© 2022 NPR Illinois
Stand with the Facts
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Lily Hoang Is Not A Poet - Reading In Springfield


Lily Hoang says she's grappled with multiple failures in order to find her true calling. As a teen she assumed she'd go to conservatory for classical music. But, it turns out she was a good musician, just "not great." So when she noticed her college roommate getting positive attention for her poetry, Hoang decided she'd give it a  go too. No dice. "As things so happen, I'm a terrible poet ... it was just a failed attempt at everything. And then I found non-fiction and the essay form, and I fell in love."

Hoang reads at the NPR Illinois station on Thursday night from 7 - 8pm. The public is invited, info here. Listen to this preview interview:

Hoang now lives in New Mexico where she teaches English and heads the MFA program at New Mexico State University. She's authored five books, including her newest,  A Bestiary. The nonfiction work has gained multiple awards and received much critical acclaim, including this glowing review from feminist icon/writer/professor Roxane Gay:

"Well, this is a magnificent book. Personal essays about grief and love and broken people and difficult relationships that are raw and vulnerable but full of steel and intelligence. There is an ongoing meditation on fairy tale and myth, throughout that is also very powerful. This is one of the better essay collections I've ever read."

Hoang's reading is sure to be a unique one. Hope you can make it! Either way - you should also check out HTML Giant, a literary blog she helps run and contributes to.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
Related Stories