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
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.
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)