Feb. 27, 2018
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. —Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts’ (MCLA) Department of English/Communications announces that internationally acclaimed poet Ocean Vuong will read from his work at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 1, in Murdock Hall room 218.
This event is free and open to the public. A question and answer session, as well as a book signing, will follow the poetry reading.
Vuong, also the author of “Night Sky with Wounds,” is a participant in MCLA’s Visiting Writers series, which is coordinated by the Department of English/communications. Dr. Zachary Finch, associate professor of English/communications, said the Department is excited that the MCLA community and Berkshire County residents will have the opportunity to hear Vuong read his work.
“Ocean Vuong is one of the most urgent emerging voices in contemporary American poetry today,” Finch said. “His work is formally exquisite – compressed, utterly lyrical, fiercely honest, and deeply informed by history past and present. As a queer immigrant from Vietnam, his work speaks to our own political moment in intense and arrestingly personal ways.”
Born in Saigon in 1988, Vuong survived a year in a refugee camp in the Philippines before traveling to America, where he became the first person in his family to learn to read.  His first book, “Night Sky with Exit Wounds,” was a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016, which went on to win the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection.
Vuong’s other honors include fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and the Academy of American Poets.
Each semester, the College brings a nationally acclaimed writer to campus through MCLA’s Visiting Writers series. Recent visiting writers have included Dwayne Reginald Betts, Mary Ruefle, Kazim Ali and Brian Teare. Between 70 and 80 MCLA students focus on the creating writing concentration within the English/communications program. The Visiting Writers series offers students opportunities to interact with contemporary writers in person. 
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.
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