Manage episode 287115660 series 1415266
Krista interviewed the wise and wonderful writer Ocean Vuong on March 8, 2020 in a joyful, crowded room full of podcasters in Brooklyn. A state of emergency had just been declared in New York around a new virus. But no one guessed that within a handful of days such an event would become unimaginable. Most stunning is how presciently, exquisitely Ocean speaks to the world we have come to inhabit— its heartbreak, its poetry, and its possibilities of both destroying and saving.
“I want to love more than death can harm. And I want to tell you this often: That despite being so human and so terrified, here, standing on this unfinished staircase to nowhere and everywhere, surrounded by the cold and starless night — we can live. And we will.”
Ocean Vuong is an associate professor of English in the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is the author of the poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Whiting Award; and a novel, On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous. He was a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.
This interview is edited and produced with music and other features in the On Being episode "Ocean Vuong — A Life Worthy of Our Breath." Find the transcript for that show at onbeing.org.