Saturday, April 21, 2001

Garrett Kaoru Hongo

Garrett Hongo was born in 1951 in the back room of a general store built by his grandfather in Volcano, Hawaii. His family left Volcano when he was less than a year old and Hongo grew up in South-Central Los Angeles. He received a BA cum laude in English from Pomona College, and a Master of Fine Arts in English from the University of California at Irvine. He also participated in graduate studies in Japanese language and literature at the University of Michigan and graduate studies in critical theory at the University of California-Irving. He lives in Eugene and is a Distinguished Professor of Arts and Science as the University of Oregon where he is Director of the Creative Writing Program. He speaks Japanese, German, Spanish and English.

Garrett is the author of three books: Volcano: A Memoir of Hawaii, Yellow Light, and The River of Heaven, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He also edited the anthologies The Open Boat: poems from Asian America and Songs My Mother Taught Me. He received the Oregon Book Award for non-fiction in 1996, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others.

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