Garrett Hongo was born in Volcano, Hawaii, and educated at Pomona College and the University of California at Irvine. He has written a memoir, edited two volumes of Asian American poetry, and published two volumes of his own poetry, Yellow Light and The River of Heaven, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His poetry describes the historical, social, and philosophical ramifications of his Japanese-American and working-class heritage. He uses parallel phrasing and layers of words and images to create narratives that record this ancestry and explore overlooked aspects of American history.
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