Diana Khoi Nguyen wins 2021 NEA Literature Fellowship

Diana Khoi Nguyen in a light top in front of a body of water

Diana Khoi Nguyen, assistant professor in the Writing Program of the Department of English in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, has been awarded a 2021 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in poetry.

Nguyen’s work includes traditional poetry and prose as well as multimedia and sculptural pieces. The excerpt submitted to the NEA for consideration comes from a larger project which includes video, plays, prose and poem pieces and focuses on the Vietnamese diaspora, family history and the refugee experience. She hopes to use the funding in part for post-pandemic travel to continue research in Vietnamese diaspora communities outside of North America.

Nguyen earned a B.A. in English and Communication Studies from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Denver. She is the author of the chaplet “Unless” (Belladonna, 2019) and debut poetry collection, “Ghost Of” (Omnidawn Publishing, 2018). “Ghost Of” was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest, and was a finalist for the National Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It also received the 2019 Kate Tufts Discovery Award and Colorado Book Award. Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in magazines and journals such as Poetry, American Poetry Review and PEN America.