Eric Tran is a queer Vietnamese poet and the author of Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke (Diode Editions) and The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer (Autumn House Press). He serves as an associate editor for Orison Books and a poetry reader for the Los Angeles Review. He has received awards and recognition from Prairie Schooner, New Delta Review, Best of the Net, and others. His work appears in RHINO, 32 Poems, the Missouri Review and elsewhere. He is a physician completing his fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry in Portland, Oregon.
Portrait courtesy of Emily Herschl, photographer
Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke
Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke howls and hungers. This collection, which won the Diode Editions’ 2021 Full-Length Book Prize, grieves a lover lost to addiction and also swims in the intoxication of desire. While the poems in Mouth, Sugar, and Smoke portray a yearning for intimacy, they create spaces to experience the duality of pleasure and mourning. Even when Tran writes under formal constraint, like the crown of sonnets, these poems struggle and break and, in doing so, explore queer and transformative ways of wanting and being wanted.