The Country of Dreams and Dust

The Country of Dreams and Dust

Russell Leong

This collection is the author’s first volume of poetry, loosely structured around the Chinese and Asian immigrant experience.  His poems begin and end with water, from the Canton Delta to the drained pool of a Los Angeles tract house in Little Saigon.  The title section of the book has been frequently reprinted.

“Eloquent and mystical . . . rings with music—lyrics tense with longing, pulsating with images of anguished migrant visionaries clashing with the blood and guts of history.”—Jessica Hagedorn

“A breakthrough for the poetry of Diaspora.”—Ishmael Reed

“Sweats with sensuality.”—Janice Mirikitani



Par avion,
via airmail,
Only after I returned
to L.A. did China
collapse in my hand—
folded, sealed,
glued and stamped
I did not ask to be followed.
But someone’s village childhood,
spent among the palmettos,
pigs and orange groves
of the Pearl River Delta
caught up with me
generations later.

            —from “Aerogrammes”

5½ x 8½ inches • 80 pages • ISBN 0-931122-76-7 • $8.95