Ugly Duckling Presse

Tells of the Crackling
Tells of the Crackling

Hoa Nguyen

Poetry | $12 $9
Spring 2015
Out of Print"powerful, vivid, and even visceral"
Tells of the Crackling reveals love in its lost and often fragmentary forms. It sifts through rivers and blue explosions with a "yell of living." How can we attempt to retrieve the irretrievable through language?Excerpt ˇ



Bringing some other fine things
hard full life     atoms springing

No money     No fine things

Flatteringly     we are the cave
It will be OK in disgrace

She jumped     Came to the river
deep water     Thou restless ungathered

orphan     Tell me your mind
to mend    to drown you in despair

      Let me sing gone
If I can live kicked & choked

Turned around in deep water Close ˆ

About the Author

Hoa Nguyen
Photo credit: Karen Thomson

Born in the Mekong Delta and raised in the Washington, D.C. 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 of 14 years. She is the author of three full-length collections of poetry including As Long As Trees Last, Hecate Lochia (Hot Whiskey Press, 2009) and Your Ancient See Through (Subpress, 2002). Wave Books released a volume of her early uncollected poems, Red Juice, Poems 1998-2008 in the fall of 2014. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario where she teaches poetics privately and at Ryerson University. 

Advance Praise

Hoa Nguyen's poems probe dailiness to divorce us from our base assumptions about how language might present the world to us. Her poems are also funny, and they strangely develop their own language games which comprise some of the most inviting lyrics I've found in a living poet. —Joshua Marie Wilkinson
[Hoa Nguyen's poems] impart a sense of how one might look at the various parts of a life and let them speak out without settling into simple dichotomies.—Academy of American Poets
Nguyen remains one of the most powerful, vivid, and even visceral contemporary poets working today. —Dan Shewan
The thirty-some pages of short lyrics in Tells of the Crackling continue Nguyen’s work in the small, personal moment, presenting a series of narratives presented in halting breaths, pauses and precise descriptions. Her cadences are marvelous, and constructed entirely for the sake of attention.—Rob McLennan