Lawson Inada

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Lawson Fusao Inada (born 1938 in Fresno, California) is an American poet and was the fifth poet laureate of the U.S. state of Oregon.

Early life[change | change source]

Inada is a third-generation Japanese American (Sansei). As a child, Inada and his family were interned during World War II.[1]

Inada became a jazz musician, and this affected his writing.[1] Inada cites jazz and his time in the internment camps as his chief influences as a poet.[2] He studied writing at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Oregon, and the University of Iowa.[3]

Career[change | change source]

He joined the faculty of Southern Oregon University in 1966.

In 1994, Inada's Legends from Camp won an American Book Award; and he was awarded poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.[3]

In 2006 Inada was named Oregon's poet laureate.[4][5]

Quotations[change | change source]

With new hope.
We build new lives.
Why complain when it rains?
This is what it means to be free.
-- Lawson Inada, Japanese American Historical Plaza, Portland, Oregon

Select works[change | change source]

  • Three Northwest Poets: Drake, Inada, Lawder, Madison: Quixote Press, 1970.
  • Before the War; Poems as They Happened, New York: Morrow, 1971.
  • Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1974 (Coeditor).
  • The Buddha Bandits Down Highway 99, Mountain View: Buddhahead Press, 1978 (With Garrett Kaoru Hongo and Alan Chong Lau).
  • The Big Aiiieeeee!: An Anthology of Chinese American and Japanese American Literature, New York: Penguin, 1990 (Coeditor).
  • Legends From Camp, Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1993. Winner, American Book Award. Finalist, Los Angeles Times Book Award for Poetry.
  • In This Great Land of Freedom: The Japanese Pioneers of Oregon, Los Angeles: Japanese American National Museum, 1993 (Contributor).
  • Touching the Stones: Tracing One Hundred Years of Japanese American History, Portland: Oregon Nikkei Endowment, 1994 (Contributor).
  • Just Intonations, Ashland, Oregon: Graven Images Gallery Press, 1996.
  • Drawing the Line, Minneapolis: Coffee House Press, 1997. Winner, Oregon Book Award for Poetry. A New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age.
  • Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience, Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2000 (Editor and author of introduction).
  • Unfinished Message: Selected Works of Toshio Mori, Berkeley: Heyday Books, 2000 (Author of introduction).
  • A Matter of Conscience: Essays on the World War II Heart Mountain Draft Resistance Movement. Powell, Wyoming: Western History Publications, 2002 (Contributor).

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Lawson Fusao Inada". WritersOnTheEdge.org. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  2. "Lason Inada". Houghton-Mifflin. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Lawson Fusao Inada Biography". enotes.com. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  4. "Oregon State Poet Laureate". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-07-06. 
  5. Baker, Jeff (February 18, 2006). "From internment camp to new poet laureate". The Oregonian. pp. C01. 

Further reading[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]