Nguyen Phan Que Mai began her writing career with poetry, which she wrote in Vietnamese. Her first book of poems, Trái Cấm (Forbidden Fruit), was published in 2018. Currently she pens her poetry in both Vietnamese and English.

Her poems have been published in five books of poetry and have been translated into Spanish, Bahasa Indonesian, Chinese, Uzbek, Bengali, Hebrew and Japanese. Some of her work has been selected for anthologies in the United States, China, Singapore, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Combodia, and Venezuela.  

Here are some of her poems online:

"The Poem I Can't Yet Name," A Year of Being There

 “Eating Phở with My Grandpa,Prairie Schooner.

"From the Deep Earth"; "Freeing Myself," Words Without Borders 

Read more of her poems by purchasing a copy of her book The Secret of Hoa Sen on the website of BOA Editions or 


Below is the list of international publications where some of Que Mai's English poems originally appeared:

  • American Poetry Review: "My Father's Home Village."
  • Great River Review: "Babylift", "Vietnam Veteran Memorial", "Song of Garbage", and "Grass."
  • Poetry Ireland Review: "The Poem I can't yet Name."
  • Fourth River: "Stars in the Shape of Carrying Poles", "Two Truths", "The Gardener in the Royal Citadel", "Journey of the Human Train", "Ceramic Rhythm", "The White Sky", "The Sea", "Night's Whispers", and "Grass."
  • Red Wheel Barrow: "Freeing Myself," "Stars in the Shape of Carrying Poles," and "The Poem I can't yet Name."
  • Consequence: "April", and "Separated Worlds."
  • Words without Border: "Freeing Myself", and "From the Deep Earth."
  • "Ku●lit: Asian Literature for the Language Classroom Volume 2", a supplementary textbook, National Arts Council (Singapore) and Pearson Education South Asia: "From the Deep Earth."
  • Hong Kong Baptist University's International Writers Workshop 2012 Publication: "Freeing Myself", "Babylift", "Stars in the Shape of Carrying Poles", and "The Poem I can't yet Name."
  • Prairie Schooner: "Eating Phở with my Grandpa", and "The Secret of Hoa Sen."