The Lewis Center for the Arts’ Program in Creative Writing celebrates 80 years during the 2019-20 academic year with readings by 80 writers.
Reading by Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge and Yoko Tawada
MEI-MEI BERSSENBRUGGE was born in Beijing, the daughter of a Chinese mother and an American father who was the son of Dutch immigrants. Her family moved to the United States when she was a year old, and she earned a BA from Reed College and an MFA from Columbia University. Berssenbrugge is the author of The Heat Bird (1983), winner of the American Book Award; Empathy (1989), winner of the PEN West Award; Sphericity (1993); Endocrinology (1997), a collaboration with the artist Kiki Smith; Four Year Old Girl (1998), winner of the Western States Book Award; Nest (2003); I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems (2006); and Hello, the Roses (2013). Berssenbrugge has received two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, two American Book Awards, and honors from the Western States Art Foundation and the Asian American Writers Workshop. She lives in New Mexico.
YOKO TAWADA was born in Tokyo in 1960, moved to Hamburg when she was twenty-two, and then to Berlin in 2006. She writes in both Japanese and German and has published several books—stories, novels, poems, plays, essays—in both languages. She has received numerous awards for her writing including the Akutagawa Prize, the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize, the Tanizaki Prize, the Kleist Prize, and the Goethe Medal. New Directions publishes her story collections Where Europe Begins (with a Preface by Wim Wenders) and Facing the Bridge, as well her novels The Naked Eye, The Bridegroom Was a Dog, Memoirs of a Polar Bear, and The Emissary, winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature.
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