Hoa Nguyen’s latest collection is a poetic meditation on historical, personal, and cultural pressures pre- and post-“Fall-of-Saigon” and comprises a verse biography on her mother, Diep Anh Nguyen, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-woman Vietnamese circus troupe. Multilayered, plaintive, and provocative, the poems inA Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure are alive with archive and inhabit histories. In turns lyrical and unsettling, her poetry sings of language and loss; dialogues with time, myth and place; and communes with past and future ghosts.
Hoa Nguyen is the author of several books of poetry, includingA Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure (Wave, forthcoming 2021),As Long As Trees Last,Red Juice, andViolet Energy Ingots, which received a 2017 Griffin Prize nomination. As a public proponent and advocate of contemporary poetry, she has served as guest editor forThe 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, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Her writing has garneredattention from such outlets as The PBS News Hour,Granta,The Walrus,New York Times, andPoetry, among others. Born in the Mekong Delta and raised and educated in the United States, Nguyen has lived in Canada since 2011.
"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
Nguyen remains one of the most powerful, vivid, and even visceral contemporary poets working today.
—Dan Shewan,The Rumpus