Friday, October 16, 1998

Anita Feng

ANITA FENG received an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. She won several awards including the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, an Illinois Council award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Most recently, she received the Andrés Berger-Kiss Award for non-fiction.

Her first poetry collection, Internal Strategies, is a book that tells the story of her husband, Xiao Ge Feng, growing up through the turmoil of communist China. The book follows the course of his life from severe childhood illness to forced labor in Manchuria, through factory work, education, immigration to the United States and marriage.

Anita lives in Issaquah, Washington with her husband and three children where she maintains a studio as a professional potter specializing in ocarinas, musical instruments made from clay.

Ocarinas are an ancient folk instrument that originated in Central and South America where it was used by native tribes. Each tribe had its own "tuning" and could be identified at a distance from the music played. The tone of an ocarina is haunting, rich, unique. The word "ocarina" means "little goose egg" in Italian. Later, in America, it became known as the "sweet potato." According to the webpage information, Anita has been designing and creating ocarinas since 1974.

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