Our new poetry editor, Wendy Xu, has selected two poems by Hoa Nguyen for her monthly series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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Sadie Benning, "Sunset" (2015), aqua resin, wood, casein, and acrylic gouache, 38 x 54 inches

Sadie Benning, “Sunset” (2015), aqua resin, wood, casein, and acrylic gouache, 38 x 54 inches (image courtesy the artist and Callicoon Fine Arts, New York, photo by Chris Austin)


Follow the chocolate from
“middle man” jobber to


The workers in the movie
casually called “coolie”

by actress Catherine Deneuve

It was always you     wasn’t it,

who historically plundered
and vampired

and then create the elaborate dessert
for you to name

and eat


Gumdrop of my heart
The sun comes back

a sweet sour mound
around one month after

simmering white winter

Fleur de lieu and already
swimming   as a pool swims

minutes more of long light
wanting a pool of words

Light drives through one western-
facing window and if

your holding onto me
is a Belt of Venus   purpled

mostly 3 bouquets of cut tulips

Neighbor’s tree stump exposed

and exposes rotten in a heart

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Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, DC, area, Hoa Nguyen studied Poetics at New College of California in San Francisco. Author of four full-length books of poetry including As Long As Trees Last and Red Juice, Poems 1998–2008. Her new book, Violet Energy Ingots, was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the top ten poetry books published in the fall of 2016. Nguyen teaches at Ryerson University’s Chang School, for Miami University’s low-residency MFA program, for the Milton Avery School for Fine Arts at Bard College, and in a long-running, private poetics workshop.

Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems as a PDF to Wendy Xu for consideration at poetry@hyperallergic.com.

Wendy Xu is the author of the poetry collections Phrasis (Fence, 2017), winner of the 2016 Ottoline Prize, and You Are Not Dead (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2013). The recipient of a Ruth...