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Violet Energy Ingots

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"What our lives permit us to perceive as givens, Nguyen reveals as mere conditions, inextricably tied to and guided by greater forces—from the economy to the environment, from the Mayan predictions to the menstrual cycle, from the weight of history to the burden of the future." —Michael Brodeur, The Boston Globe

The poems in Violet Energy Ingots contain a sense of dis-ease, rupture, things frayed, and grief—as love shimmers the edges. Ryo Yamaguchi describes Nguyen’s writing as “a kind of stuttering with intelligences, impressions, and emotions flaring up as the words find their pathways.” As grounded in the earth as in the stars, her poems are reminders of the possibilities of contemplation in every space and moment.

A Brief History of War

And what if Jupiter
is your faith

a balloon
but I call you

by the improper
names I'm stained

by the world here
To be brave and endure

the losing To be brave
and be the losing

Luck Brutal

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, DC area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. With the poet Dale Smith, Nguyen founded Skanky Possum, a poetry journal and book imprint in Austin, TX, their home for fourteen years. She is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Red Juice: Poems 1998-2008 and As Long as Trees Last. She lives in Toronto, Ontario where she curates a reading series and teaches poetics privately and at Ryerson University.


ISBN-13: 9781940696348

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Wave Books

Publication Date: 09-06-2016

Pages: 104

Product Dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.10(d)

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 she 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.

Table of Contents

AUTUMN 2012 POEM
DEAR LOVE NOT AS A SLAVE,
MEKONG I
HAUNTED SONNET
A BRIEF HISTORY OF WAR
HEADLESS OR HEAD
WHO WAS ANDREW JACKSON?
A SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH POEM
SCREAMING
BIRTHDAY POEM
PHARAOH NOTES
WEEK OF WORDS
HOW THE SUN SHIVERS
AFTER SONNET 117
POEM OF FIRST LINES FROM JACK SPICER POEMS
STRUMMER
MEANT TO
SOME, VISITING
JANUARY
THREAD CORD
HAWK CHASED BY BLACKBIRDS
TOWER SONNET
MACHIAVELLI NOTES
DIANA WAS THE MOON
BLOUSY GUITAR
DIGRESSIVE PARENTHESIS
I DIDN’T KNOW
PS:
FIRST FLOWERS
THE WHITEBOARD
ORPHEUS POEM
LOCUST TREE NOTES (EAST TORONTO)
MY GREEN
I AM TOO
EAT VIOLETS
ANGEL GOING POW
MOAN & LOW
SHE SAILS (SPRING)
POEM OF FIRST LINES FROM TAGORE POEMS
HID
DO I PLUNGE
SUNFLOWER GUARDIANS
SPARROW AGAIN
BLOODLANDS
ARTIFACTS FROM THE “UNEARTHLY CAVE” NAMED
“THE PLACE WHERE THE MAN WAS KILLED BY THE BULL”
AFTER THE MURDER BALLAD
TO SEEK
EVE
COPPER
DREAM IN OCTOBER
ME THAT
THE DIFFERENCE IS VELOCITY
FOR LOVE RED
RED VOICE
OWL
TORN
YOU
SONNET FOR MIMIR’S HEAD
AFTER THE SONG
AND
LEAVE