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poet

Hoa Nguyen

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Hoa Nguyen
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Hoa Nguyen was born January 26, 1967, in the Mekong Delta near Saigon, Vietnam. When she was eighteen months old, she moved to the United States and was raised in the Washington, D.C., area. Nguyen earned her MFA at the New College of California in San Francisco, where she studied with Tom Clark and Lyn Hejinian, and remained active in the Bay Area poetry scene for years before moving in 1997 to Austin, Texas, where she lived for fourteen years. While in Austin, Nguyen cofounded—along with her husband, poet Dale Smith—Skanky Possum, a small press poetry journal and book imprint through which they published the work of poets such as Amiri Baraka, Linh Dinh, Eileen Myles, and Alice Notley.

Nguyen is the author of five poetry collections: Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books, 2016), Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 (Wave Books, 2014), As Long as Trees Last (Wave Books, 2012), Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009), and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002).

“Hoa Nguyen’s poems might appear fragmented at first—like pieces of broken china … but the pieces of image and story that make up her poems prove to be more particle than fragment, each integral and necessary. The space between these particles is as meaningful as the space between stars. The poems move according to an order that reveals its presence slowly, offering humor and beauty as rewards along the way,” writes Iris Cushing in BOMB.

Nguyen has performed, lectured, and fulfilled residencies at a number of colleges and universities, including Brown University, Buffalo State, Naropa University, the Toronto New School of Writing, and the University of Texas at Austin. She currently teaches poetics at Ryerson University and lives in Toronto.


Selected Bibliography

Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books, 2016)

Red Juice: Poems 1998–2008 (Wave Books, 2014)

As Long as Trees Last (Wave Books, 2012)
Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009)
Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002)

 

by this poet

poem
Cinched belt tugged tight around the heart
5 or 6 aerial roots dangling      A strangler fig

Do homeless ancestors live inside the tree?
Child of noise    Hold the loosened ends    You

may miss the moon or fall in love with it         Embrace
ashes    I too am far removed    A thirst that wanders

thirsting
2
poem

Call capable
      a lemony
light & fragile

Time like a ball and elastic

so I can stop burning the pots

        wondering yes       electric stove

She is her   but I don't reme
mber                         remember
the ashes I obsess    She said

poem
Swell     you can dream more   the earth
swells      seeds pop
I glance at the prize
eyes closed in the glancing

It's not a time to run
I wear soft shoes
and it took a long time
to walk here

Insects nudge me in my dreams
like the 5 honey bees plus
the strange one
Intelligent bee glances buzzing

to say   Let