User menu

Shopping cart

SOLD OUT EVENT: Ocean Vuong, Time Is a Mother

Thursday, June 8, 2023 - 7:00pm

THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. Thank you for your interest!

TICKETED OFFSITE EVENT: Bookshop Santa Cruz is delighted to welcome bestselling author Ocean Vuong (On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous) for the paperback release of his acclaimed poetry collection Time Is a Mother. Vuong will be in conversation with writer Jennifer Tseng.

"Through these poems, Vuong sings loud and clear of everything worth living for and discovering." —NPR

This event is cosponsored by The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz and will be hosted at the Cowell Ranch Hay Barn.

In this deeply intimate second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong searches for life among the aftershocks of his mother's death, embodying the paradox of sitting within grief while being determined to survive beyond it. Shifting through memory, and in concert with the themes of his novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous, Vuong contends with personal loss, the meaning of family, and the cost of being the product of an American war in America. At once vivid, brave, and propulsive, Vuong's poems circle fragmented lives to find both restoration as well as the epicenter of the break.

The author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, winner of the 2016 Whiting Award, the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize, and a 2019 MacArthur fellow, Vuong writes directly to our humanity without losing sight of the current moment. These poems represent a more innovative and daring experimentation with language and form, illuminating how the themes we perennially live in and question are truly inexhaustible. Bold and prescient, and a testament to tenderness in the face of violence, Time Is a Mother is a return and a forging forth all at once.

Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur "Genius Grant," he is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Ocean will be in conversation with Jennifer Tseng.

Jennifer Tseng’s first book, The Man with My Face, won the 2005 Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s National Manuscript Competition and a 2006 PEN American Open Book Award, and her second book Red Flower, White Flower, won the 2012 Marick Press Prize. Tseng’s novel, Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness, was a finalist for the Robert W. Bingham Award for Debut Fiction and the 2016 New England Book Award; she's also won prizes for the chapbook version of her poetry collection as well as her collection of short stories. Tseng’s work has been featured on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day, POETRY magazine, American Short Fiction, Paris Review Daily, and elsewhere and has been translated into Chinese, Danish, and Italian. Her book, Not so dear Jenny, poems made with her father's English letters, has won the Juniper Prize & will be published by UMass Press in spring 2024. Tseng teaches literature and creative writing at University of California, Santa Cruz.