USF Poet Named NPR Must-Read

By BRETT ARAKAWA, USF NEWS Posted Mon, 04/03/2017 - 12:57

Craig Santos Perez MFA ’06 is one of National Public Radio’s need-to-read poets for 2017. 

The poet's newest collection, from unincorporated territory [lukao], examines the people, politics, and past of his native Guam, a small island in the Pacific.

The collection pushes the envelope of poetry: intertwining maps, visual art, and experimental typography. It's the fourth installment in the University of Hawaii at Manoa professor's "from unincorporated territory" series, which examines Pacific Islander culture, as well as Guam's history of occupations and its struggle for self-identity as a non-self-governing territory of the U.S.

His prior book in the series, from unincorporated territory [guma’], won the 2015 American Book Award, making him — an ethnic Chamoru — the first native Pacific Islander to receive the award. The work examines the author’s personal travels and the tensions between Guamanian and American cultures.

Perez won the 2011 PEN Center USA Literary prize for poetry, was a finalist for the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, and has been honored by Guam's lawmakers for his work.

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