Karen An-hwei Lee is the author of Rose is a Verb: Neo-Georgics (W&S/Slant, 2021), Phyla of Joy (Tupelo Press, 2012), Ardor (Tupelo Press, 2008), a July Open selection, and In Medias Res (Sarabande Books, 2004), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize selected by Heather McHugh and the Norma Farber First Book Award chosen by Cole Swensen for the Poetry Society of America. Her poem, “Dear Millennium, Inadequate Witness,” was featured on Poem-a-Day by the Academy of American Poets. She is the author of two avant-garde science fiction novels, Sonata in K (Ellipsis Press, 2017) and The Maze of Transparencies (Ellipsis Press, 2019). Lee also wrote two chapbooks, God’s One Hundred Promises, winner of the Swan Scythe Press Prize awarded by Sandra McPherson in 2002, and What the Sea Earns for a Living (Quaci Press, 2014). A book of criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora: Literary Transnationalism and Translingual Migrations (Cambria, 2013), was selected for publication by Victor H. Mair (University of Pennsylvania) for the Cambria World Sinophone Series. Her volume of Song Dynasty translations, Doubled Radiance: Poetry & Prose by Li Qingzhao, is the first in English to collect Li’s poetry & prose in a single volume (Singing Bone Press, 2018).
Currently, Lee serves in the administration at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. She has also served at Point Loma Nazarene University in Southern California and taught in the low-residency M.F.A. Program at Seattle Pacific University. Lee is a voting member of the National Book Critics Circle and a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist’s Grant. A former writing resident at MacDowell Colony of the Arts and the Millay Arts Colony, Lee holds an M.F.A. in Literary Arts from Brown University and a Ph.D. in British & American Literature from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served as a faculty member at the Kundiman Asian American Poetry Retreat hosted by Fordham University in New York City. Lee received the Glenna Luschei Prairie Schooner Award (University of Nebraska) in 2014.
Lee has presented readings at the University of California, Berkeley, the Program in Literary Arts at Brown University, the Casa Romantica Reading Series in San Clemente, the Japanese American National Museum, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, the Lincoln Center in New York City, Fall for the Book Festival at George Mason University, Old Dominion University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Wisconsin, St. John’s College in Santa Fe, Cedarville University, Seattle Town Hall, Skylight Books in Los Angeles, and the Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series at San Diego State University, among other venues. She chaired a session on Transnational Feminism and Women Writers of the Asian Diaspora at the Modern Language Association (MLA), then subsequently chaired the session on Parodic Form in Experimental Asian American Literature (MLA). A voting member of the National Book Critics Circle, Lee has served on the Leonard Prize Committee.
Selected for various anthologies, such as Pearson’s Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing (14th Edition, ed. by X.J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia), Lee’s poetry, fiction, essays, & translations appear in over a hundred venues, including A Public Space, American Literary Review, The American Poet, American Poetry Journal, Asheville Poetry Review, Bamboo Ridge, Bellingham Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, Blue Mesa Review, Carolina Quarterly, Columbia Poetry Review, The Cortland Review, The Christian Century, Crab Orchard Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Fourteen Hills, Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies, Greensboro Review, Guernica, Gulf Coast, Image: Art, Faith, Mystery, Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, The London Review, Manoa, Massachusetts Review, Melusine: Woman in the 21st Century, Michigan Quarterly Review, New Orleans Review, North American Review, Phoebe, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Northwest, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry Salzburg Review, Prairie Schooner, Prose Poem Project, Puerto del Sol, Rosebud, Salamander, The Shanghai Review, Sojourn, South Dakota Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, Sycamore Review, Third Coast, Versal, Virginia Quarterly Review, Washington Square Review, and Witness.