Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong

in Sai Gon, Viet Nam
October 14, 1988



Poet and essayist Ocean Vuong is the author of the best-selling, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the Whiting Award and Thom Gunn Award, finalist for Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, the Lamda Literary Prize, and was named by the New York Times as a Top 10 Book of 2016. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize.

Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic,The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize fo

Ocean Vuong isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but he does have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from his feed.


“Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.”

— Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story

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Published on July 16, 2018 06:06 • 2 views
Average rating: 4.32 · 4,552 ratings · 514 reviews · 6 distinct worksSimilar authors
Night Sky with Exit Wounds

4.32 avg rating — 4,377 ratings — published 2016 — 11 editions
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4.38 avg rating — 121 ratings — published 2010 — 3 editions
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4.66 avg rating — 50 ratings — published 2013
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On Earth We're Briefly Gorg...

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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We Contain Multitudes

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 2016
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Sugar House Review #8: Spri...

0.00 avg rating — 0 ratings — published 2013
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“The most beautiful part of your body
is where it’s headed. & remember,
loneliness is still time spent
with the world.”
Ocean Vuong

“Rush-hour on the A rain. A blind man
staggers forth, his cane tapping lightly
own the aisle. He leans against the door,

raises a violin to chin, and says I’m sorry
to bother you, folks. But please. Just listen.
And it kills me, the word sorry. As if something like music

should be forgiven. He nuzzles into the wood like a lover,
inhales, and at the first slow stroke, the crescendo
seeps through our skin like warm water, we

who have nothing but destinations, who dream of light
but descend into the mouths of tunnels, searching.
Beads of sweat fall from his brow, making dark roses

on the instrument. His head swooning to each chord
exhaled through the hollow torso. The woman beside me
has put down her book, closed her eyes, the baby

has stopped crying, the cop has sat down, and I know
this train is too fast for dreaming, that these iron jaws
will always open to swallow a smile already lost.

How insufficient the memory, to fail before death.
how will hear these notes when the train slides
into the yard, the lights turned out, and the song

lingers with breaths rising from empty seats?
I know I am too human to praise what is fading.
But for now, I just want to listen as the train fills

completely with warm water, and we are all
swimming slowly toward the man with Mozart
flowing from his hands. I want nothing

but to put my fingers inside his mouth,
let that prayer hum through my veins.
I want crawl into the hole in his violin.

I want to sleep there
until my flesh
becomes music.”
Ocean Vuong

“How sweet. That rain. How something that lives only to fall can be nothing but sweet.”
Ocean Vuong, Night Sky with Exit Wounds

Topics Mentioning This Author

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Around the World ...: T.S. - Tourist 3 38 Nov 24, 2015 01:28PM  
South Shore Readers: 2016 Reading Challenges 17 35 Dec 03, 2016 07:35AM  
Nothing But Readi...: New 2 U Authors: 2016 94 509 Jan 08, 2017 05:47AM  
21st Century Lite...: 2017--The Year Ahead 37 78 Jan 19, 2017 10:43AM  
Literary Fiction ...: Lambda Literary Awards 5 31 Mar 15, 2017 07:43PM  
Around the World ...: Vietnam 14 751 May 28, 2018 05:50AM  
21st Century Lite...: Your Favorite 21st Century Poet/Poem? (6/28/18) 21 33 Jul 06, 2018 08:39AM  

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