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Third Place Books is pleased to welcome Ocean Vuong—author of the poetry Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the sensational novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous—to the stage at Lake Forest Park. We join Vuong and Penguin Press in celebrating the paperback release of Time Is A Mother, Vuong's newest, critically-acclaimed volume of poetry. Vuong will be joined in conversation by Angela Garbes, the celebrated Seattle author of Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change. Tickets are required in advance.
We're proud to announce that this conversation will include an introduction by Sah Pham, Seattle's first Vietnamese-American Youth Poet Laureate.
What you need to know:
Copies of Time Is a Mother and other books by Ocean Vuong will be available for purchase at the store. Sustain our author series by purchasing a copy of the featured book in advance!
for this in-person event
The New York Times-bestselling collection of poems from the award-winning writer Ocean Vuong
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.
"I read this in one sitting—they had to kick me out of the coffee shop. Despite the fact that this was written as Vuong was dealing with the loss of his mother, I saw so much joy and lightness in this collection. I can see he's enjoying himself; I can see he's dealing with himself. If you like his other work, you won't be disappointed in spending this time with him."
—Emily S., bookseller at Third Place Books
“In this highly anticipated second poetry collection, Ocean Vuong ruminates on time. It becomes a character of its own, both an obstacle and motherly, something that can nurture and hold. Written in the aftermath of his mother’s death, Vuong’s poems are raw with grief and darkness, but there are radical moments of joy and resilience even through that. Through these poems, Vuong sings loud and clear of everything worth living for and discovering—just as vividly as he did in his critically acclaimed titles On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Night Sky With Exit Wounds.”
—NPR, “Books We Love”
“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
“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
“Aesthetically complex yet emotionally accessible, Time is a Mother at once innovates and affirms the existing poetic tradition. . . . Vuong's portrait of Hồng is both intimate and iconic.”
Ocean Vuong is the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the New York Times bestselling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. A recipient of the 2019 MacArthur "Genius Grant," he is also the winner of the Whiting Award and the T. S. Eliot Prize. His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts. (Photo credit: Tom Hines)
Angela Garbes is the author of Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change, called “a landmark and a lightning storm” by the New Yorker. Essential Labor was named a Best Book of 2022 by both the New Yorker and NPR. Her first book, Like a Mother, was also an NPR Best Book of the Year as well as a finalist for the Washington State Book Award in nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Cut, New York, and featured on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. A first-generation Filipina American, Garbes lives with her family on Beacon Hill. (Photo credit: Elizabeth Rudge)
Sah Pham is Seattle's first Vietnamese-American Youth Poet Laureate. As of this month, she is the author of LOVELIKE, a poetry collection on the multitudes of love and the depths of the Vietnamese American experience. Sah's poetry has been featured in Seattle’s Child, KUOW 1340 AM Radio, and The University of Washington's The Monologues. Born and raised in Seattle, she is a graduate of the University of Washington.
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