Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cambodian literary journal sees revival



Cambodian literary journal sees revival

Yen Chheangly said that the Nou Hach Literary Journal has helped him to discover his muse
Yen Chheangly said that the Nou Hach Literary Journal has helped him to discover his muse. CECELIA MARSHALL

Cambodian literary journal sees revival

Cambodia's only literary journal returned to print last weekend at the Cambodian Book Fair after a three-year hiatus. The 150-page volume contains short stories, poems and essays written by young Cambodian writers.

Teri Yamada, editor and co-founder of Nou Hach Literary Journal, said publishing the works of Cambodian writers validates their creativity. “It provides significance to their work, and to what they see and feel in this changing society,” said Yamada, adding that Cambodian literature has yet to fully recover from the cultural destruction of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Founded in 2002, Nou Hach halted production in 2010 due to a lack of funding and rampant piracy. But after raising money from both local and international donors in both Cambodia and the US, it resumed publication.

Yamada said that she aims to expose Cambodians to literature and inspire creativity, adding that Nou Hach is distributed to high school teachers to target young people.

The newest issue, said Yamada, comprises younger authors and bolder topics compared with previous years, with writers exploring issues ranging from corruption to sexism. The poem "I Repeat a Level" by Heng Oudom explores corruption in schools, while "A Daughter’s Tears" by Kao Sokchea tells the story of a young college-educated woman who unhappily agrees to an arranged marriage.

Yen Chheangly, whose poem "Strobe Lights" contrasts images of Phnom Penh’s high-powered club scene with urban poverty, said that the journal has helped him discover his muse.

“When I didn’t know how to write, I would see something sad or happy and I would have to keep that feeling to myself. Now I can use my heart words and spread it out.”

This is the first time Chheangly’s poetry has been published. For the past six years, he’s been developing his poetry skills with the help of Nou Hach’s free seminars and workshops that bring in foreign authors and academics.

Chheangly, whose poem won second prize in the Nou Hach’s poetry competition, said that he hopes that the journal is read both at home and abroad.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration