Ocean Vuong, a creative writing major at the City University of New York Brooklyn College (BC), published a collection of poems called Burnings.
Among other glowing press, the Lantern Review says that the book "is a searing elegy to a deceased motherland that continues to smolder in the memories of those who left her in the wake of war."
The Saigon, Vietnam native moved to the U.S. with his family in 1990. However, his homeland is a source for much of the collection's content.
"I started writing poems in high school, but my urge to create came a lot earlier than that," Vuong told the school.
The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize cites BC as a source for his success.
"I came to BC out of financial practicality, but what I discovered was a haven, and how powerful and important this art can be," he said. "For the first time in my life, I was appreciated for my writing."
Roni Natov, English professor at BC, recruited Vuong to intern in the English Majors' Counseling Office to mentor other aspiring writers.
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