Ocean Vuong

March 29: Cathy Linh Che, Paul Tran, and Ocean Vuong present New Vietnamese Poetry at Split This Rock

March 29 New Vietnamese Poetry: A Group Reading & Discussion
Cathy Linh Che, Paul Tran, Ocean Vuong 

Beacon Hotel, Beacon Room [Map]


Saturday, March 29, 2014
11:30am – 1:00pm

The Vietnam War continues to inform public discourse, scholarship, and national policies on race, empire, and the struggle for human rights. This layered roundtable and reading will excavate voices from the diaspora’s exiled. Three Vietnamese American poets will share their work and lead a discussion on the Vietnam War and its legacies in new Vietnamese poetry, exploring death, ghosts, belonging, displacement, memory, debt, intergenerational trauma, and sexual assault. It will examine how poetry and spoken word recover the history of marginalized peoples and the war’s connection to US colonialism throughout the world. Sponsored by Kundiman, an organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American poetry.

Cathy Linh Che BW.jpg

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), winner of the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize

A Vietnamese American poet from Los Angeles and Long Beach, CA, she received her BA from Reed College and her MFA from New York University. She has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Poets & Writers, The Fine Arts Work Center at Provincetown, KundimanHedgebrookPoets House, The Asian American Literary Review, The Center for Book Arts, and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Residency.

A founding editor of the online journal Paperbag, she is currently Program Associate for Readings & Workshops (East) at Poets & Writers and Manager of Kundiman.

She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Paul Tran grew up in San Diego, CA. His mother escaped from Vietnam in 1989 and raised him as a single-parent in the United States. Being the first in his family to graduate high school and attend college, Paul is fascinated by the promise and transformative power of education.

Since 2005, Paul has facilitated workshops and trainings for youth organizers throughout the United States. He designs curriculum around race, power, and the potential of arts activism. As an organizer and mentor, Paul has earned awards from the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (2006), Prudential Spirit of Community (2007), Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes (2008), California Museum & Office of the Governor and First Lady Maria Shriver (2009), Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (2010), and funding from Qualcomm, Fish & Richardson, United Way San Diego, and the University of California, San Diego.

Ocean Vuong is the author of two chapbooks: No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was an American Library Association’s Over The Rainbow selection. A recipient of a 2013 Pushcart Prize, he has received fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, The Elizabeth George Foundation, the Saltonstall Foundation For the Arts, as well as the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Poems appear in Poetry, The Nation, American Poetry Review, Quarterly West, Guernica, The Normal School, Beloit Poetry Journal, and Denver Quarterly, amongst others. Work has also been translated into Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently resides in New York City where he reads chapbook submissions as the managing editor of Thrush Press. He thinks you’re perfect.

Feb. 18 NYC Word for Word Poetry Reading with April Naoko Heck, Purvi Shah, and Ocean Vuong

Word for Word Reading Series at Bryant Park


Join Word for Word Poetry in partnership with Kundiman for a reading by April Naoko Heck, Purvi Shah & Ocean Vuong. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6pm
Kinokuniya Bookstore
1073 Avenue of the Americas
(Between 40th & 41st St)
New York, NY 10018

Facebook event page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1458238237721872/

Nov. 21 Natalie Diaz, April Naoko Heck, and Ocean Vuong read at the Asian American Writers' Workshop. Moderated by R.A. Villanueva

Event Details

Asian American Writers' Workshop
112 W 27th St
New York, NY

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/552519674824154/

It's Decorative Gourd Season around here, as McSweeney’s famously declared — a time to look back at all the hard work that’s gone into producing the fruits we now collect and devour in gluttonous revelry.

To mark the season, we’re inviting poets, writers, and readers alike to join us in celebrating the fruits of three poets’ labors. April Naoko HeckNatalie Diaz, and Ocean Vuong will share their work and talk with R.A. Villanueva about their obsessions and preoccupations as the days get shorter. 

In A Nuclear Family, her first collection of poems, April Naoko Heck contemplates a lineage passing through the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to the world of nuclear power outside of Cleveland. Born in Tokyo, she relocated with her family to the U.S. when she was seven. A Kundiman Fellow, she has been awarded residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and Vermont Studio Center. She works for the NYU Creative Writing Program and lives in Brooklyn. 

Natalie Diaz delves into life on a reservation in the American Southwest in When My Brother Was an Aztec, where family collides with conquest and empire. She is a member of the Mojave and Pima Indian tribes and attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey for Best New Poets, and she has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry. She lives in Surprise, Arizona.

Ocean Vuong’s work examines love, longing, and family memory against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. Born in 1988 in Saigon, he was raised by women (a single mother, aunts, and a grandmother) in Hartford, Connecticut, and received his BA in English literature from Brooklyn College. He is the author of two chapbooks: No and Burnings, which was an American Library Association’s Over The Rainbow selection. A recipient of a 2013 Pushcart Prize, other honors include fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation For the Arts, as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Connecticut Poetry Society’s Al Savard Award. He lives in New York, where he reads chapbook submissions as the associate editor of Thrush Press. 

R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the 2013 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He is also the winner of the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry. A semi-finalist for the 2013 "Discovery"/Boston Review Prize and a finalist for the 2011 Beatrice Hawley and Kinereth Gensler Awards, additional honors include fellowships from Kundiman and The Asian American Literary Review, and scholarships from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation. 

Seats are limited! Reserve yours here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/decorative-gourd-season-a-poetry-reading-tickets-9290410869?aff=eorg



Ocean Vuong wins the 2013 Beloit Poetry Journal Chad Walsh Poetry Prize

Congrats, dear Ocean!

Please click here to learn more about the Chad Walsh Poetry Prize: http://www.bpj.org/bpj_about_walsh.html


Ocean Vuong is the 2013 winner of the Beloit Poetry Journal’s 21st annual Chad Walsh Poetry Prize. The editors of the BPJ select on the basis of its excellence a poem or group of poems they have published in the calendar year to receive the award. This year’s choice is Vuong ’s poem “Telemachus,” which appeared in the Fall 2013 issue.

Although he completed his undergraduate studies at Brooklyn College just a year ago, Vuong is already widely recognized as an important new voice in American poetry. Among other honors, he has been the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, The American Poetry Review's Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, the Poets House Emerging Writers Fellowship, a Kundiman Fellowship, the Asian American Literary Review's A Lettre Poetry Fellowship, and a Saltonstall Poetry Fellowship. He has published two chapbooks, No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), an American Library Association's Over the Rainbow selection. He is Associate Editor of Thrush Press.

Vuong's contemporary rendering of the story of Odysseus's arrival home after the Trojan war and ten years of misadventures is a wise and moving parable about fathers and sons, particularly those caught up in the destruction and displacement of war. Odysseus washes up on shore of a bombed-out Ithaca that "is no longer / where he left it." Wanting both to know and to confront his father--"Do you know who I am, ba?"--Telemachus discovers "the bullet hole in his back, brimming / with sea water." In the poem's final gesture, a kiss transmits both the father's curse and his blessing. Telemachus turns Odysseus's body over to face
                   The cathedral in his sea-black eyes.
            The face not mine but one I will wear

            to kiss all my lovers goodnight:
            the way I seal my father’s lips

            with my own and begin
            the faithful work of drowning.       

The Walsh Prize, which this year carries a cash award of $4000, was established in 1993 by Alison Walsh Sackett and her husband Paul in honor of Ms. Sackett’s father, the poet Chad Walsh (1914-1991), a co-founder in 1950 of the Beloit Poetry Journal. An author and scholar, Walsh published six volumes of poetry, including The End of Nature and Hang Me Up My Begging Bowl; several books on literary history, notably on C.S. Lewis; and edited textbooks and anthologies as well. He was professor and writer-in-residence at Beloit College, in Wisconsin, for thirty-two years, serving for many of those as chair of the English Department. He also taught as a Fulbright lecturer in Finland and Italy. This year's award is also supported by donations from thirteen previous Walsh Prize winners.

Sept. 28 Tamiko Beyer, Margaret Rhee, Truong Tran, Ocean Vuong, & Debbie Yee at Eastwind Books


Kundiman Poetry reading in the Bay to celebrate NYC poets Ocean and Tamiko and their publications! with Debbie, Margaret, and Truong!!

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/219838354842419/ 

Hosted by the Handsomest: Dan Lau

Come celebrate with us the new publications of
& Ocean's NO (YES YES BOOKS, 2013)

2066 University Ave
Berkeley, CA 94704

Saturday, September 28 at 4:30pm


Bios Below


Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong is the author of two chapbooks: NO (YesYes Books, 2013) and BURNINGS (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was an American Library Association's Over The Rainbow selection. A recipient of a 2014 Pushcart Prize, other honors include fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, as well as the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Poems appear in American Poetry Review, Crab Orchard Review, Quarterly West, Denver Quarterly, Guernica, Poetry Northwest, and The Normal School, amongst others. He lives in Queens, NY. (www.oceanvuong.tumblr.com)


Debbie Yee's poems have appeared variously, including The Best American Poetry 2009, Bateau and Fence. A Kundiman fellow and San Francisco Arts Commission grant recipient in literary arts, Debbie lives in San Francisco where she is in-house counsel for a national bank and periodically teaches writing and Gocco printmaking. She has lately returned to blogging about crafts, cooking, motherhood, and sometimes poetry at linocat.com.


Loves green tea ice cream, vegan foods, thinking about activism, dreams, and new media. Recent poems published and forthcoming at Berkeley Poetry Review, Hyphen Magazine, and Comma, Poetry. Her chapbook Yellow was published in 2011 by Tinfish Press. She is a Kundiman Fellow.


Truong Tran is a Vietnamese-American poet, visual artist, and teacher. His collection dust and consciousness (2002) won the San Francisco Poetry
Center Book Prize is the author of several collections of poetry. In 2003, he served as  Writer in Residence for Intersection for the Arts. Tran currently lives in San Francisco,where he teaches creative writing at San Francisco State University, and is Writer in Residence at theSan Francisco School of the Arts.


Dan Lau is a recipient of a Kundiman Fellowship, a William Dickey Fellowship, an Archie D. and Bertha Walker Scholarship from the FAWC in Provincetown,and an Individual Arts Commission grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission. His poem have appeared in Generations, Cape Cod Review, CRATE, Gesture, RHINO, The Collagist.


Tamiko Beyer is the author of We Come Elemental (Alice James Books), winner of the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award, and bough breaks  (Meritage Press). Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Volta, Octopus, Quarterly West, and elsewhere.  She has received grants and fellowships from Kundiman, Astraea Lesbian Writers Fund, Hedgebrook, and Washington University in St. Louis where received her M.F.A..  Currently, she is the Senior Writer at Corporate Accountability International and lives in Cambridge, MA. Find her online at tamikobeyer.com.


Yes to Eugenia Leigh & Ocean Vuong for making the list of 23 More People Who Made Me Care about Poetry in 2013--now up at HTMLGiant.

Congrats, dear Eugenia and Ocean! 

Check here to view the list, now up at htmlgiant. 

Eugenia Leigh is the author of a full-length collection of poetry, Blood, Sparrows and Sparrows (Four Way Books, 2014), which was a finalist for both the National Poetry Series and the Yale Series of Younger Poets. Her writing has appeared in numerous publications including PANK Magazine, North American Review, The Collagist, and the Best New Poets 2010 anthology.


Born in 1988 in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong was raised by women (a single mother, aunts, and a grandmother) in housing projects throughout Hartford, Connecticut and received his B.A. in English Literature from Brooklyn College.

He is the author of two chapbooks: No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was an American Library Association’s “Over The Rainbow” selection and has been taught widely in universities, both in America and abroad. A recipient of a 2014 Pushcart Prize, other honors include fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation For the Arts, as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Connecticut Poetry Society’s Al Savard Award. Poems appear in Denver Quarterly, Quarterly West, Passages North, Guernica, The Normal School, Beloit Poetry Journal, Crab Orchard Review, and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize. Work has also been translated into Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian.