New Recruits Episode 16: Brittany Fisch Reads Hoa Nguyen

Welcome back to New Recruits! As always, if it’s your first time here, check out the description in Episode 1 for more information about how this series works.

Brittany Fisch and I have been friends since middle school. There’s a group of us actually, six ladies who survived a rocky Hebrew school experience and are probably stronger because of it. I am constantly amazed that we aren’t twelve anymore. My friends are all crazy impressive and Brittany is no exception. She’s 23 and she’s a lawyer working at a swanky downtown firm. She’s also lovely and brilliant and gorgeous and I love her. Okay, I’m going to stop bragging about my cool friend now so we can talk about poetry.

I picked up Hoa Nguyen‘s newest title, Violet Energy Ingots, at Knife Fork Book in Kensington Market (by the way, if you haven’t been there yet, go stand in the store and look at all the pretty books and shake hands with Kirby because he’s delightful). The book opens with an epigraph by Jack Spicer, so obviously I loved it before I even got to the first poem, and then once I got into it I loved it even more. I gave Brittany two of my favourite poems from the book to choose from and she chose this one. She told me it was hard to choose because she liked them both, and damn Brit, I feel you. It was hard to choose just two to send to her. So here’s Brittany Fisch reading “Dear Love Not As One.”

And if I thought I loved this poem before, Brittany’s reading of it just slayed me. I am slain.

Q & A

What was your first impression of the poem?

The harsh and pleasant word choices created a very nice balance.

Which line of the poem do you like best?

“The tomatoes look like one-pound / ox hearts and impossible / you with soft strong arms (gift)”


It expresses both the intense passion and warmth felt towards his/her loved one. 

What does this poem make you think of?

 Romance by/and a non-literal fire

Are there any words in this poem that you don’t understand?

 I acknowledge the possibility that I do not understand any of it.

Would you like to understand them?


Do you have any questions for the poet?

What was your inspiration?



Brittany Fisch is a 23 year old lawyer-to-be who likes soccer, art, movie-watching and spending time with friends and family (preferably with food).

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