Lawson Fusao Inada was appointed Oregon's fifth poet laureate by Governor Ted Kulongoski, in February 2006. He is a third-generation Japanese American from Fresno, California. During World War II, he and his family were interned in camps in California, Arkansas and Colorado.
Mr. Inada is a graduate of Fresno State University, earned a MFA from the University of Oregon, and is Professor Emeritus of English at Southern Oregon University.
Mr. Inada is the author of BEFORE THE WAR, the first book of poetry by an Asian American to be published by a major firm. LEGENDS FROM CAMP, his next book, received the American Book Award in 1992, and was featured on "CBS Sunday Morning". He was one of twenty-one poets honored at the White House for a "Salute to Poetry and Amerian Poets".
Mr. Inada has been featured on Oregon Art Beat, televised on Oregon Public Broadcasting. He was also featured on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, on National Public Broadcasting in October 2008.
Mr. Inada is the recipient of two Poetry Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, and a 2004 Guggenheim Fellow in Poetry.
He is the winner of the Pushcart Prize, a Governor's Arts Award, and the Oregon Book Award in 1997. He is also Steinbeck Chair at the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas, CA. Mr. Inada is professor emeritus of writing at Southern Oregon University.
Mr. Inada's poetry is carved in stone at the Japanese American Historical Plaza at Waterfront Park along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon.
Mr. Inada has published many other works of poetry, essays, and fiction since 1966.
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