sense of obscenity.
Tell us about a writer in your country that we should know about. Nguyen Tat Nhien, poet, lyricist, an extraordinary human being who left this rotten world too soon.
What is next for you? I have two chapbooks forthcoming from Crisis Chronicle Press and Finishing Line Press (late 2016).
Tell us a secret. When I see honeycomb-like images of clusters, holes, seedpods, spots, etc…I get intense goosebumps, sometimes even panic attacks.
Give us a song.
A Pushcart nominee, Lana Bella is an author of two chapbooks forthcoming from Crisis Chronicles Press and Finishing Line Press, has had her poetry and fiction featured with over 190 journals, Chiron Review, Coe Review, Columbia Journal, Elohi Gadugi, Foundling Review, Fourth & Sycamore, Galway Review, Gravel Review, Harbinger Asylum, Literary Orphans, Lost Coast Review, Poetry Salzburg Review, Poetry Quarterly, Roanoke Review, Sentinel Quarterly, Toasted Cheese, and elsewhere, among others. She resides in the US and the coastal town of Nha Trang, Vietnam, where she is a mom of two far-too-clever-frolicsome imps.