This Way to the Sugar by Hieu Minh Nguyen

This Way to the Sugar

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.

Details This Way to the Sugar

TitleThis Way to the Sugar
Release DateApr 1st, 2014
PublisherWrite Bloody Publishing
GenrePoetry, Lgbt, Glbt, Queer

Reviews This Way to the Sugar

  • Liz Janet
    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 d...
  • Haines Eason
    Hieu Nguyen here is emotionally vulnerable in a way few poets dare to be. Vulnerability is rare and wondrous, but what makes this collection all the more special is Nguyen’s exploration of past traumas; one feels privy to the author’s process of self discovery. For this reader, the book’s central fault is a lack of tonal variance, but that fault is small compared to the power of the manuscript as a whole.
  • Sarah
    Loved "In the End"!
  • Dominic
    I adore this collection of poems. Personal, confessional, tender, heart-rending, beautiful.
  • Will
    Powerful poems exposing the author's most vulnerable points. Nguyen succeeds in portraying his sexual experiences with strangers as wholly intimate but also deeply sad and a fact of queer male life. Still mulling over the ways that he so successfully made something so beautiful, close, and so sad. Can't wait to read more from this author.
  • lin
    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 (se...
  • N.K. Layne
    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 (...
  • Stephen
    This work surprised me, in the best possible way!I thought the "sugar" would be a far sweeter approach, but not at all!
  • Anaee
    Well, I was curious, and my curiosity was slaked. This Way to the Sugar is full of metaphors that were way too elaborate for me to understand it completely but I can say that on a whole, I understood the message they carried. Raw emotions were displayed and it felt sad and emotionally painful. It was a long way towards acceptance and felt like a long way towards “the Mountain of Forgiveness.” The poem “IN THE END” is definitely a lesson t...
  • Joseph Richardson
    IF YOU LIKED THIS COLLECTION, READ OCEAN VUONG. HE'S MUCH BETTER. The poems were poignant and at times very touching...but you forget them a few minutes later. In spite of the fact that this writer is clearly talented in the field of language, the imagery he creates just isn't palpable enough to stick in your mind. If you enjoyed the subject matter covered in this collection then read Ocean Vuong, he covers the same type of stuff (he too is gay a...
  • Jessica
    "I've been told that once you've been stabbed, it is better to leavethe blade inside your body--removing the dagger will only openthe wound further. Forgiveness will bleed you thin. If you ignoreit, your skin could close around the metal.""Stubborn Inheritance"(tw: themes of abuse and molestation)
  • Alexa M
    Nguyen is a very decent poetry writer. With that being said, I did not find myself relating a ton with most of the themes except those that pertained to coming home and father-child relationships.My favorite poem was "I Want Nothing." because I too found myself dealing with the absence of a father growing up. I want to read his new book coming out this year.
  • Ron Mohring
    Startling imagery and a recursive trajectory--these poems circle and dodge then dive fully into the water, into the gasoline, into memory and identity and tactile description in fresh and surprising ways. A poet I will be following.
  • Tirzah
    I'll be honest in saying that I prefer Hieu's poems out loud rather than on paper. I feel as though I understand the works more and am left with less questions when i reach the end.. This being said, both on paper and out loud, the heart break in his works are absolute.
  • Courtney
    4.5The honesty is this is amazing. I also really loved the formatting of the poetry and how each one read differently but still sounded like the same voice. Really cohesive collection. Definitely read it.
  • Heixiong
    I hadn't realized the author was primarily a spoken word artist, and I wonder how different my experience must have been, reading it silently to myself. Some really beautiful language here.
  • Emily Skye
    3.5ish/4ishI enjoyed this collection more than I thought I would. It was raw and honest and beautiful without trying too hard.
  • Donald Armfield
    Nguyen is a poet touching on an abusive past, bullying and survival. Some of his poems are very deep and you feel his pain, but cheer his survival.Favorites: -Tater Tot Hotdish-Hieu/Huey-The Hand That Fed-Choke -Stubborn Inheritance
  • mis fit
    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.
  • Ivy
    I don't know if I agree with the description of this book. This Way to the Sugar captures a very distinct facet of the queer American experience, not the whole, but I don't think it suffers for it. Regarding structure, Hieu M. Nguyen has a genuinely enviable knack for meter and rhythm. These poems were a pleasure to read, as they all seem to be expertly assembled. I read the whole book in one go and somehow managed to leave feeling both fulfilled...
  • Regina
    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.
  • Diep
    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.
  • willowdog
    Hieu Minh Nguyen poems illuminate growing up gay as Vietnamese in Minnesota and touch on family, sexual abuse, abandonment and death.
  • Rachel Coyne
  • Jodie
    Hieu is unreal.
  • Meg Eden
    Amazing, powerful, moving read! Like an addicting novel, I couldn't put it down.
  • C.E. G
    A raw, beautiful collection that builds on itself. "Stubborn Inheritance" was one of my favorites.
  • Äilsa Sachdev
    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