A Virtual Reading with Joshua Nguyen, author of COME CLEAN, and Derrick Harriell!
A Room of One's Own welcomes Joshua Nguyen, author of Come Clean, for an evening of poetry and conversation on Crowdcast with fellow poet Derrick Harriell!
About Come Clean: 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 (Bull City Press, 2021) 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, 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 (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.
Derrick Harriell was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s worked as assistant poetry editor for Third World Press and The Cream City Review and has taught community writing workshops for individuals of all ages, including senior citizens. A two-time Pushcart Nominee, Harriell’s poems have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies.