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Visiting Writers Institute: Sharon Olds and Ocean Vuong

  • Presented By: NYS Writers Institute Location: UAlbany Campus Center West Auditorium 1400 Washington Ave, Albany, 12222 Albany, 12222
  • Dates: October 24, 2019
  • Time: 7:30 PM
  • Price: Free
  • Overview

    Major poet Sharon Olds joins her former student Ocean Vuong, a rising star of American poetry for an evening of poetry and discussion.

    Sharon Olds, New York State Poet (1998-2000), is renowned for poetry that examines marriage, motherhood, intimacy, and the human condition.

    She received both the Pulitzer Prize and England’s T. S. Eliot Prize for her 2012 collection, Stag’s Leap, a poignant account of being left by her husband for another woman after 30 years of marriage.

    Olds is the author of 10 previous books of poetry and the winner of many other awards and honors, including the inaugural San Francisco Poetry Center Award for her first book, Satan Says (1980), and the National Book Critics Circle Award for her second, The Dead and the Living, which was also the Lamont Poetry Selection for 1983.  

    The Father was short-listed for the T. S. Eliot Prize in England, and The Unswept Room was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.  

    A professor at NYU, she cofounded the NYU Goldwater Hospital Writing Workshop for the severely physical challenged, and the NYU Veterans Writing Workshop for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Her new collection, Arias (2019), explores political conscience, race and class in poems delivered with operatic passion, anguish and solo force. She is the author of 13 previous collections including The Father (1992) and Odes (2016) and her next collection, Arias, will be published in October 2019.

    Born in Saigon, Ocean Vuong spent a year in a refugee camp as a baby and migrated to America when he was two years old.

    A leading poet of his generation, he writes poetry that explores the immigrant experience, queer life, and lingering impact of the Vietnam War. His debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, has been named one of the most anticipated books of 2019 by the Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Oprah.com and more.

    The Washington Post said it “explode[s] the very structure of traditional narrative, and the pages break apart into the lines of an evocative prose poem — not so much briefly gorgeous as permanently stunning.” His debut poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, was a New York Times “Top Ten Book of 2016,” and the second-ever debut collection to win the T. S. Eliot Prize.

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