Author: Hieu Minh Nguyen
Publisher: Coffee House Press (2018)
Not Here is a flight plan for escape and a map for navigating home; a queer Vietnamese American body in confrontation with whiteness, trauma, family, and nostalgia; and a big beating heart of a book. Nguyen’s poems ache with loneliness and desire and the giddy terrors of allowing yourself to hope for love, and revel in moments of connection achieved.
“To say that there is such wisdom and such a loving dominion in these poems might hide the ferocious wit and candor also found here, but I’ll say it loud anyway: this book is triumphant in its beautiful and sometimes painful reckoning...”
“The worlds Nguyen summons and dismisses in these poems are mesmerizing, like the visions of a sorcerer, but not because they’re magical—because they’re real. All of them animated by a wild wit that feels like it could throw a car like a baseball.”