HOA NGUYEN A THOUSAND TIMES YOU LOSE YOUR TREASURE (Wave)
"A THOUSAND TIMES YOU LOSE YOUR TREASURE IS REMARKABLE not only for its unrelenting evisceration of clichés about Vietnam and its people, but also for the variety of forms in which this re-visioning is told." - David Starkey, California Review of Books
"BRILLIANT, ADVENTUROUS This is a book of anti-gravitational forces where the reader experiences the slamming of celestial and earthly realms into one another: moons crashing into earth, colonizer maps turned upside down, rivers parting like lovers, sonnets tied to the sky, and stars spilling womb-song. I am drawn to what Nguyen leaves inscrutable, untranslatable ... the way she refuses cartographies laid out by men, by nation-states, by form, by colonizer, and even by the fatalistic dynamics between mother and child. The poet is furiously loving about her mother’s boldness (“The running blue shock of her”), warping formulaic social expectations of womanhood and motherhood, and allowing her own mother to exist, untethered. - Megan Fernandes, Poetry Foundation
KFB SELECTS SPRING 2021
A THOUSAND TIMES YOU LOSE YOUR TREASURE (Wave Books)
A poetic meditation on historical, personal, and cultural pressures pre- and post-“Fall-of-Saigon” with verse biography on the poet's mother, Diệp Anh Nguyễn, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-women Vietnamese circus troupe. Multilayered, plaintive, and provocative, the poems in A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure are alive with archive and inhabit histories. By turns lyrical and unsettling, Hoa Nguyen's poetry sings of language and loss; dialogues with time, myth and place; and communes with past and future ghosts. [Wave]
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 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.