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Portraits

Nguyen Chi Tien Vietnamese Poet

CLIENT: PEN INTERNATIONAL / SOAPBOX DESIGN

Art Direction by Gary Beelik. The 50th Anniversary Of The Writers In Prison Committee for the Pen Canada Annual Report. PEN Canada works on behalf of writers, at home and abroad, who have been forced into silence for writing the truth as they see it. Here's one of Nguyen's poems, "Inside The Prison Trap of Steel" written while he was imprisoned for 11 years in Vietnam. "Inside the prison trap of steel, I want to see no streams of tears, And laughter I want even less to hear. I want that each of us clamp tight his jaws, withdraw his hands from everything, refuse to be a buffalo, a dog. Soak up this truth: this jail will last As long as it holds buffalos and dogs. Unless were are mere clay we shall stay men."

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