Hieu Minh Nguyen


HIEU MINH NGUYEN is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer based out of Minneapolis. Recipient of 2017 NEA fellowship for poetry, Hieu is a Kundiman fellow, a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, and an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College. His work has appeared in PBS Newshour, POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, Nashville Review, Indiana Review, and more. His debut collection of poetry, This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) was named a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the MN Book Award. His second collection of poetry, Not Here, was published with Coffee House Press in 2018.  Source

MSP to ____

Though I am often, I am bad

at being alone. I turn off the bathroom lights

& let the shower steam fill the room.

I draw a new face in the mirror.

I imagine my friends, when I don’t see them 

for a while, as little dots roaming a map. 

Being a poet means being far from the people you love. 

Someone I no longer love said that. 

My friend says he can’t do another winter 

in Minnesota, but leaving seems impractical.

I thought I could keep them all,

but I did not notice the door

until the room was empty.

There are people who don’t need

to hear from me to know I love them.

That’s what happens, I miss people 

when I know they are happy. 

It’s true: I’ve stopped drinking

because I needed it. I know who to call

in an emergency; that’s not the problem.

I could do it, you know, disappear

& be missed—there was, at one point, a boy 

who asked me to stay, asked if I could 

be happy there. I told him no. Told him 

I had dreams & aspirations,

whatever that means. Truth is, 

I think I could’ve been. Happy, I mean. 

Fuck me if I’m wrong, but I am doing 

some things right, right? What’s up, buttercup. 

Howdy-do, buckaroo. I could be happy 

anywhere, I think. I’m off again in the morning,

so I drag the suitcase from my closet 

& fill it with obnoxious colors, 

a green jumper, a yellow scarf, a red coat

I've been meaning to wear where it rains.





Literary Movements:


Anthology Years:


Doubt & Fear


Love & Relationships

Literary Devices:


a figure of speech in which words repeat at the beginning of successive clauses, phrases, or sentences


the absence of a conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…) between phrases and within a sentence


the use of irony to mock or convey contempt

Varied syntax

diverse sentence structure