U Sam Oeur grew up in a Cambodian farming family. After studying in the U.S., he served in the Cambodian government. When Pol Pot assumed power in 1975, U Sam Oeur, along with his wife and son, survived the killing fields in six forced-labor camps by feigning illiteracy.
His highly acclaimed book of poetry, Sacred Vows, recalls the terror of those years and the beauty of Cambodia’s resilient culture. U Sam Oeur’s reading style is mesmerizing, emotionally charged, and operatic, combining song and chant and a full range of tones.
This event is sponsored by UHM Center for Southeast Asian Studies, TinFish, MANOA, Manoa Foundation, and UHM Dept. of English.