Hanoi Hilton

In the United States, freedom of speech - even the most outrageously shocking speech - is a cherished right, though most of us probably aren't quick to think of poetry as a form of speech that needs protecting. It's been a long, long time since anyone tried to put an American in jail for publishing a poem. That may make it hard for us to truly appreciate the artistic bravery of Nguyen Chi Thien, who spent nearly a quarter century behind bars because he defiantly insisted on composing verses that irreverently criticized his nation's authoritarian regime.
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