Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Asian American Poet Spotlight: Lee Herrick

2007 was something of a banner year for the poetry of Asian American transcultural adoptees. Several of us released our very first full-length books, including myself and Lee Herrick, who was eventually able to join us in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Loft Literary Center to celebrate those releases.

His book, This Many Miles From Desire, is still on my main bookshelf and it provides an interesting insight into our approach to contemporary poetics. I'm not usually a fan of Ars Poetica poems, but his is a fine exception from the 21st century.

He's currently teaching in Fresno City College in California. He's quite a traveler, with adventures in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, as well as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, and many examples of his poetry reflect that. I would say the far greater influence on his work has been music. Any day now, he's also supposed to be wowing us with a second book of poems.


Lee was born in Daejeon, South Korea and adopted at ten months. With poems published in ZYZZYVA, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Many Mountains Moving, The Bloomsbury Review, MiPOesias, and others, Lee keeps active. You can find his work in the anthologies Seeds from a Silent Tree: Writings by Korean Adoptees, Hurricane Blues: Poems About Katrina and Rita, and Highway 99: A Literary Journey Through California's Great Central Valley, 2nd Edition.

He's got a good heart and a good sense of humor, and a strong sense of Asian American activism. He's a blogger and an essayist, with publication credits that include the Minnesota-based Korean Quarterly and college textbooks. He's been good enough that he's been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a 2000 Los Angeles Poetry Festival Award finalist. Check his work out at http://www.leeherrick.com  

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