By Hoa Nguyen
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
ISBN# 9781933517926 (5.25X8 272pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781933517933 (5.25X8 272pp, 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
Hoa Nguyen is the author of several books of poetry, including As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice, and Violet Energy Ingots, which received a 2017 Griffin Prize nomination. As a public proponent and advocate of contemporary poetry, she has served as guest editor for The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018 and judge for the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry, and she has performed and lectured at numerous institutions, including Princeton University, Bard College, Poet’s House, and the Banff Centre’s Writers Studio. Recipient of a 2019 Pushcart Prize and a 2020 Neustadt International Prize for Literature nomination, she has received grants and fellowships from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the MacDowell Colony, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her writing has garnered attention from such outlets as The PBS News Hour, Granta, The Walrus, New York Times, and Poetry, among others. Born in the Mekong Delta and raised and educated in the United States, Nguyen has lived in Canada since 2011.
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