Photo: Tom Hines
Ocean Vuong is a writer, professor, and photographer. He is the author of The New York Times bestselling poetry collection, Time is a Mother, and The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, which won the American Book Award, The Mark Twain Award, The New England Book Award, and has been translated into 39 languages. A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur "Genius" Grant, he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. 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.
Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of its 100 Leading Global Thinkers, Vuong's writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Granta, Harpers, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The Village Voice, and American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets.
Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory workers, he was educated at nearby Manchester Community College before transferring to Pace University to study International Marketing. Without completing his first term, he dropped out and enrolled at Brooklyn College, where he graduated with a BA in Nineteenth Century American Literature. He subsequently received his MFA in Poetry from NYU.
He currently splits his time between Northampton, Massachusetts and New York City, where he serves as a Professor in Modern Poetry and Poetics in the MFA Program at NYU.