Book 7: Ocean Vuong

Hello Everyone! Sorry for the delay, I’ve been traveling and at this fantastic writing retreat and haven’t had much time to get to a computer at all.  The last book of the week that I want to highlight is a book a friend recommended me to read called Burnings by Ocean Vuong. 

The writing in this book is some of the best writing I’ve seen coming out of a young writer. Every poem felt like a punch to the gut for me.  Vuong’s writing is SO incredibly tight and masterful in the way that it explores loss, family, sexuality, and identity. I’m really impressed by the way that Ocean balances economy of language and imagery and how each poem seems to linger in your body, seems to want to haunt you. 

“There are men who carry dreams

over moutains, the dead

on their backs.

But only our mothers

can walk with the weight

of a second beating heart.”

-from My Mother Remembers Her Mother

These poems feel incredibly honest.  Also, Voung has such a unique story, he covers terrain I feel like I rarely find in writing. It was really refreshing for me to read not only the way that he writes his story and the stories of the people around him, but the stories themselves.

“Sing of the sisters who held hands

while soldiers took turns,

who fled by closing their eyes,

only to find their bodies

too cold to return to.”

– from Song of My Mothers

I really hope you all check out this book.  Its ridiculously good.

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