Monica recommends! Ghost Of elegizes a brother lost via suicide, is a mourning song for the idea of family, a family haunted by ghosts of war, trauma, and history. Nguyen’s debut is 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: remnants of memory, physical voids, and her family captured around an empty space. Through lyric meditation, Nguyen seeks to bridge the realms of the living with the dead, the past with the present. These poems are checkpoints at the border of a mind, with arms outstretched in bold tenderness.
By Diana Khoi Nguyen. Paperbac. 88 pages. Published by Omnidawn, 2018.