Henry Wei Leung, a University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa English PhD candidate, was honored with the 2016 Omnidawn 1st/2nd Poetry Book Prize for the manuscript Goddess of Democracy. The book will be available from Omnidawn Publishing in October 2017.
Leung draws his passion for writing from a natural hunger to create and to express—not from the confines of academics, though he appreciates its rigor. He combines course studies with self-education, which he achieves by an insatiable appetite for literature.
He is as prolific a writer as he is an enthusiastic teacher and scholar. Leung is the author of a chapbook, Paradise Hunger (Swan Scythe, 2012), and the translator of Wawa’s Pei Pei the Monkey King (Tinfish, 2016). His poems, essays and translations have appeared in such journals as Crab Orchard Review, Drunken Boat, The Offing, and ZYZZYVA.
He received Kundiman, Soros and Fulbright fellowships. In spring 2017, Leung received the John Young Scholarship in the Arts from UH Mānoa, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the UH System.
More about Henry Wei Leung
Leung and his sister were raised in Zhongshan, California and Hawaiʻi by their mother, no stranger to working multiple jobs while taking English language night courses. While his early years, geographically, may have appeared multicultural to many observers, they in fact proved to be the opposite for Leung who felt he had little access to the cultures he desired to experience. The isolation and loneliness led him to immerse himself in the literary world.
Leung received an English BA from Stanford University and a fiction MFA from the University of Michigan.