There’s something that you need to know, (if you didn’t already). Poet HOA NGUYEN is our intern here at knife | fork | book, a ‘title’ she herself came up with. We’ve been giggling ever since.
Truth be told, Hoa is as responsible for fulfilling the dream of KFB into existence as myself. Our kite would never have soared so high, so soon without Hoa’s generous encouragement, wisdom, and loving support, both as a business and myself it’s owner.
Two early Hoa events at KFB, the launch of her latest Wave Poetry collection VIOLET ENERGY INGOTS (since shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize) and inviting friend/poet ANNA MOSCHOVAKIS (Coffee House Press, Ugly Duckling Presse) to read, were mapmakers. Poets Eric Sneathen, Lauren Levin (Krupskaya Press) Henry Israeli, Timothy Liu, Mike Lala, CAConrad, Joshua Beckman, Gloria Frym, among others, followed.
Her husband, poet DALE SMITH and herself continuously weed their collections, donating titles we could only dream of acquiring. The lovely broadsides, photographed daily, travelled from their previous home in Austin, Texas showcasing the extraordinary letterpress work of Kyle Schlesinger at Cuneiform Press.
Thumbing through the lastest issue of CV2 Contemporary Verse 2, I find half of my colleagues/classmates from Hoa’s workshop have poems published there (and elsewhere, many end up in Tightrope Books’ Best Canadian Poetry series, a number, their poetry collection debut). My own chapbook, She’s Having a Doris Day, was written at Hoa’s.
The Griffin’s are this week. Yes, I’ll be attending with my friend, Hoa. The selections this year are so, so good. Jordan Abel (Talonbooks). Sandra Ridley (BookThug). Jane Mead. Denise Riley. [and I can’t wait to hear] Alice Oswald. You are all most welcome to drop by the shop, and I’d love to have you read here sometime (yes, that’s an invite). Please come to hear Joshua, Gloria, and Jennifer Tuesday night (you’re invited). There’s much to celebrate, all of us.
And, dearest Hoa, ‘peacehearty,’ thank you for being such a force in our lives, my ‘intern.’ Yours, I remain.