Ocean Vuong at First Parish Church
Time is a Mother
in conversation with RANI NEUTILL
June 12, 2023
6:00 PM ET
1446 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA, 02138
There will not be a standby line for this event.
Harvard Book Store welcomes OCEAN VUONG—acclaimed author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds and On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous—to celebrate the paperback release of his latest poetry collection Time is a Mother. He will be joined in conversation by RANI NEUTILL—lecturer on creative writing and Asian American literature at Tufts University and Emerson College.
Please Note: Tickets to this event are sold out. This event has been moved to First Parish Church at 1446 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge.
A Return to In-Person Events
Harvard Book Store is excited to be back to in-person programming. To ensure the safety and comfort of everyone in attendance, the following Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place at all of our First Parish Church events until further notice:
- Face coverings are required of all staff and attendees when inside the venue. Masks must snugly cover nose and mouth.
- To limit contact, books will be pre-signed by the author and can be purchased on-site at the event, while supplies last.
Tickets to this event are sold out.
There are two ticket options available for this event.
Book-Included Ticket: Includes admission for one and one paperback copy of Time is a Mother signed by the author.
Admission-Only Ticket: Includes admission for one.
About Time is a Mother
How else do we return to ourselves but to fold
The page so it points to the good part
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.
Praise for Time is a Mother
“Piercing . . . The poems in Time Is a Mother give us a path to examine the complexities of what it means to lose a mother, and what it means to embrace family and the self even when we want to look away. In Vuong’s tender yet unflinching words, we are reminded that only a mother can carry a beating heart within her body.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“[A] stirring collection of poetry. [Vuong] experiments with language and form while probing the aftermath of his mother’s death and his determination to survive it. Take your time with these poems, and return to them often.” —The Washington Post
“That’s the essence of Vuong’s talent: he alchemizes deeply individual experiences with universal emotions into what is both familiar and new . . . We need no more proof of Vuong’s importance in the poetic canon.” —Chicago Review of Books
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