Books

Ontario poet Hoa Nguyen shortlisted for $10K U.S. National Book Awards

The National Book Awards annually honour the best writing in America through five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people's literature.

Nguyen is the only Canadian writer on this year’s shortlist

Hoa Nguyen is longlisted for her poetry collection A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure. (Submitted by author, Wave Books)

Canadian poet Hoa Nguyen is a finalist for the 2021 National Book Awards.

The National Book Awards annually honour the best writing in America through five categories: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, translated literature and young people's literature.

The Ontario-based poet is shortlisted for the poetry category for A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure.

A Thousand Times You Lose Your Treasure offers a meditation on historical, personal and cultural pressures before and after the fall of Saigon, accompanied by verse biography on the poet's mother, a stunt motorcyclist in an all-women Vietnamese circus troupe. The poems explore language and loss, time and place and past and future. It also won ​the Canada Book Award.

Nguyen is the author of several books of poetry, including As Long As Trees Last and Violet Energy Ingots, which was a finalist for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize.

Born in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam, Nguyen was raised and educated in the United States. She has lived in Canada since 2011.

The jury for the 2021 awards is chaired by Luis Alberto Urrea. The four other judges are Alan Michael Parker, Emily Pullen, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton and Charles Yu.

The other finalists in the poetry category are Desiree C. Bailey for What Noise Came Against the Machine, Martin Espada for Floaters and Douglas Kearny for Sho.

The winners will be announced at the National Book Awards Ceremony on Nov. 17, which will be held virtually at 7 p.m. ET.

Each finalist receives a prize of $1,000 and each winner will receive $10,000. 

Established in 1950, the National Book Awards have been overseen by the National Book Foundation since 1989. The mission of the foundation is to celebrate the best literature in America and ensure that books have a prominent place in American culture.

You can find the complete list of finalists for fiction, nonfiction, translated literature and young people's literature on the National Book Foundation website.

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