I swear that, in Gardena, on a moonlit suburban street, There are souls that twirl like kites lashed to the wrists of the living And spirits who tumble in a solemn limbo between 164th And the long river of stars to Amida’s Paradise in the West. As though I belonged, I’ve come from my life of papers and exile To
Japanese American poet, Garrett Hongo, was born in Volcano, Hawai'i, on May 30, 1951. He attended Pomona College and the University of Michigan. He received his MFA in English from the University of California at Irvine.
His collections of poetry include Coral Road: Poems (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011); The River of Heaven (1988), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Yellow Light (1982). He is also the author of Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i (1995), and he has edited Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, Plays and Memoir by Wakako Yamauchi (1994) and The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (1993).
His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
He is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Oregon at Eugene, where he directed the Program in Creative Writing from 1989 to 1993.