Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the DC area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco where she earned an MFA. She is the author of three full length collections of poetry including As Long As Trees Last forthcoming from Wave Book in the fall of 2012, Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress 2002). Her poetry has been collected in eight anthologies including Days I Moved Through Ordinary Sound: The Teachers of WritersCorps in Poetry and Prose, City Lights 2009, The Best of Fence, Fence Books 2009, For the Time Being: A Bootstrap Anthology, Bootstrap Books 2008, Black Dog, Black Night: Contemporary Vietnamese Poetry, Milkweed Editions 2008 and Not for Mothers Only, Fence Books 2007.
In 1997, Nguyen designed and implemented an online youth poetry workshop for New York City based Teachers & Writers Collaborative. Students were youth ages 14 – 18; the workshop introduced participants to new writing strategies, encouraged them to develop critical skills and the creation of poetry with focused writing exercises. Discussion and feedback took place in an open online forum; the poetry exercises were indexed on the front page of the Virtual Poetry Workshop (nearly one hundred by its conclusion) so that teachers wishing to introduce poetry writing in the classroom could it as a resource from which to draw specific ideas.
In addition, since 1998, Nguyen has led private poetry writing workshops. These eight- to twelve-week sessions are held three times a year and include in-person as well as virtual participants. Under Nguyen’s guidance, workshop participants engage a primary text by a single poet and write out of resonances and in response to prompts and other considerations drawn from and in dialogue with it. Poets Niedecker, Kyger, Berrigan, Spicer, Whalen, Susan Howe, Creeley, Dickinson, Stein and Charles Olson are among those that Nguyen has taught. Her workshops are referred to as “legendary” and “iconic” and have counted many established poets as repeat participants.
With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded a small press journal of poetry and poetics, publishing contemporary poets such as Amiri Baraka, Alice Notley, Linh Dinh, Kenward Elmslie and Eileen Myles. Nationally distributed, Skanky Possum has received attention from national media such as The Baltimore Sun and Poets and Writers. In 2002, as editor of Best American Poetry, Robert Creeley selected poems by four poets that were published in issue 6 of Skanky Possum. Skanky Possum’s catalogue has been collected by several prominent archives and Special Collections including San Francisco University, SUNY Buffalo, University of Arizona’s Poetry Center, and the New York Public Library.
Nguyen has been invited to perform her work, act as poet in residence, and lecture on poetry for Universities, conferences and literary organizations nation-wide, including, most recently, Ryerson University and The Toronto New School of Writing, Toronto, ON; the University of Texas, Austin, TX; University of Washington, Pullman, WA; the Charles Olson Centenary Conference, Vancouver, BC; Buffalo State, Buffalo, NY; the Association for Asian American Studies Conference, Austin, TX; Naropa University, Boulder, CO; and the Belladonna Conference, New York, NY.
PROFILE, REVIEW, & CONVERSATION
Interview with Angela Sams in WSU Magazine
Annotated bibliography by authors Alexandra Mathieu, Tenzin Kunsang, and Gabby Melo-Moore, Ryan Gallager Presents,
2010 Interview with Hoa Nguyen by Reb Livingston, We Who Are About to Die,
2003, Lisa Jarnot reviews Your Ancient See Through by Hoa Nguyen, XCP: Cross- Cultural Poetics