Born and raised in Radford, Virginia, Lisa Kwong identifies as an AppalAsian, an Asian from Appalachia. She is a distinguished creative writing alumna of Appalachian State University and earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in poetry from Indiana University (IU). Her poems and creative nonfiction are forthcoming or have appeared in Best New Poets 2014, A Literary Field Guide to Southern Appalachia, Anthology of Appalachian Writers, the minnesota review, Banango Street, Still: The Journal, Naugatuck River Review, Appalachian Heritage, Pluck!, The Sleuth, and other publications. Her honors include poetry scholarships and fellowships from Indiana University, The Frost Place, and Sundress Academy for the Arts, where she was the 2017 Appalachian Writer-in-Residence. Her work has been recognized by Kentucky Poet Laureate Frank X. Walker, who coined the term Affrilachian; Cincinnati Poet Laureate Pauletta Hansel, the Urban Appalachian Community Coalition, the Appalachian Studies Association, and the Appalachian literary community as being influential in bringing visibility to Asian American experiences in Appalachia, inspiring the next generation of AppalAsians to share their stories. Ms. Kwong is currently at work on her first book of poems, which explores family history, AppalAsian identity, love, and pop culture, among other topics.
Ms. Kwong is also a multidisciplinary educator. As an adjunct lecturer for the IU Asian American Studies Program, she has taught the following courses: Introduction to Asian American Studies, Asian American Literature and Media, and Asian Diaspora Experience. As a popular guest speaker at IU and in the Bloomington community, she has presented on topics such as Asian American stereotypes, the legacy of Chinese American actress Anna May Wong, Asian American poetry, writing as an AppalAsian, and love letter writing. Additionally, she has taught courses in creative writing and composition for the IU Department of English and in the Student Success Program at Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, where she also tutors writing.