A local poet with a multicultural perspective will be the guest of the 2023 Jean and Louis Janzen Visiting Writer’s Series at Fresno Pacific University.

Mai Der Vang, acclaimed Fresno Hmong poet, will read her work starting at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, February 7, in the Lin Family Performance Studio, part of the Warkentine Culture and Arts Center, on the main FPU campus, 1717 S. Chestnut Ave., Fresno. The event, which includes light refreshments and a book-signing by the author, is free. Masks are encouraged but not required.

Vang is the author of Yellow Rain (Graywolf Press, 2021), winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, an American Book Award and a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. She also wrote Afterland (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the First Book Award from the Academy of American Poets. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship, Vang’s poetry has appeared in Tin House, the American Poetry Review and Poetry, among other journals and anthologies. She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Fresno State. Published in 2021, Yellow Rain is “a staggering work of documentary poetry and collage [which] calls out the erasure of a history, the silencing of a people . . . in poems that sing and lament,” according to blueflowerarts.com.   

The Jean & Louis Janzen Visiting Writer’s Series is hosted by the School of Humanities Religion & Social Sciences to honor the service, teaching and contributions of Dr. Louis Janzen and Jean Janzen, award-winning Central Valley poet and FPU faculty.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations