Encore: The ghost well cared-for: Hoa Nguyen’s ‘A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure’
What is a divinatory poetics? Can texts be haunted? This week, we return to a 2021 conversation with Toronto-based poet Hoa Nguyen, who dives into the narratives that prompted and sit within her new book of poetry, A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure (Wave Books). Host Lauren Korn chats with Hoa about the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings, the motorcycle troupe Hoa’s mother was a part of in the 1950s and ’60s, the many ways a text can haunt, and more!
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.
Hoa Nguyen recommends:
The poetry of John Keats
Dictée by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (University of California Press)
The prose of Saidiya Hartman
Lauren Korn recommends:
Violet Energy Ingots by Hoa Nguyen (Wave Poetry)
DMZ Colony by Don Mee Choi (Wave Poetry)
Ideal Suggestions: Essays in Divinatory Poetics by Selah Saterstrom (Essay Press)
The Write Question team is Lauren Korn, host and co-producer; Peter Hoag, co-producer and editor; and Tom Berich, sound engineer.
The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at iamthemollruss.com and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.
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