Ryka Aoki

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Ryka Aoki
NationalityAmerican
Alma materCornell University
Literary movementtransgender

Ryka Aoki is a Japanese American[1] author known for her poetry collection Seasonal Velocities and her novel He Mele a Hilo.[2][3] Seasonal Velocities was a finalist for the award for transgender nonfiction in the 25th Lambda Literary Awards in 2013.[4]

Aoki earned her MFA in creative writing from Cornell University, and won the Academy of American Poets' University Award.[5] She was honored by the California State Senate for her work with Trans/Giving, a Los Angeles performance series for trans and gender queer individuals.[6]

Aoki, a transgender woman, has said that she strives not to write just for other transgender readers, but for their family, and people in general. Her book He Mele a Hilo was meant to chronicle a common Hawaiian experience, Aoki wrote in a piece for Publishers Weekly. She hopes that writing for a general audience instead of only trans people, that she can help others see transgender people as human, she wrote: "If a trans musician can make the audience cry by playing Chopin, how else, but as a human, can she be regarded? And if a book written by a queer trans Asian American can make you think of your own beaches, your own sunsets, or the dear departed grandmother you loved so much and even now find yourself speaking to, then what more powerful statement of our common humanity can there be?"[3]

An interview with Aoki was featured in the 2014 book Queer and Trans Artists of Color: Stories of Some of Our Lives, by Nia King, which was named one of Advocate.com's Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books of 2014.[7]

Aoki teaches English at Santa Monica College and gender studies at Antioch University.[8] She holds a black belt and has been head judo coach at both Cornell University and UCLA.[6]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Seasonal Velocities Ryka Aoki, 2012, ISBN 9780985110505
  • He Mele a Hilo Topside Press, 2014, ISBN 9781627290074
  • Why Dust Shall Never Settle Upon This Soul biyuti publishing, 2015, ISBN 9780991900855

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lee, Elizabeth. "Front Row: Ryka Aoki". ALINE Magazine (2012-04–23).
  2. ^ Jax, TT (January 6, 2013). "The Fruits of Winter: Ryka Aoki's "Seasonal Velocities"". Lambda Literary. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Aoki, Ryka (May 22, 2015). "Why I Write: Ryka Aoki". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  4. ^ Griffith, Nicola (March 6, 2013). "25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Shortlist". Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  5. ^ "Ryka Aoki". Topside Press. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Ryka Aoki". Trans-Genre. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  7. ^ Kellaway, Mitch (November 5, 2014). "The Years 10 Best Transgender Non-Fiction Books". Advocate.com. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  8. ^ Reyes, Gabrielle (November 11, 2014). "Ryka Aoki speaks as part of Trans Week". The Brown Daily Herald. Retrieved October 9, 2015.

External links[edit]