As Long as Trees Last

The poems in Nguyen's third book of poetry are spare and often short, but present an openness that allows the reader to luxuriate in the sensory details of the everyday. "Kind of day: beans on toast," Nguyen writes in "Rain Poem," a piece that contains the to-do list: "Mash the sea / Evolve love / Keen / Coo."

These are poems of domesticity, of the weather and lunar cycles, of motherhood, of the small miracles that occur throughout ordinary days. Language, too, seems alchemic through Nguyen's lens. Seth Abramson writes that the work in As Long as Trees Last "insists on the materiality and weight of each word, not merely as a function of Nguyen's evidently dexterous enjambment but also her impressionistic lexicon—one that communicates emotion through the atmospherics of grammar as well as the dialectics of performative speech."

This book review originally appeared in American Poets.