Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco where she earned an MFA. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry including As Long As Trees Last, Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002). Red Juice, Poems 1998-2008 is forthcoming from Wave Books in the fall of 2014. Her poetry has been collected in eight anthologies including Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose (City Lights, 2009), The Best of Fence (Fence Books, 2009), For the Time Being: A Bootstrap Anthology (Bootstrap Books, 2008), Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry (Milkweed Editions, 2008), and Not for Mothers Only (Fence Books, 2007). With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded Skanky Possum, a small press journal of poetry and poetics. From Austin, Texas, their home of fourteen years, they published contemporary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Alice Notley, Linh Dinh, Kenward Elmslie, and Eileen Myles. In 2002, as editor of Best American Poetry, Robert Creeley selected poems by four poets that were published in issue 6 of Skanky Possum. Nguyen has been invited to perform her work, act as poet in residence, and lecture on poetry for universities, conferences and literary organizations, including, most recently, Sarah Lawrence College, Emory University, Brown University, the University of Texas at Austin, Washington State University, the Charles Olson Centenary Conference in Vancouver, Buffalo State, the Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Naropa University, and Associated Writers and Writing Programs Conferences. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she curates a reading series and teaches poetics privately and at Ryerson University.
(Author photo by Karen Thomson)
Reviews The poems in Nguyen's third book of poetry are spare and often short, but present an openness that allows the reader to luxuriate in the sensory details of the everyday. —American Poet
Hoa Nguyen's poems probe dailiness to divorce us from our base assumptions about how language might present the world to us. Her poems are also funny, and they strangely develop their own language games which comprise some of the most inviting lyrics I've found in a living poet. —Joshua Marie Wilkinson, Bookslut
[Hoa Nguyen's poems] impart a sense of how one might look at the various parts of a life and let them speak out without settling into simple dichotomies. —Academy of American Poets
Nguyen makes poetry that sticks in the heart and the craw, and she deserves to be widely and aggressively read... —Seth Abramson, Huffington Post
Nguyen remains one of the most powerful, vivid, and even visceral contemporary poets working today. —Dan Shewan, The Rumpus