Russell Leong

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Russell Charles Leong (born 1950) is an academic editor, a professor, a writer, and long-time Chen Taichiquan student. The long-time editor of Amerasia Journal (1977-2010), he was an adjunct professor of English and Asian-American studies at the University of California at Los Angeles and currently serves as senior editor for international projects. During the 2012-2013 year, Leong is Dr. Thomas Tam Visiting Professor at Hunter College, CUNY in New York City.[1] Leong is also the editor and project coordinator for the U.S.-China media brief.[2] In 2015 Leong published "Mothsutra: for bicycle delivery men New York" a visual graphic portfolio of his poetry and drawings. "Moth" was performed at the Bowery Poetry Club NYC and at the City University of New York's Asian American Research Institute. It will be published as an e-book by the UCLA Asian American Studies Center.

Origin, Education, Influences[edit]

Leong was born Chinatown, San Francisco. Leong attended local Chinese and American schools where his English teachers and family encouraged him to write. In 1972, he got his B.A. from SFSU where he took one of the first Asian/American writing classes from Jeffrey Chan. linking art with social and political activism for Asian-Americans, Leong participated in the Kearny Street Workshop. From 1973 to 1974, Leong studied at the National Taiwan University before earning an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990.[3]

Ideology and Religious Views[edit]

Leong has a "life is war" ideology representing his dislike towards the academic community. He would like to see himself more as an activist than an academic. Leong's religious views relate most strongly to Buddhist philosophy. Buddhism applies to many aspects of his life including relationships and writing. He agrees with the accepting nature of Buddhism and finds it a strong, but not oppressive set of values to incorporate in daily life.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Leong is openly gay.[5][6]

Full Oeuvre[edit]

Selected Works[edit]

Phoenix Eyes and Other Stories by Russell C. Leong

"Fung Yen" Phoenix Eyes in Chinese translation: Taipei, Taiwan,

The Country of Dreams and Dust

My Chinatown A to Z

Fiction, Memoir and Poetry[edit]

  • "No Bruce Lee,"
  • "Looking after Hands,"
  • "Enter the Year of the Dragon"
  • "Haishan"
  • "The Story of Haishan"
  • "Memories of Stone Places"
  • "Fish don't wear no hats"
  • "A Yin and Her Man"
  • "Litany"
  • "Geography One"
  • "The Painted Branch,"
  • "Aloes"
  • "Clay"
  • "Granite,"
  • "Sail"
  • "Unfolding Flowers, Matchless Flames,"
  • "In the Country of Dreams and Dust,"
  • "Beware of the M Word,"
  • "Aerogrammes"

Video Documentaries on Writers[edit]

  • NVM Gonzalez: A Story Yet to be Told, 1998, 30 minute video documentary on national writer of the Philippines, premier, David Henry Hwang Theatre, L.A. December 9, 1998
  • Why is Preparing Fish a Political Act? Poetry of Janice Mirikitani, 1990, director and editor. Selected for the National Asian Pacific American Asian Cine Vision Video Festival, New York City aired on Manhattan Cable, 1991.
  • Morning Begins Here, video documentary on San Francisco Chinatown, screened at the 1985 RIFE International Film and Video Festival, Czechoslovakia. Aired on Channel 18 on Chinese television, Los Angeles, 1986.
  • Reviews of Literary Work
  • "Chinese Characters in the Diaspora: Russell Charles Leong," by Stella Dong, in South China Morning Post, May 30, 2004 (Hong Kong)
  • "Writing the Chinese and Southeast Asian Diasporas in Russell Leong's Phoenix Eyes," by Walter S.H. Lim, in Asian Diaspora: Cultures, Identities, Representations, edited by Robbie Goh and Shawn Wong (Hong Kong University Press, 2004)
  • "Art, Spirituality, and the Ethic of Care: Alternative Masculinities in Chinese American Literature," by King-kok Cheung, in Masculinity Studies, Feminist Theory, New Directions, edtied by Judith Kegan Gardiner (Columbia University Press, New York, 2002)
  • "Acts of Reclamation" by Sue Russell in the Kenyon Review (Winter 1995, volume XVII, no. 1)
  • "L.A. and Other Fictions," by Nina J. Easton, Los Angeles Times Magazine (September 5, 1993.)
  • "Walls and Bridges," by Steven A. Chin, San Francisco Examiner Image Magazine (November 14, 1993). Author profile and poem.
  • "Fresh Harvest: Multicultural Poetry from a Nation of Immigrants," by Sesshu Foster, in Northwest Review, 1994.
  • Biography and writers statement in Contemporary Authors.
  • Author Interview in Words Matter: Conversations with 20 Asian American Writers, edited by King-kok Cheung (University of Hawaii Press, Spring 2000).
  • Review of Phoenix Eyes in Los Angeles Times, by Jonathan Kirsch in West Words, Los Angeles Times, August 23, 2000.
  • Interview and review in International Examiner, September 5, 2000, vo. 27:16.
  • Interview and article in Pots Magazine, Taipei, Taiwan, December 7. 2001.


  1. ^ Guiyou Huang, "Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide" Greenwood Press, June 30, 2003
  2. ^
  3. ^ Guiyou Huang, "Asian American Short Story Writers: An A-to-Z Guide" Greenwood Press, June 30, 2003
  4. ^ Cheung, King-Kok. "Words Matter: Conversations with Asian American Writers." University of Hawai'i Press. USA. 2000.
  5. ^ Improbable Visions: Filipino Bodies, U.S. Empire, and the Visual Archives
  6. ^