Garrett Hongo

Garrett Hongo. Courtesy Heritage Source.

Garrett Hongo
Born 1951
Volcano, Hawai'i
Occupation professor
Notable work(s) The River of Heaven, Volcano: A memoir of Hawai'i""
Notable award(s) Pulitzer finalist; Oregon Book Award; Guggenheim, NEA and Rockefeller Fellowships

Garrett Kaoru Hongo (born 1951) is a Japanese-American poet and academic. The work of this Pulitzer-nominated writer draws on Japanese-American history and his own experiences.[1]



Born in Volcano, Hawai'i, Hongo has attended Pomona College and the University of Michigan, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in English from the University of California at Irvine.


Hongo is a professor of creative writing at the University of Oregon. From 1989 through 1993, he was the director of the university's Program in Creative Writing.

Hongo has published two books of poetry: Yellow Light (1982) and The River of Heaven (1988).[1] Hongo has also worked as an editor on Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, plays and memoir by Wakako Yamauchi (1994) and on The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America (1993).


Hongo has been awarded fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

The River of Heaven was a Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Volcano: A Memoir of Hawai'i (1995), was awarded the 2006 Oregon Book Award for Literary Nonfiction.



  • The Buddha Bandits Down Highway 99 (by Garrett Kaoru Hongo, Alan Chong Lau, & Lawson Fusao Inada). Mountain View, CA: Buddhahead, 1978.
  • Yellow Light. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 1982.
  • The River of Heaven: Poems. New York: Knopf, 1988.
  • Coral Road: Poems. New York: Knopf, 2011.


  • Volcano: A memoir of Hawai'i. New York: Knopf, 1995.


  • The Open Boat: Poems from Asian America. New York: Anchor Doubleday, 1993.
  • Songs My Mother Taught Me: Stories, plays, and memoir (afterword by Valerie Miner). New York: Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1994.
  • Under Western Eyes: Personal essays from Asian America. New York: Anchor, 1995.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation.[2]

See alsoEdit

The Legend By Garrett Hongo

The Legend By Garrett Hongo



  • Calabrese, Joseph, and Susan Tchudi. (2006). Diversity: Strength and Struggle. New York: Pearson Longman.
  • Serafin, Steven and Alfred Bendixen. (2006). "Hongo, Garrett (Kaoru)," in The Continuum Encyclopedia of American Literature. New York: Continuum.
  • Drake, Barbara. (1992). "Garrett Kaoru Hongo," in American Poets since World War II, 3rd series (Gwynn, R.S., ed.). Detroit, Michigan: Gale.
  • Filipelli, Laurie. (1997). Garrett Hongo. Boise, Idaho: Boise State University Press.
  • Fonseca, Anthony J. (2005). "Garrett Kaoru Hongo," in Asian American Writers (Madsen, Deborah L., ed.) Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale.
  • Kamada, Roy Osamu. (2006). "Postcolonial Romanticisms: Landscape and the Possibilities of Inheritance in the Work of Jamaica Kincaid, Garrett Hongo and Derek Walcott," in Dissertation Abstracts International, Section A: The Humanities and Social Sciences, 2006 Jan; 66 (7): 2573. U of California, Davis, 2005. (dissertation abstract)
  • Schröder, Nicole. (2006). Spaces and Places in Motion: Spatial Concepts in Contemporary American Literature Tübingen, Germany: Gunter Narr.
  • Witonsky, Trudi. (2000). "Twilight Conversations: Multicultural Dialogue," in Asian American Studies: Identity, Images, Issues Past and Present (Ghymn, Esther Mikyung, ed.) New York: Peter Lang.


  • Colley, Sharon E. "An Interview with Garrett Hongo," Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic-American Literature, 1996 Summer; 4: 47-63.
  • Hull, Glynda. "This Wooden Shack Place: the Logic of an Unconventional Reading," College Composition and Communication, 1990 Oct; 41 (3): 287-98.
  • Jarman, Mark. "The Volcano Inside," The Southern Review, 1996 Spring; 32 (2): 337-43.
  • McCormick, Adrienne. "Theorizing Difference in Asian American Poetry Anthologies," MELUS: The Journal of the Society for the Study of the Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, 2004 Fall-Winter; 29 (3-4): 59-80.
  • Sato, Gayle K. "Cultural Recuperation in Garrett Hongo's The River of Heaven," Studies in American Literature (Kyoto, Japan), 2001 Feb; 37: 57-74.
  • Slowik, Mary. "Beyond Lot's Wife: the immigration poems of Marilyn Chin, Garrett Hongo, Li-Young Lee, and David Mura," MELUS, 2000 Fall-Winter; 25 (3-4): 221-42.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Arakawa, Suzanne K. (2005). "Hongo, Garrett (Kaoru)," in Template:Google books
  2. Garrett Hongo b. 1951, Poetry Foundation, Web, Oct. 7, 2012.

External linksEdit

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