Dr. Alex Kuo
Department of English
November 16, 2015
Dr. Alex Kuo will return to the WSU campus to read from his most recent book, “Triple Shanghai.” This reading is included in the Honors College Distinguished Faculty Lecture Series and is sponsored by the Humanities Planning Group. Following the reading, the Bookie will have several of Dr. Kuo’s other writings for sale and Dr. Kuo will be available to sign books.
This event is being co-sponsored by the Humanities Planning Group; the Honors College; the College of Arts and Sciences; the Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Center; Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies; the Department of English; and the Department of Foreign Languages and Culture.
BIO: Alex Kuo
Alex Kuo is arguably the most illustrious creative writer to have taught at WSU. Educated in the prestigious University of Iowa’s Writers Workshop, considered the leading institution for creative writing in the United States, as well as Knox College in Illinois, Alex Kuo is professor emeritus of creative writing in the English Department at WSU. While here, he trained some of the leading writers in the Pacific Northwest including Sherman Alexie, Joan Fox, Joseph McGeshick, Yvonne Higgins Leach, Chris Forhan, Sara Nickerson, Kim Fay, and Valerie Vogrin. The author of five poetry collections, two books of short stories, three novels and a volume of essays, Kuo is a creative voice of great renown who has served as writer in residence or reader at Bread Loaf, Centrum, Bumbershoot, Elliott Bay Book Company, and the Universities of Chicago, Massachusetts, Iowa, Virginia, Oregon, and Wisconsin. He has been the recipient of three awards from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also has held a Fulbright professorship, a Lingnan Professorship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellaggio Residency. His collection, Lipstick and Other Stories, won the American Book Award in 2002.
More than 350 of his essays, articles, short stories, photographs, poems and other creative works have appeared in nearly all of the leading literary journals and magazines in North America. Alex taught at WSU from 1979 until his retirement three years ago. Before that, he served for five years as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and taught at various other universities. He has held visiting positions at Jilin University, Peking University, Beijing Forestry University, Fudan University, Knox College, Hong Kong Baptist University, and elsewhere. A tireless excavator of the human psyche, Alex Kuo’s work is noted for its hybrid quality and for its depiction of the interstices that exist between Asian and Asian American identity. Alex was born in Boston, but he spent most of his early years in war-torn China. As an adult, he has cumulatively spent a great deal of time back in China. His mixture of life experiences, living on the East Coast, in the Midwest, and in the Pacific Northwest, as well as East Asia, has had a profound and positive effect on shaping his unique style. Alex is married to Joan Burbick, professor emerita in English at Washington State University. It is always a treat to host an author who will read from her or his work. It is a singular opportunity to do so for one of our own. Alex Kuo represents the best in what we have to offer in the humanities at WSU. It is a great honor to have this chance to listen to him read.