Ocean Vuong

He // Him // His

[ID: Ocean, a Vietnamese-American man with black undercut-styled hair, is wearing a striped shirt and single dangling earring as he looks at the camera.]

Poet and Writer
Northampton, MA
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the USA Board of Trustees.

Ocean Vuong is the author of The New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, published by Penguin Press in 2019 and forthcoming in thirty languages. A 2019 MacArthur Fellow and winner of a 2014 Pushcart Prize, Vuong is also author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 Books of 2016 and winner of the T. S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Additional honors include fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, Lannan Foundation, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Elizabeth George Foundation, and Academy of American Poets.

His work has been featured in a range of publications, including Granta, Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, The New York Times, and American Poetry Review, which awarded the writer the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Foreign Policy magazine named Vuong one of 2016’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers; the same year, BuzzFeed Books listed him among “32 Essential Asian American Writers.” He has been profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered and the PBS NewsHour, as well as in Teen Vogue, Interview, Poets & Writers, and The New Yorker.

Born in Saigon, Vuong lives in Northampton, MA, where he is an associate professor in the MFA Program for Poets and Writers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Portrait photo by Peter Bienkowski.