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Pretty in Violet


Listed in the Top Ten Poetry Collections— Fall 2016  Publishers Weekly

“Gather the firm clever thing / from the moment looking away”

In these new poems, Nguyen seems especially immersed in her own process and in the essence of writing, engaged with the “root of the words/ not the fucking use/ made purposed and stupid.” Publishers Weekly
Her poems often use carefully juxtaposed phrases—images, fragments of dialogue, puns—in order to reveal the power structures and ideologies embedded in the seemingly most innocuous of comments and objects. Accordingly, Nguyen’s poetics are attentive to what she calls “the constellations of influences and community.” Michael Prior, The Walrus
…because the self who is addressed in these poems is such a complete and complex entity—because the poet is exposing all of these areas of her life—our connection with her is accelerated. We quickly fall into a deep trust that whatever she says is earnest to the utmost, is a matter of personal importance. We might not be able to fully articulate exactly who this poet is, but we have an intuitive feeling that we know her well. This intuition affords us some comfort in what can otherwise be perplexing terrain. We feel freer to suspend our need for immediate understanding; we feel encouraged to accept uncertainty as a necessary aspect of both the self and poetry. Though at first glance her work may look too challenging to enjoy, these familiarizing and reassuring effects make Nguyen one of the best experimental poets a novice reader can pick up.
In the end these poems leave us with an abiding sense of affirmation, a sense that life—in its messy assemblage of frustrations and joys—is profoundly necessary. Ryo Yamaguchi, Boston Review




knife | fork | book @ Rick’s Cafe | 281 Augusta Avenue | Kensington Market

Doors open 6:30PM

Photo credits: Hoa Nguyen. PBS Newshour.


By Kirby

Poet. Book Fairy. Publisher knife | fork | book

6 replies on “Pretty in Violet”

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