The Center for Literary Arts Craft Lecture Series brings distinguished writers to SJSU for original talks on craft. The writers are diverse and brilliant, with a wide range of artistic strategies, and each talk turns into a short course on the challenges of making vital literary art.

Join us on Thursday, September 29, 2022 on Zoom at 4PM PST for a Q&A with award-winning poet Ocean Vuong. In advance of this event, students should be familiar with the author's recent novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous and his latest poetry collection Time Is a Mother. Both titles are available at Spartan Bookstore and SJSU MLK Library.

Ocean Vuong is the author of The New York Times bestselling poetry collection, Time is a Mother (Penguin Press 2022), and The New York Times bestselling novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019), which has been translated into 37 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.

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. Selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, Ocean was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of “32 Essential Asian American Writers” and has been profiled on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” PBS NewsHour, Teen Vogue, Interview, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Hartford, Connecticut in a working class family of nail salon and factory laborers, 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 of Business school 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 lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and serves as a tenured Professor in the Creative Writing MFA Program at NYU.

This event is made possible thanks to the generous support of the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies and the Martha Heasley Cox Lecture. This generous award, created by San José State Professor Emeritus Martha Heasley Cox, established an ongoing series to bring celebrated and influential authors to San José.

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Event Details

  • Beckett Van Leer
  • Mariah Pompa
  • Hannah Michnya

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Meeting ID: 869 8136 9774

Passcode: 116507


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