Poet and novelist Ocean Vuong (MacArthur Genius Grant winner and 2019 National Book Award Finalist) visited Sara Barber-Just’s LGBTQ Literature class last week.
Students from another LGBTQ Lit. class, Contemporary Lit. students, SAGA members, and Lit Club leaders joined us, as well as six teachers and the school librarian.
He talked about his novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, In which he explores intergenerational trauma from the Vietnam war, gay identity, the opioid crisis, and the ability to heal, love, and forgive.
To say our students loved his book is an understatement. It moved them, changed them, challenged them, awakened them, and comforted them. It showed them what language and vulnerability have the power to do.
I’m so grateful that he was willing to stop by ARHS to talk about art, life, queer and Asian identity, ‘the architecture of language,’ and how he ‘curates joy.’
We rolled out the red carpet for him and he was deeply impressed by our students.
Pictures of the event and student art projects below!