grew up in the suburbs of Tokyo before moving to California and Hawaii for high school and university. She published her first book A Red Flower of Ayawaddy in 1999. That same year her first novel, Kanojo no Purenka, was awarded the Subaru Prize for literature. Now back in Tokyo, Ms. Nakagami writes articles for major magazines and newspapers. Her most recent novel, Paradise was published in 2001; another, Akuryo, will be published in August, 2002. She is participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.
(b. 1951, Tokyo) moved to the US when she was twelve, studied French literature at Yale but later returned to Japan to dedicate herself to fiction writing. She is now a prominent member of Japan's literary establishment. All her novels pay homage to Japanese literary tradition while breaking new ground. Zoku Meian (Light and Darkness Continued, 1990) finished the unfinished final novel of Natsume Soseki, a figure revered as the greatest modern novelist in Japan . Shishosetsu from left to right (I-Novel from left to right, 1995) made use of a bilingual text and horizontal print to question the notion of a Japanese national literature. Her most recent novel, Honkaku Shosetsu (An Orthodox Novel, 2002), is a retelling of Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights in postwar Japan , featuring Heathcliff born to a Japanese woman raped by a Chinese bandit. Her novels have received critical acclaim and awards including the distinguished Yomiuri Literature Award. She has taught at Princeton, the University of Michigan and Stanford. She is participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.
(fiction writer; b. 1961, Japan ) is one of the most visible authors and commentators in Japan today. During his studies in Russian and East European languages at Tokyo University of Foreign Languages, he published the novella A Tender Divertimento for Leftists (1983), which was named runner-up for the Akutagawa Prize. The following year he received the Noma New Writer's Award for Music for a Somnambulant Kingdom (1984). Other works include the novellas Cry of the Refugee Vacationers (1986) and Requiem for a Conscious Machine (1985); the short story collection Donna Anna; and a socio-pathological study on AIDS entitled Unidentified Shadow (1987). Several short stories and his 1989 novel Dream Messenger have been translated into English. Shimada founded and directed a successful theater group during the 1990s. He is currently teaching at Hosei University, and participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.
(poet; b. 1939, Japan), a returning writer to the International Writers Program, has published several collections of poetry including Shuppatsu ( Departure ) and Devil's Wind: A Thousand Steps or More . Considered to be an emblematic presence in postwar Japanese poetry, he has given readings at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2000) and the Taipei International Poetry Festival (2001), and exhibited his photographs and calligraphies at the São Paulo Biennale (1990) and in Strasbourg (2000), among others. In May 2003, he received the Purple Ribbon Award from the Japanese government for his significant contributions to Japanese culture. He is participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation, and will be in Iowa City in October and November.
earned a Ph.D. in English from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The title story of her dissertation, "Kyoto Panorama Project," was published in The Massachusetts Review. Other publications in American journals include “Chick Sexing School,” “Movie Dog,” and “Between the Imperial Garden and Temple Street.” She lectures on topics in American literature, and is currently Assistant Professor of English at Keio University in Tokyo. She participates courtesy of Keio University.
, a graduate of Waseda University Center for International Education, has published ten books of poetry, most notably Under the Sun without Character, which received the Rekitei Prize; Distribution of the Wind, which won the Takami Jun Prize; and New Inspiration, which earned the Gendaishi-Hanatsubaki Prize. Known for his critical work, his performances, and his translations, Mr. Nomura is among the most creative Japanese poets working today. He is participating courtesy of the Freeman Foundation.
has worked as a magazine reporter and editor. She is the author of six collections of short stories and three novels, most recently E/N/Ji/N in 2009. Her first novel, Futon, was nominated for the 2003 Noma Literature Prize for New Writers. Her book Jochu-tan, a collection of three novellas, is forthcoming in August 2009. She participates courtesy of a grant from the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Iowa.
Yui TANIZAKI (fiction writer, translator; Japan) is the author of the novel Maiochiru Mura (2009), which garnered her the 2007 Bungagukai Prize for New Writers.Her stories and essays are featured in numerous literary magazines; her translations include Kiran Desai’s Inheritance of Loss and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. She participates courtesy of the Japan Foundation.
SHIBASAKI Tomoka 柴崎友香 (fiction writer; Japan) is a novelist. In 2003 her first book, Kyō no dekigoto, was made into a film. Her work appears in literary magazines; several stories have been published in English translation. Her novel Sono machi no ima wa (2006) won the MEXT Award for New Artists; in 2014 her novella Haru no niwa won the Akutagawa Prize. Her participation is made possible by the Japan Foundation.
FUJINO Kaori 藤野可織 (fiction writer; Japan) writes short stories and novellas about the horror that lurks behind everyday life. In 2006 she won the Bungakukai Prize for New Writers for her story “Iyashii tori” [The Greedy Bird]. She was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize in 2009 before winning it in 2013 for her acclaimed novella Tsume to me [Nails and Eyes]. Her book O hanashi shite ko-chan [Little Miss Tell-Me-a-Story] was published by Kodansha the same year. Her most recent collection of stories is Final Girl (2016). Fujino’s participation is made possible by the Japan Foundation.
TAKIGUCHI Yūshō 滝口悠生 (fiction writer, Japan) writes stories about individual and collective memory, marked by a roaming, omniscient narrative voice and multiple temporalities. His novella Resonance (Gakki) won the 2011 Shincho Prize for New Writers; in 2015, his novella The Jimi Hendrix Experience was nominated for the Akutagawa Prize; in 2016 Takiguchi won that award for The Unceasing (Shinde inai mono). His participation is made possible by an endowed gift from William B. Quarton.
ARAI Takako 新井 高子 (poetry; Japan) has published three poetry collections, including Tamashii dansu [Soul Dance] which won the 2008 Oguma Hideo Prize. Since 1998, she has been an editor for the poetry journal Mi’Te; she has also edited a volume of poems about, and is producing a film connected to, the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in northern Japan. The poetry volume Factory Girls is forthcoming in English. Arai teaches Japanese and poetry at Saitama University. She participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.