[Unedited] Ocean Vuong with Krista Tippett
We are in the final weeks as On Being evolves to its next chapter — in a world that is evolving, each of us changed in myriad ways we’ve only begun to process and fathom. So it felt right to listen again to one of our most beloved shows of this post-2020 world. In fact, Krista interviewed the wise and wonderful Ocean Vuong right on the cusp of that turning, in March 2020, in a joyful and crowded room full of podcasters in Brooklyn. Yet what’s most stunning is how presciently and exquisitely Ocean spoke, and continues to speak, to the world we have since come to inhabit — its heartbreak and its poetry, its possibilities for loss and for finding new life.
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Ocean Vuong is a professor in the MFA Program in Creative Writing at New York University. His new collection of poetry is Time Is a Mother. He is also the author of a novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, and the poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whiting Award. He was a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ocean Vuong — A Life Worthy of Our Breath." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.
This show originally aired on April 30, 2020.