By Hoa Nguyen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
ISBN# 9781933517926 (5.25X8 272pp)
ISBN# 9781933517933 (limited edition hardcover)
Red Juice represents a decade of poems written roughly between 1998 and 2008, previously only available in small-run handmade chapbooks, journals, and out-of-print books. This collection of early poems by Vietnamese-American Hoa Nguyen showcases her feminist Ecopoetics and unique style, all lyrical in the post-modern tradition. Nguyen's poems are swift, conversational, playful, funny, angry, fully present and self-aware.
An Academy of American Poets Standout Book of 2014
Red Juice is a bonus for ardent fans of the poet, and a fine introduction for those new to her wit and way with giving flight to the weight of everyday life.
Michael Andor Brodeur, The Boston Globe
Reading the book becomes an accomplishment, a brain teaser; steeping the simple language in one’s thoughts to draw out the meaning seems as much a part of Nguyen’s poetry as the words themselves. For all of its length, Red Juice is rewarding—its complexities reveal themselves in intricate patterns of meta-referentiality, historical weight, even humor.
Kenna O'Rourke, Cleaver Magazine
Though the subjects inevitably vary over a decade of work, this important poet is ever “laughing at the glass/ table that language isn't.”
Nguyen’s rapid tonal shifts from nursery rhymish to incisive, from certainty to ambivalence, make for poems that pull readers in with their surface simplicity, but hold up under scrutiny.
Elizabeth O'Brien, NewPages
For Nguyen, concepts of sustainability, globalism and womanhood are linked. She points to outsourcing, saying that when production is removed from the local community, that community is not as strong and self-reliant.
Victoria Fleischer, PBS NewsHour
Nguyen asks, “Why try / to revive the lyric.” Like uncreative writers, she’s not asking how to revive it, or whether to do so—but why bother. The metatextual devices, fragmentary structures, and use of found texts serve to sharpen that skepticism. And yet, her lyricism cannot be denied.
Daniel E. Pritchard, The Critical Flame
Nguyen here collects poems previously available only in chapbooks, journals, and out-of-print collections, and in her spare, wry way she’s such a careful observer that the reader feels immersed in life’s most quotidian details, its hurts, and rocky hopes.
Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
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 four full-length collections of poetry including Violet Energy Ingots (forthcoming from Wave Books, 2016) As Long As Trees Last, Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002). Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008 was published by 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.
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