Born After Apocalypse Now
James Navé welcomes poet Cathy Lynh Che to Twice 5 Miles Radio. Cathy was born after Apocalypse Now, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Filming started in the Philippines on April 7, 1976. Three years later, in April 1979, Apocalypse Now opened in theaters.
Now, you might be asking what a classic movie made over 40-years ago has to do with Cathy Lynh Che, one of America’s finest poets? In this interview, Cathy will tell you the film Apocalypse Now has always played a significant role in her life. Why? Because her parents worked as extras on Apocalypse Now after they escaped Vietnam in 1975 when the American War ended. Born after Apocalypse Now.
Moving on to growing up in California in the 80’s Cathy enjoyed everything the Golden State offered. Moreover, she enjoyed all the insight and wisdom her parents gave her by way of their stories, their style, and their work. As you might have guessed, Cathy started writing poetry early in her life.
How Do I Become A Poet?
Perhaps you’re wondering, “how do I become a poet like Cathy?” Well, suppose you follow Cathy’s example. In that case, you put pen to paper to paper, and start writing down your family stories, your memories, your recent and distant experiences, note the love you’ve lost, the love you’ve gained, write sentences that show us where you’ve been and where you’re going.
In this terrific conversation, Cathy and I track many poetic threads like the value of memorization, the notion of how to avoid being hobbled by perfectionism, and our delight in appreciating other languages like French. Cathy and I even read a little poetry in French. I’ll bet you’ll enjoy hearing our attempt to read French poetry with our American accents.
When you listen to this interview, you’ll quickly discover Cathy delivers her wisdom, insight, and writing tips with a delightful sense of humor. What better way to spend an hour than listening to a couple of happy poets share their stores? Enjoy. Learn more about WPVMFM click HERE. Visit our blog page HERE.
Cathy Linh Che is the author of the poetry collection Split (Alice James Books, 2014), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. She currently lives in Seattle, where she works as the executive director of Kundiman, a nonprofit organization that nurtures generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature. “Pecha Kucha” appears in the Brooklyn Poets Anthology, released last spring.