Vietnamese American writer Ocean Vuong’s debut poetry collection, Night Sky with Exit Wounds, won multiple awards, and his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, hit The New York Times bestseller list. His work is semi-autobiographical, exploring and illuminating a lesser-known America through a queer, immigrant perspective. In 2019, he was awarded a “genius” grant of $625, 000 by the MacArthur Foundation. He says that means lots of things, including more pizza for his MFA students at the University of This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-six Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 49 Beauty in the Beat How rhythm shapes our lives. Arts & Culture Issue 47 Rhythm Doctor The pacifying effect of poetry. Arts & Culture Issue 44 Garth Greenwell The Cleanness author on always being an outsider. Arts & Culture Issue 30 Eileen Myles Meet Eileen Myles, the poet who once ran for president. Arts & Culture Issue 29 Day in the Life: Shirin Neshat Charles Shafaieh pays a visit to the home of one of New York’s most widely recognized artists. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Siri Hustvedt The novelist discusses memory, our need for community and why art matters.