Ocean Vuong (CRF 2016, Incoming Director’s Guest 2022) recently sat down for an interview with the Financial Times. He discusses his new, recently published collection Time Is a Mother, literary celebrity, grief, and reclaiming language for pleasure. Click here to read the full piece.

“‘There is only today, when my mother is not here, and yesterday, when she was . . . When I look at my life now, I just see it in two days.’ Once grief fades, he says, ‘Now you have to negotiate memory.’

He is relinquishing some of that careful control in his poems, with ‘more tumbling and chaos,’ more beauty. It is an act of rebellion in a language that dismisses the decorative. ‘What would it look like . . . if I say, Guess what? I do value beauty? Because it’s medicinal to me. It’s not useless.'”

Image: Ciaran Murphy