Poet Hoang Nhuan Cam
Poet Hoang Nhuan Cam talks about the value of books to young people in the northern province of Bac Giang earlier this month. — Photo tienphong.vn

“Poet Cam accepted an invitation to join a live programme at the Radio Voice of Vietnam on Tuesday,” said poet Tran Dang Khoa. “He normally arrives on time. But that day, when the show had almost started he did not appear. The team called him yet received no answer. Then his family members broke into his house to find he had passed away. He died at some 2-3pm that day.”

According to poet Huu Viet, a close friend of Cam, he has been suffered from lung disease for the past few years

Cam was born in 1952 in Hanoi. He was the first son of renowned music composer Hoang Giac. Cam joined the army in 1971 when he was studying at the Hanoi General University. He fought against the American invaders in Division 325B in Quang Tri Province, the site of some of the fiercest battles during the American War in Vietnam.

In 1975, he returned to university and worked for the Vietnam Film Studio in 1981. He then worked for Vietnam Television before returning to the Vietnam Film Studio in 2005. 


He has been described as a “bloody poet” who composed moving poems on love, and war. He wrote various poems that have been kept in notebooks of various soldier generations like Chiếc Lá Buổi Đầu Tiên (Leaves in First Date), Vào Mặt Trận Lúc Mùa Ve Đang Kêu (Joining Battle when the Cicadas Singing) and Hò Hẹn Mãi Cuối Cùng Em Cũng Đến (She Comes after Many Times Missing the Date).

He also composed screenplays for movies like Đêm Hội Long Trì (Long Trì Festive Night), Hà Nội Mùa Đông Năm 46 (Hanoi in Winter 1946) and Mùi Cỏ Cháy (Scent of Burnt Grass). He also acted as an actor.

Cam won the first prize in a poetry contest hosted by Văn Nghệ (Literature and Arts) newspaper in 1972-1973 and a prize by the Writers’ Association in 1993 for his poetry collection titled Xúc Xắc Mùa Thu (Playing Dice in Autumn).

He was known for the role of witty Waterlily Doctor in Gặp Nhau Cuối Tuần (Meeting at Weekend) entertainment show on VTV3.

He also worked with VOV in some radio programmes like Khách Đến Chơi Nhà (Welcoming Guests Home) (on VOV2) and Đôi Bạn Văn Chương (Literature Friends) (on VOV6).