Night Sky with Exit Wounds

Current Stock:
UPC: 9781556594953
Gift Wrapping: Gift Wrapping Available
Author: Ocean Vuong
Out of stock
  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Copper Canyon Press; First Edition edition (April 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155659495X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556594953
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 7.8 inches

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. 


WINNER of the 2017 T. S. Eliot Prize
WINNER of a 2016 Whiting Award
The New York Times Top 10 Books of 2016
Featured on NPR's "All Things Considered
Featured on PBS NewsHour
Boston Globe Best Books of Year 
Huffington Post's 12 Great Poetry Books to Read 
Publishers Weekly 2016 Poetry Top 10
Irish Times 2016 Favourite Books of the Year 
Library Journal 2016 Best Books of the Year 
Buzzfeed Most Exciting Books of 2016
Bustle Best Poetry Collections of 2016

"[A] masterpiece that captures, with elegance, the raw sorrows and joys of human existence." --BuzzFeed Books

"The poems in Mr. Vuong's new collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds, possess[es] a tensile precision reminiscent of Emily Dickinson's work, combined with a Gerard Manley Hopkins-like appreciation for the sound and rhythms of words...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."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"Reading Vuong is like watching a fish move: he manages the varied currents of English with muscled intuition....His lines are both long and short, his pose narrative and lyric, his diction formal and insouciant. From the outside, Vuong has fashioned a poetry of inclusion."--The New Yorker

"Extraordinary." --Los Angeles Times 

"Ecstatic, bawdy, haunted, and brilliant with the pressures of its arrival."--Boston Globe 

 "...[T]errifying, heartbreaking, surreal, and lyrical-I'm not quite sure how a poet can fit so much humanity into so few words. Ocean Vuong creates and poses alternate universes within these poems. He stands at the feet of American poetry and unties the masters' shoelaces. Night Sky With Exit Wounds is a must read and re-read, a book that will be cherished." --Lambda Literary Review

"[A] haunting and fearless debut." --Publishers Weekly

"This book, with all of its fears, is probably what you've been hoping for."--Kenyon Review

 "This original, sprightly wordsmith of tumbling pulsing phrases pushes poetry to a new level." --2016 Whiting Award citation

"In Vuong's "Night Sky," the entry and exit wounds are real, torn open by gunshot and "misfired" words, but his poems insist we can be made whole by rapture."--San Francisco Chronicle 

"Vuong's major contribution in Night Sky With Exit Wounds is to push back against the inclination to let fear define the exile's life." --LA Review of Books

'[O]ne reason Vuong's debut collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds feels so exquisite, so necessary, is that he offers another way to hold the present moment.' --Georgia Review

"Vuong's powerful voice explores passion, violence, history, identity--all with a tremendous humanity." --Slate

"[A] debut that will cement Vuong's status as one of the most important new poets writing today." --Rain Taxi

"Vuong's pitch-perfect approach, through the legacy of war and forced displacement, shows us why we can't afford to let him remember them alone."--The London Magazine

"At a time when poets are resigned to making boredom a commodity, [Vuong] reminds us that the limits of intimacy are an exhilarating frontier, and that the most urgent communications begin with the overture of letting down one's defenses."--The Rumpus 

"Night Sky with Exit Wounds is the kind of book that soon becomes worn with love. You will want to crease every page to come back to it, to underline every other line because each word resonates with power."--LitHub

"Occasionally there is a book so exquisitely realized that a reviewer wants simply to point to it and say "read this." Ocean Vuong's Night Sky with Exit Wounds is such a book."--BODY Literature


Ocean Vuong is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016). His poems appear in Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Poetry, and The American Poetry Review, which awarded him the Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in New York City.