Café after Dawn: Poems (Paperback)

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For Readers of Rupi Kaur and Courtney Peppernell, a Poetic Diary that Confronts and Meditates on Love, Hope, and Despair
"There were two entrances to the café, but I al­ways opted for the narrower one hidden in the shadows. I always chose the same table at the back of the little room to write my poems to you, day by day. Let the world around you fade, and close the door. Get rid of your rolling cigarettes. Yes, I’m writing this for you. Some beautiful things: warm nights after the rain, old books, tea in the afternoon, fresh laundry, and blurry moon. This might justify your life."

Written in the vein of today's young confessional poets, Café after Dawn isa diary written in the form of poetry. Penned during the four years that Xiao Yan spent with her mother who was undergoing cancer treatment in New York, each poem is a reflection of her thoughts on existential crisis, universal truth, traumatized youth, death, romance, and the struggles between hope and despair in our modern society.

Using the power of poetry and innovative visual design, as well as experiments on the connection between Eastern and Western culture, Café after Dawn unleashes a healing power that will set readers free from judgment, self-doubt, and anxiety. 

About the Author

Xiao Yan is a Chinese poet who grew up in a small town in southern China, where she began writing poetry at age sixteen. Known for her classical Chinese writing style, she moved to the US at age seventeen, where she began incorporating multicultural aspects into her work, reflecting on her life in both countries. She received her bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies and History at UC Davis and is currently studying Bilingual & Bicultural Education at Columbia University. Xiao Yan has published a few influential poetry books in Chinese, including A Record of Chanting Dreams and Invisible Tel Aviv[. Café after Dawn is her first poetry collection written in English. “Xiao Yan” is a pseudonym for the author’s real name, Hongru Pan. 

Praise For…

"Xiao Yan's writing lives in the liminal spaces between utterance and silence, poetry and prose, quotidian and sacred. With a restlessly questioning mind, she negotiates the boundaries between ancient and modern, often finding--as interesting writing often does—that they can exist at once." —Joseph Fasano, poet of Vincent, Inheritance, and Fugue for Other Hands

"I have found Xiao Yan to be a widely multi-talented artist. Her artistic nature is completely integrated into her personality, and her perceptiveness flows into her work as a poet, visual artist, and singer. These poems filter her impressions of the life and death of her beautiful mother as it happened in recent years, as well as her experiences as a young woman with complicated feelings in a contradictory world. Her personal poetic language (here English is a second language where every word is savored and has a charged significance) encompasses indirect images that mingle with forthright truths plainly spoken, seriousness with sudden shifts of humor. She is sly, knowing, and naively pure in her very individual outlook." —Jane McMahan, voice professor at Barnard College, Columbia University​

"A glistening dewdrop of a book." —Tad Crawford, author of A Floating Life


Product Details
ISBN: 9781951627058
ISBN-10: 1951627059
Publisher: Arcade
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Pages: 80