Quintette of Questions: Thuy On

Today I’m asking Thuy On 5 questions about her latest book!

1. What’s the name of your latest book – and how hard was it to pick a title?

It was pretty easy to call this collection Turbulence. It was the working title from the start and it remained the same til the very end. I like single-word titles and this one is self-explanatory.

The reason why there are koi swimming on the cover is not only because I have a poem called “Koi”, but because this particular fish is a symbol of good luck and also a marker of perseverance in times of adversity. They are symbols of courage and stamina, growth and transformation – all themes within the book. 

2. What three things inspired you in writing these poems? 

The death of my long-term marriage, the incendiary flame of a short-lived but inspiring fling a short while after, and my desire to rekindle an art form that had lain dormant for years because as an arts and literary critic/ journalist I was too busy writing about other peoples’ words.

3. What five words best describe your story?

Passionate, bracing, honest, sexy, lyrical.

4. Who is your favourite fictional team/couple?

An utter cliche but Darcy and Elizabeth. I think their minds and temperaments are well-suited and they are the archetype of all rom-coms for me.

5. What song reflects a theme, character, relationship or scene in your book?

I wrote a poem in there inspired by my favourite song of the band Pulp. It’s called Something Changed. It’s about how fate can engineer the romantic collision of two people. There is a lot of yearning and dashed opportunities in Turbulence and this song really appeals to me because it’s a reminder that you have little control over how things work or don’t work out with regards to love.

About  Turbulence

Turbulence is a collection of poetry. It’s about loss, separation, and renewal, online dating, sex, longing, rejection, desire, and hope. All the big themes condensed in tiny poetic forms.

It’s ultimately about the turbulence of life.

It’s also a collection that also luxuriates in the beauty and nuances of language: there are poems about punctuation, fonts and grammar.about ampersands, semicolons and verbs.

Buy Turbulence

About  Thuy On

Thuy On is a freelance arts/literary critic and journalist who has written for a range of publications including The Australian, The Saturday Paper, The Age/SMH, ArtsHub and Books+Publishing. She’s also the Books Editor of The Big Issue. Her first book, a collection of poetry, Turbulence, is out now by UWAP.

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So many book launches and author talks have had to be cancelled, I’ve decided to run as many Quintettes as I can to share some great upcoming work – and let you stock up on things to read while we’re all self-isolating.