Fresno native and internationally acclaimed poet Lawson Fusao Inada was honored as a distinguished alumni by Dean Vida Samiian at the College of Arts and Humanities convocation this past Friday. He performed an audience-participation poem at the convocation called “Fresno State,” written especially for the occassion.
Inada is pictured at left above, with Dean Samiian and English Department faculty Linnea Alexander.
Inada, a professor of creative writing and literature at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, studied poetry with Philip Levine at Fresno State and was the first Asian-American to publish a collection of poems with a major New York publishing house–Before The War. He has earned two National Endowment of the Arts poetry fellowships and is considered by many to be the father of Asian-American literature.
His most recent books of poetry are Legends From Camp and Drawing The Line. He is also the editor of a new collection of writing Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience.