Emerging Writer Fellowship Reading Washington, D.C.
Keynote Speech at the Asian American Literature Association of Japan
Kobe University, Japan
CHRISTINE KITANO is the author of two collections of poetry, Sky Country (BOA Editions, 2017), and Birds of Paradise (Lynx House Press, 2011). Sky Country won the Central New York Book Award and was a finalist for the Paterson Poetry Prize. She co-edited the oral history collection Who You? Hawai'i Issei (University of Hawai'i / Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai'i Press, 2017) and is co-editing They Rise Like a Wave: An Anthology of Asian American Women's Poetry (Blue Oak Press, 2022). She is an associate professor of Writing and English at Ithaca College where she teaches courses in poetry and Asian American literature. She joined the faculty for the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College in 2018 and serves on its academic board.
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Christine is of Japanese and Korean ancestry. Her father, Harry Kitano, was incarcerated at Topaz Concentration Camp during WWII, then helped to found the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA where he taught for nearly forty years. Her mother immigrated from Korea as a teenager. Christine's poetry and scholarship explore these familial legacies.
Dr. Kitano holds a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Texas Tech University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She serves on the advisory board for the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies and is an active member of the U.S.-Japan Council. She has been invited to speak and read her work at venues across the country. In 2020, she was named the poet laureate of Tompkins County and hosts a monthly Zoom poetry writing group for the community.