Diana Khoi Nguyen with Prageeta Sharma and Ryo Yamaguchi
As part of a weekend that includes a workshop stint with Hugo House, Denver-based poet Diana Khoi Nguyen makes this welcome reading appearance here, with a striking debut collection in hand, Ghost Of (Omnidawn). Selected by Terrance Hayes for a publication prize, this is a powerful look at a family riven by history, exile, and loss, loss most notably in the suicide of a brother. This is a book for the page (see what is done), as well as one powerful in voice.
Also reading tonight are poets Prageeta Sharma and Ryo Yamaguchi. Prageeta Sharma teaches in the creative writing program at the University of Montana, and is the acclaimed author of four collections of poetry, Undergloom (Fence Books) being the most recent. Ryo Yamaguchi works at Seattle-based Wave Books, and is the author of The Refusal of Suitors (Noemi Press).
“Diana Khoi Nguyen’s Ghost Of is nothing short of an extraordinary debut. At its center is the haunting disappearance of a brother, gone by suicide. These poems are uncanny renderings of an invisibility made visible by the sheer will of candor, bemused forms, agility of lexicon, and a voice, almost noiselessly extravagant. What she gives us, she takes away; nearly impossible transformations transform . . . Nothing here is ever entirely complete—ghost of mourning, ghost of yearning, ghost of the kiln unfilled with the probable impossibility of an afterlife . . . Nguyen’s voice is both wraithlike and astonishingly frontal; this is one of the most gifted first books I’ve read.” —Terrance Hayes.
Co-presented with KUNDIMAN.