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Poetry Asian American

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure

by (author) Hoa Nguyen

Wave Books
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Asian American
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price

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A collection inspired by Hoa’s mother, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-woman Vietnamese circus troupe, is verse meditation on Vietnam’s diaspora.


Hoa Nguyen’s latest collection is a poetic meditation on historical, personal, and cultural pressures pre- and post-“Fall-of-Saigon” and comprises a verse biography on her mother, Diep Anh Nguyen, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-woman Vietnamese circus troupe. Multilayered, plaintive, and provocative, the poems in A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure are alive with archive and inhabit histories. In turns lyrical and unsettling, her poetry sings of language and loss; dialogues with time, myth and place; and communes with past and future ghosts.

About the author

HOA NGUYEN is the author of several books of poetry, including As Long As Trees Last, Red Juice, and Violet Energy Ingots, which was a finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize. As a public proponent and advocate of contemporary poetry, she has served as guest editor for The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018 and performed and lectured at numerous institutions, including Princeton University, Bard College, Poet’s House, and the Banff Centre’s Writers Studio. Winner of a 2019 Pushcart Prize and a 2020 Neustadt International Prize for Literature nominee, 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 PBS NewsHour, Granta, The Walrus Magazine, the 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.


Hoa Nguyen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I come back to Hoa Nguyen’s poems all the time and every single time I find a new world of meaning"
—Gabrielle Calvocoressi, PEN America

Nguyen remains one of the most powerful, vivid, and even visceral contemporary poets working today.
—Dan Shewan, The Rumpus

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