Lowell Lecture

Ocean Vuong: Fiction Days and Poetry Days Present Ocean Vuong: Time Is a Mother

Date & Time

Oct. 12, 2022 at 7 p.m.


Boston College - Devlin Hall, Room 110
Boston College
Devlin Hall, Room 110
, MA
Driving Directions


Natsu Taylor Saito

Presenting Organization

Boston College




Chandler Shaw (shawcp@bc.edu, )

Ocean Vuong’s striking body of work contains timeless themes of class, queerness, and identity. His New York Times-bestselling novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, is an evocative coming-of-age epistolary and lyrical work of self-discovery and diaspora. Framed as a letter from a son to his mother, this shattering portrait of family, first love, and the redemptive power of storytelling asks how to survive, how to find joy in darkness, and the meaning of American identity—questions that power the most important debut novel of many years.

Vuong erupted on to the literary scene in 2016 with his first poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, for which he became only the second debut poet to win the T.S. Eliot Prize. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, Vuong’s honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. He is also the winner of the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. In 2019 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, the youngest recipient of the grant in that year’s class.

Ocean Vuong’s writing has been featured in The Atlantic, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Village Voice, and the American Poetry Review. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 “Leading Global Thinker,” alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Justin Trudeau, Vuong was also named an “Essential Asian American Writer” by Buzzfeed Books and has been profiled by NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS’s NewsHour, Teen Vogue, Vice, The Fantastic Man, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong was raised in Hartford, CT and now lives in Northampton, MA, where he serves as an Associate Professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Cosponsored by the Boston College Fiction Days Series, Poetry Days Series, American Studies Program, Literature Core Program, Asian American Studies Program and the English Department.