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An Evening w/ Joshua Nguyen
December 5, 2021 @ 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Join us Sunday, December 5th at 6 pm for a reading with poet, Joshua Nguyen. A book signing will follow. Guest readers Maurice Carlos Ruffin and Tiana Nobile will introduce Nguyen with brief readings of their own works.
Tickets are required and will include a signed copy of Come Clean. Grab your tickets here!
Proof of vaccination will be required for entry.
Joshua Nguyen’s sharp, songlike, and often experimental collection compartmentalizes past trauma—sexual and generational—through the quotidian. Poems aim to confront the speaker’s past by physically, and mentally, cleaning up. Here, the Asian-American masculine interrogates the domestic space through the sensual and finds healing through family and in everyday rhythms: rinsing rice until the water runs clear, folding clean shirts, and attempts at re-creating an unwritten family recipe. Yet past wounds remain present like permanent marker under layers of paint or spilled fish sauce set into car upholstery. Infused with the Shinto-inspired organizing practices of KonMari and the catchy nihilism of Mitski’s songs, the poems in Come Clean unpack, organize, and tidy up life’s messy joys and hurtful chaos with intimacy, grace, and vulnerability.
Joshua Nguyen is a queer Vietnamese-American writer, a collegiate national poetry slam champion (CUPSI), and a native Houstonian. He is the author of the chapbook, “American Lục Bát for My Mother” (forthcoming, March 2021, Bull City Press) and has received fellowships from Kundiman, Tin House, Sundress Academy For The Arts, and the Vermont Studio Center. He has been published in The Offing, Wildness, American Poetry Review, The Texas Review, PANK, Auburn Avenue, Crab Orchard Review, and Gulf Coast Mag. He has also been featured on both the “VS” podcast and Tracy K. Smith’s, “The Slowdown”. He is a bubble tea connoisseur and works in a kitchen. His debut poetry collection, “Come Clean” (October 5th,2021; University of Wisconsin Press), was the winner of the 2021 Felix Pollak Prize in Poetry. He is a PhD student at The University of Mississippi, where he also received his MFA.
Joshua Nguyen began writing with the Meta-Four Houston Youth Slam Team from 2008-2012 and competed in Brave New Voices. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and was part of the UT Spitshine slam team from 2014-2016. He placed #1 in the nation in 2014, won ‘Best Writing as a Team’ in 2015, and was the 2015 CUPSI Haiku Champ. In 2016, he traveled to Washington D.C. as a member of Future Corp to organize the 2016 Brave New Voices International Poetry Festival. He was a featured poet in a commercial for the National Education Association’s ‘Do You Hear Us?’ campaign