In this episode, I talk to US poet Diana Khoi Nguyen (Ghost Of, 2018) about the perseverance of eels, technologies of printing, and how poetry allows for the possibility that our dead will remain present with us in one form or another.
Many fine books of poetry came out in the United States last year, but one that stood out in particular was Diana Khoi Nguyen’s debut collection Ghost Of (Omnidawn), which was shortlisted for the 2018 National Book Awards. The poems of Ghost Of explore how the grief state can open up a wider dialogue with the past—and with the voices that lie both within but also outside of the frame of our family pictures and memories. And it is in that space that we can connect with the grief of others and where we can share our losses.
This episode features the poem “A woman may not be a safe place” from Diana Khoi Nguyen’s Ghost Of, published in April 2018 by Omnidawn. Staying Alive is an original podcast series produced and presented by me, Adriana Jacobs, with editing by Danielle Beeber and Danny Cox, and music by The Zombie Dandies. Support for this podcast comes from the John Fell Fund. For more information about this episode, including materials that didn’t make it into the final cut, visit the podcast website https://www.stayingalive.show.