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Faculty Profile - Miho Nonaka

Miho Nonaka

Miho Nonaka, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

On Faculty since 2010
630.752.5787
Blanchard 312


Miho Nonaka is a native of Tokyo and a bilingual poet/translator. Besides poetry of all kinds, her interests include lyric essay, memoir, Japanese literature, surrealism, and modern European literature. Her scholarly research has to do with the non-Western spiritual tradition and cultural identity of Japan within a global framework. It started with modernism and the avant-gardes in the early 20th-century Japan, and moved on to postwar authors and literary movements. She has written articles on the legacy of Arechi (The Wasteland) poet, Tamura Ryuichi, the effects of Emily Dickinson's poetry in Japanese translation, Endo Shusaku's vision of the Church beyond the east-west divide. She has taught animation works by Miyazaki Hayao as part of her global literature class, and plans to co-author an article on Murakami Haruki and his techniques that are resonant with magical realism.

Her creative works has to do with in-betweenness. She often find herself exploring the issues and questions of translatability, home, dream and language. Her most recent lyric essay involves raising silkworms and harvesting their cocoons as a motif for the liminal space in which poetry and translation happen for her.

University of Houston
Ph.D., English & Creative Writing

Columbia University
M.F.A., Creative Writing

Harvard University
M.A., East Asian Studies

Wellesley College
B.A., English

  • Poetry
  • Lyric Essay
  • Memoir
  • Japanese Literature
  • ENGL 105, Literature of the Modern World
  • ENGL 202, Literary and Global Explorations: Japanese Literature and Film
  • ENGL 285, Asian Literature
  • ENGW 213, Creative Writing
  • ENGW 214, Discursive Writing
  • ENGW 332, Creative Non-Fiction
  • ENGW 335, Poetry Writing & Criticism
  • ENGW 444, Special Topics: Writing of Place & Journey
  • ENGW 444, Special Topics: Memoir
  • ENGW 444, Contemporary Poetry & Issues of Craft
  • ENGW 494, Senior Seminar
  • ENGW 495, Independent Studies
    • Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
    • Advanced Poetry Writing
    • Poetry Manuscripts
    • Memoir Projects

My scholarly research has to do with the non-Western spiritual tradition and cultural identity of Japan within a global framework. It stared with modernism and the avant-gardes in the early 20th-century Japan, and moved on to postwar authors and literary movements. I've written articles on the legacy of Arechi (The Wasteland) poet, Tamura Ryuichi, the effects of Emily Dickinson's poetry in Japanese translation, Endo Shusaku's vision of the Church beyond the east-west divide. I have taught animation works by Miyazaki Hayao as part of my global literature class, and I plan to co-author an article on Murakami Haruki and his techniques that are resonant with magical realism.

My creative works have to do with in-betweenness. I often find myself exploring the issues and questions of translatability, home, dream and language. My most recent lyric essay takes raising silkworms and harvesting their cocoons as a motif for the liminal space in which poetry and translation happen for me.

"Through the Willows." "Easter Cherries." "Gretel, through the wood." "Heartland." "Border.", The Missouri Review 41:4, Winter 2018.
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“Rupture.” “Contained Things.”, The Southern Review, Summer 2017
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“The Production of Silk.” Essay., Kenyon Review, March/April 2017

“A Bird at the Market.”, Ruminate Magazine 38: 57, Spring 2016

“Island Country.”, Bluestem 25.1: 116, Spring 2015

“Birthday Poem.”, Windhover 19: 2, Spring 2015

“Spiral Bottle.”, The Cresset 77.4: 52, (Easter 2014)

Season of Eternity: The Resonance of Dickinson’s Poems in Japanese, Religion and Literature, 2014
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“Beetle Child.”, The Cresset 78.1 (Michaelmas): 21, 2014

“The Museum of Small Bones.”, Ruminate Magazine 31: 63, Spring 2014

“Purists.”, Windhover 18: 74, Spring 2014

Season of Eternity: The Resonance of Dickinson’s Poems in Japanese, Religion & Literature 46.1: 187-195, Spring 2014
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“Girl Insomniac.”, The Christian Century 130.25: 10, 2013

“Afternoon with Koi.” “Class by the Sea.” “Firefly.” “Harvest Moon.”, Poetry Kanto 29., Web 2013
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Beginning with Some God, Mapping the Line: Poets on Teaching
Ed. Bruce Guernsey. Charleston, SC: Penyeach Press, 2013. 93-99
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In the Beginning Was the Fear, Tamura Ryūichi: on the Life & Work of a 20th Century Master
Eds. Takako Lento and Wayne Miller. Warrensburg, MO: Pleiades Press, 2011. 91-100
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Harmful, Harmless, and The Deaf Dalmatian, and Aubade, The Prarie Schooner, 2005
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