poem index

poet

Garrett Hongo

1951- , Volcano , HI , United States
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Garrett Hongo
Texts about this Poet: 

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 (Knopf, 2011); The River of Heaven (Knopf, 1988), which was the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Yellow Light (Wesleyan University Press, 1982). He is also the author of The Mirror Diary: Selected Essays (University of Michigan Press, 2017) and Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i (Knopf, 1995), winner of the Oregon Book Award for nonfiction.

His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

He is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon at Eugene, where he directed the creative writing program from 1989 to 1993.


Bibliography

Poetry

Coral Road: Poems (Knopf, 2011)
The River of Heaven (Knopf, 1988)
Yellow Light (Wesleyan University Press, 1982)

Nonfiction

The Mirror Diary: Selected Essays (University of Michigan Press, 2017)
Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i (Knopf, 1995)

by this poet

poem
No one knew the secret of my flutes,
and I laugh now
because some said
I was enlightened.
But the truth is 
I'm only a gardener
who before the War
was a dirt farmer and learned
how to grow the bamboo
in ditches next to the fields,
how to leave things alone
and let the silt build up
until it was deep enough to
poem

It’s too hot to think much about the ochre cliffs of Cap Canaille
or the moan of a tour boat’s engines grinding through the aquamarine
                                                                                  of the Mediterranean.

poem

In memory of Jay Kashiwamura

In Chicago, it is snowing softly
and a man has just done his wash for the week.
He steps into the twilight of early evening,
carrying a wrinkled shopping bag
full of neatly folded clothes,
and, for a moment, enjoys
the feel of warm laundry and crinkled paper,