Night Sky with Exit Wounds
Author: Ocean Vuong
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press (2016)
In his haunting and fearless debut, Ocean Vuong walks a tightrope of historic and personal violences, creating an interrogation of the American body as a borderless space of both failure and triumph. At once vulnerable and redemptive, dreamlike and visceral, compassionate and unforgiving, these poems seek a myriad existence without forgetting the prerequisite of self-preservation in a world bent on extinguishing its othered voices. Vuong's poems show, through breath, cadence, and unrepentant enthrallment, that a gentle palm on a chest can calm the most necessary of hungers.
"There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong's sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things."
–The New York Times
Winner of the 2017 T.S. Eliot Prize
Winner of the 2016 Whiting Award
Finalist for the 2017 Kate Tufts Discovery Award
Finalist for the 2017 Lambda Literary Award