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September 12, 2006 - The Aquinas College Contemporary Writer Series first welcomed Li-Young Lee to Grand Rapids for its first series in 1997-1998. Now as part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Series, Lee is returning to do a reading on Tuesday, November 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Wege Student Center Ballroom. The event is free and all are welcome.

Lee was born in Indonesia of Chinese parents in 1957. In 1959, after Lee's father had spent nineteen months in jail, the family fled Indonesia to escape anti-Chinese sentiment and after a five-year trek through Hong Kong, Macau and Japan, they settled in the United States. Lee attended the University of Arizona, the State University of New York at Brockport and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Northwestern University and the Asian American Writers Workshop in New York City.

"Rose," Lee's first poetry collection, won the New York University's 1986 Delmore Schwartz Memorial Poetry Award. The second collection, "The City in Which I Love You," was the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets and "The Winged Seed: A Remembrance," his memoir, earned the American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation in 1995. Lee's third poetry collection "Book of My Nights" was awarded the 2002 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. He has also been published in "Pushcart Prize: Best of Small Presses" and the "1900-2000 Gay Writers Coalition" anthologies.

In fall of 2006, "Breaking the Alabaster Jar: Conversations with Li-Young Lee," edited by Earl G. Ingersoll will be published by BOA Editions. The book is a collection of the best dozen interviews Lee has done since the 1986 publication of "Rose" including the 1988 interview with Bill Moyers on Moyers' The Power of Word Series. The book contains new insights into Lee's aesthetics, history and various philosophies.

His honors include a Lannan Literary Award, a Whiting Writer's Award, grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.