Kyoko Yoshida (1969- )
writes fiction in English and translates from and into Japanese. Her first collection of short stories in English Disorientalism came out in 2014 from Vagabond Press in Sydney. It features 19 short stories, many of which take place in actual cities re-imagined as a hybrid zone between reality and nightmare, travelogue and narrative.
She was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She then went to Kyoto University. After 7 years in Kyoto and a BA and an MA, she moved to Milwaukee to study creative writing at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She published her short stories in various American literary journals including Beloit Fiction Journal, Massachussetts Review, Western Humanities Review, and Chelsea. She served as fiction editor and later editor-in-chief at The Cream City Review.
She also translates contemporary Japanese poetry and drama. Spectacle & Pigsty: Poetry by Kiwao Nomura (OmniDawn, 2011, co-translated with Forrest Gander) won the 2012 Best Translated Book Award in Poetry in the U.S. and the 2012 Toson Memorial Rekitei Award in Japan. Other poets and playwrights she has translated or co-translated include Gozo Yoshimasu, Masataka Matsuda and Shu Matsui. She has translated Dave Eggers’s The Circle (2014) into Japanese, too.
In 2005, she was a honorary fellow at the International Writing Program at University of Iowa, and in 2006-07, a visiting fellow at the Program for Literary Arts at Brown University. Some of the literary festivals she has participated include the ASEAN Literary Festival (2015) and the Worlds Literature Festival (2015).
From 2001 to 2014, she taught English at Keio University in Tokyo. In 2014, she moved to Kyoto to teach American Literature at Ritsumeikan University. Her academic fields of interest include contemporary fiction in English, influences of creative writing pedagogy on the contemporary American fiction, and cultural representation of American baseball and its trans-Pacific exchanges in the 1920s and ‘30s.