When Hoa Nguyen left San Francisco for the independent state of Austin, Texas, she left a huge hole in our social and poetic fabric. Her poetry is small in its physical space but looms large in the psychic state, condensing, like Niedecker, a variety of domestic and political details into a web so fine you could pass it through a wedding ring. In Austin she teaches creative writing and co-edits Skanky Possum with the poet Dale Smith. Her books include Dark (1998) and Parrot Drum, published by Leroy Press last year. While working as a poet-teacher for WritersCorps, she took one of her prize-winning students to the White House where he read for the First Lady--and Hoa was photographed with Hillary Clinton!
February 23, 2001