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This Way to the Sugar
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This Way to the Sugar

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
A Midwest Asian-American poet beautifully captures the queer American experience. This bruising collection of poems puts a blade and a microscope to nostalgia, tradition, race, apology, and sexuality, in order to find beauty in a flawed world. His work has been described as an astounding testament to the power and necessity of confession.
Paperback, 75 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Write Bloody Publishing (first published March 15th 2014)
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My curiosity about Hieu Minh Nguyen's poetry was initially piqued by the fact that, like me, he is a Vietnamese-American poet who hails from the Twin Cities. This Way to the Sugar, published by Write Bloody Press earlier this year, is spoken word artist Nguyen's first poetry collection. (I should mention that this is the first spoken word poetry book I've read. I still have qualms about the implications of reading spoken word poems in printed book form.)

This book's themes include gay Asian-Ameri
Liz Janet
Mar 03, 2016 Liz Janet rated it liked it
I cannot recall if my favourite of his poems was in this collection, but it is on Button Poetry, it is called Southbound, and I highly recommend for everyone to check it out.
This is a collection, mostly targeting, the queer experience in America, which is something I am not familiar with, but there are many other triggering materials, such as molestation, sexual repression, and parent's acceptance of child's sexuality, so beware of those before delving into his poetry.
This is the kind of slam p
Sep 17, 2016 Lin rated it it was amazing
My first exposure to Hieu Minh Nguyen was a little over a year ago at an open mic, where he was the featured reader. Hearing him read his poems was like getting punched in the stomach, in the very best possible way. I cried a lot that night, because his poetry was so powerful and some of his words resonated with me on such a deep and painful level. Not surprisingly, my experience of finally reading his book was very much the same! These poems (several of which I heard at that open mic) brought a ...more
Jul 10, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
This work surprised me, in the best possible way!

I thought the "sugar" would be a far sweeter approach, but not at all!
mis fit
Oct 09, 2016 mis fit rated it really liked it
Damn, this book is amazing! There's a good deal of difficult stuff in here, often heartbreaking, but Nguyen never shies away. It always feels honest and raw, come what may, and that's probably what I like best about it. Some of the most hard-hitting poems I've read in a while-- really moving.
It took my mother eight years
to accept me for being gay. For eight years I sat
and watched my house burn. I
watched her save the baby photos but leave the baby—I know I should be grateful
that she came around at all. That she forgave me.

Sep 21, 2016 Jodie rated it it was amazing
Hieu is unreal.
NK Layne
Nov 07, 2015 NK Layne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, queer, poetry, 2015
Even the grumpiest, most narrow-minded person, would have trouble not falling in deep empathy with Hieu Nguyen's graphic, intimate confessions. This poetry book explores about Hieu Nguyen varying identities, as a child of immigrants, as a Vietnamese-American, as a gay male, as a fat male, as a victim of sexual abuse...
Hieu Nguyen's identity is complex. There was a risk that this much honesty, would make it too human. Too real to empathize with (people like flat things) but that is by far not th
Dec 15, 2015 Regina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
So much of this slim collection of poems by Nguyen captivated me - his reflections on cultural identity/assimilation, sexuality, fraught relationships with family. He truly has a gift for pairing strong images with emotionally resonant themes.
Feb 05, 2016 willowdog rated it liked it
Hieu Minh Nguyen poems illuminate growing up gay as Vietnamese in Minnesota and touch on family, sexual abuse, abandonment and death.
C.E. G
Apr 30, 2015 C.E. G rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
A raw, beautiful collection that builds on itself. "Stubborn Inheritance" was one of my favorites.
Äilsa Sachdev
Jul 18, 2015 Äilsa Sachdev rated it it was amazing
Everything I wish I could express in poetry but can't and other things I have never experienced but deeply impact me because of Nguyen's writing
Rachael rated it it was amazing
Sep 07, 2016
Mason Nunemaker
Mason Nunemaker rated it it was amazing
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Apr 27, 2016
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Hieu Minh Nguyen is a poet, author, and performer. He was born and raised in Saint Paul, Minnesota, by a single, Vietnamese-American, mother. He is the author of This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Press, 2014). Hieu is a Kundiman fellow, a recipient of the VERVE grant from Intermedia Arts, and a recipient of the Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant from The Loft Literary Center. His work has also ...more
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