Lawson Fusao Inada was named Poet Laureate of Oregon in 2006 and is emeritus professor of writing at Southern Oregon University.
He is the author of five books of poetry, including: “Before the War” (1971); “Legends from Camp” (1993, American Book Award); “In This Great Land of Freedom” (1993); and “Drawing the Line” (1997). He is also the editor of several books about Asian American writing and history and was the narrator for the PBS specials, “Children of the Camps” and “Conscience and the Constitution.”
Inada was born in 1938 in Fresno, Calif. Four years later, Inada’s family, along with more than a hundred thousand other Japanese Americans, was sent to internment camps in California, Colorado and Arkansas for the duration of World War II. He was one of the youngest Japanese Americans to live in the camps.
In addition to his experiences at the internment camps, many of Inada’s poems are influenced by his love of jazz music.
Lawson Fusao Inada reads more of his poetry in this web exclusive.