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 (Wave Books, 2016), which was shortlisted for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize, 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, 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)
I come back to Hoa Nguyen’s poems all the time and every single time I find a new world of meaning.
—Gabrielle Calvocoressi, PEN America
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.
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
Reviews of books by Hoa Nguyen
Violet Energy Ingots
Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008
As Long As Trees Last
- Hoa Nguyen's website & blog
- Nguyen on a Fact-Simile Poet Trading Card!
- Profile of Nguyen by Amy Carlberg
- "Dang You Then a Dang" (in Poetry)
- “Strummer” (in Talisman)
- Two poems (in Granta)
- Several poems (on Poets.org)
- “How The Sun Shivers” (in The Rusty Toque)
- “For the Pisces Full Moon” (in Summer Stock)
- “Angel Going Pow” (on Dusie)
- Two poems (on Pen America)
- Three poems (in Eleven Eleven Journal)
- “Unused Baby” (on The Poetry Foundation)
- Three poems (in the Los Angeles Review of Books)
- Five poems (in The Brooklyn Rail)
- Four poems from Red Juice (in tender)
- “Do I Plunge” (on Lit Hub)
- The Walrus, with Michael Prior
- Jacket2, with Stephen McLaughlin
- Bookslut, with Joshua Marie Wilkinson
- Open Book Toronto, with James Lindsay
- Kirkus Reviews, with Jessa Crispin
- Poetry and Pho: Hoa Nguyen shares Lyricism and a Recipe, with Paul Maziar
- Evening Will Come, with Alexandra Mathieu
- Washington State Magazine, with Angela Sams
- BOMBLOG, with Iris Cushing
- Gesture, with Brenna Lee
- Reading "Cold Sore Lip Red Coat" for PoetryNow at the Poetry Foundation
- Lecture “Living Room” for the Bagley Wright lecture series on teaching creative writing
- Reading “No Sleep” for PBS NewsHour
- Reading “They Sell You What Disappears” for PBS NewsHour
- Reading “Never Seen” and “Rage Sonnet” for PBS NewsHour
- Four readings at PennSound
- Interviewed by Dale Smith for Jacket2
- Reading at the Poetry Project with Jesse Seldess:
Hoa Nguyen reads from her work at Counterpath:
No readings are scheduled at this time.