Read ME nonfiction author Phuc Tran to give talk in Rockland

ROCKLAND — The Rockland Public Library presents Phuc Tran, Thursday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m., at Rockland Public Library. This event is free and open to all.

In 1975, during the fall of Saigon, Phuc Tran and his family immigrated to America. By sheer chance, they land in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, a small town where the Trans struggle to assimilate into their new life. In this coming-of-age memoir told through the themes of great books such as The Metamorphosis, The Scarlett Letter, The Iliad and more, against the hair spray-and-synthesizer backdrop of the ‘80s. Tran navigates immigration, isolation, teenage rebellion, assimilation, and the expectations of his parents – and finds solace and kinship in classic literature and punk rock. 

Sigh, Gone is the Maine Humanities Council’s Read ME nonfiction pick for 2022.

Phuc Tran has been a high school Latin teacher for more than twenty years while simultaneously establishing himself as a highly sought-after tattooer in the Northeast. Tran graduated Bard College in 1995 with a BA in Classics and received the Callanan Classics Prize. He taught Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit in New York at the Collegiate School and was an instructor at Brooklyn College’s Summer Latin Institute. Most recently, he taught Latin, Greek, and German at the Waynflete School in Portland, Maine.

His 2012 TEDx talk “Grammar, Identity, and the Dark Side of the Subjunctive” was featured on NPR’s Ted Radio Hour. He has also been an occasional guest on Maine Public Radio, discussing grammar; the Classics; and Strunk and White’s legacy.

He currently tattoos at and owns Tsunami Tattoo in Portland, where he lives with his family.

Read ME is a statewide summer reading program offered by the Maine Humanities Council and Maine State Library that gets Maine’s adults all reading the same books. Each year a well-known Maine author recommends two titles by lesser-known Maine authors with libraries and their patrons participating in a summer of reading and discussing the featured books. 2022’s featured books—recommended by Christina Baker Kline—are Sigh, Gone by Phuc Tran and Beneficence by Meredith Hall. The Maine Humanities Council is a statewide nonprofit that uses books, poetry, and big ideas to bring people together to discuss issues of importance. MHC programs and grants encourage critical thinking and conversations across social, economic, and cultural boundaries.

This event will take place in the library’s Community Room, with limited seating; the Rockland Public Library is located at 80 Union Street.

For more information, please email elewis@rocklandmaine.gov by 4 p.m. on May 19 and identify the event you are interested in attending in the subject line. Please note that in-person programs are subject to transition to Zoom should local transmission rates impact our ability to meet together.

Event Date: 

Thu, 05/19/2022 - 6:30pm

Event Location: 

Rockland Public Library

Address: 

80 Union Street
Rockland, ME 04841
United States