Author: Diana Khoi Nguyen
Publisher: Omnidawn: 2018
Poetry and Reflections. Ghost Of is a mourning song, not an exorcism or un-haunting of that which haunts, but attuned attention, unidirectional reaching across time, space, and distance to reach loved ones, ancestors, and strangers. By working with, in, and around the photographs that her brother left behind (from which he cut himself out before his death), Nguyen wrestles with what remains: memory, physical voids, and her family captured around an empty space.
Born in Los Angeles, DIANA KHOI NGUYEN is a poet and multimedia artist whose work has appeared widely in literary journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review, Boston Review, PEN America, and The Iowa Review, among others. A winner of the 92Y's Discovery / Boston Review 2017 Poetry Contest, she is a PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Denver.
"Ghost of by Diana Khoi Nguyen wrestles with what remains in the wake of a death in the family. Nguyen's work is neither an exorcism nor an unhaunting, but a mourning song that reaches across time, space, and distance toward loved ones, ancestors, and strangers."--Alex Crowley "Publishers Weekly" (1/1/2017 12:00:00 AM)
"Nguyen's shape-shifting poems confront death, displacement, and the emptiness within and around us. In "An Empty House is a Debt," she explores this 'negative space' with remarkable precision: 'This craving carves a cave.' In "The Exodus," Nguyen traces trauma and its heirs from Saigon to Los Angeles: 'And if you bypassed a war, a war / wouldn't bypass you.' "--Briana Shemroske "Publishers Weekly" (1/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"This is a collection about leaving, about absence--a mother fleeing Vietnam, an infant, 'two minutes after [she] was born, ' already making her 'first evacuation, ' and, most of all, a brother leaving emptiness behind him in death. In her poem "Family Ties," Nguyen remembers the evening her brother 'cut out only his face from every / photograph in the hall.' "--Briana Shemroske "Arkansas International" (1/1/2018 12:00:00 AM)