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American-Vietnamese writer to be honoured
  • | VNS | September 28, 2019 09:01 AM
American-Vietnamese poet Ocean Vương is among the recipients of a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.



Born in HCM City, Ocean Vương came to the US at the age of two. Photo gq.com


Vương, 30, and artist Cameron Rowland are the two youngest to be honoured by the foundation.

The grant is worth US$625,000 to be distributed over five years.

“I had to make sure they had the right person because you don’t want to cry and then have them say it was a mistake. But then the tears came,” Vương said in The New York Times.

His first poem collection Night Sky With Exit Wounds also receives the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.

The collection’s Vietnamese version Trời Đêm Những Vết Thương Xuyên Thấu is published in Vietnam.



Ocean Vương's first novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous is sold on Amazon. — Photo amazone.com

Last June, he released his first novel entitled On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. The novel is written as a son’s letter to his illiterate mother. It is The New York Times bestselling novel, out of from Penguin Press and has been printed in 24 languages worldwide.

Vương’s writings have been published in many papers and magazines including The Atlantic, Harpers, The Nation, and American Poetry Review.

He was selected by Foreign Policy magazine as a 2016 100 Leading Global Thinker, alongside Hillary Clinton, Ban Ki-Moon and Angela Merkel. He was also named by BuzzFeed Books as one of 32 Essential Asian American Writers.

Born in HCM City, Vương came to the US with his family at the age of two. He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts where he works as an Assistant Professor in the MFA Programme for Poets and Writers.

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