"He dares to be simple. And he is surely among the finest young poets alive," says The American Poetry Review of Li-Young Lee. Anyone who has seen him read will add that Lee is also one of the finest poetry readers alive. He is deeply spiritual, but he is also very human and open to his listeners.
Li-Young Lee's great grandfather, Yuan Shikai, was China's first republican president (1912-16) and Lee's father, Lee Kuo Yuan, a deeply religious Christian, was physician to Communist leader Mao Tse-Tung. After the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Lee's parents escaped to Indonesia where Li-Young Lee was born in 1957 in Jakarta. In 1959, his father, after spending a year as a political prisoner in President Sukarno's jails, fled Indonesia. In 1964 the family settled in America.
Li-Young Lee's most recent book of poetry, Book of My Nights (BOA Editions, 2001), is his third. His earlier works are Rose (BOA, 1986), winner of the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University, and The City in Which I Love You (BOA, 1990), the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection from The Academy of American Poets. He is also author of an autobiography, The Winged Seed (Simon and Schuster, 1994; reissued 1999 by Hungry Mind Press). His work is widely anthologized and is taught in high schools and colleges across the country.
Lee's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, as well as grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. In 1988 he received the Writer's Award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation.
Lee lives in Chicago with his wife, Donna, and their children.
Rigoberto Gonzalez is a visiting professor at The New School and his award-winning poetry collections include Often the Pitcher Goes to Water until It Breaks and Other Fugitives and Other Strangers.
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The Masters School is located at 49 Clinton Avenue, Dobbs Ferry, NY. Events are held in the Claudia Boettcher Theatre on the campus. Take Route 9 to Clinton Avenue in Dobbs Ferry; go southeast on Clinton, past two campus houses to main entrance of school; turn left at stone marker. The campus is located about one mile from the Dobbs Ferry railroad station on Metro-North's Hudson River Line. Cab service is available.
This series made possible in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Westchester Arts Council with funds from Westchester County Government, corporations and individuals and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. Additional funding provided by the Shelby Cullom Davis Foundation, the Gannett Foundation, and the Bydale Foundation..