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Faculty Profiles

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. She is the author of a poetry collection, The Museum of Small Bones. 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 Ryūichi, the effects of Emily Dickinson’s poetry in Japanese translation, Endō Shūsaku’s vision of the Church beyond the east-west divide, and Murakami Haruki’s fiction and magical realism. In addition to literature and creative writing courses, she has taught animation works by Miyazaki Hayao and Shinkai Makoto as part of her global literature class.

Her creative works has to do with in-betweenness. She often find herself exploring the issues and questions of translatability, home, dream and language.

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 444, Special Topics: Lyric Essay
  • ENGW 444, Special Topics: Poetry & Myth 
  • ENGW 494, Senior Seminar
  • ENGW 495, Independent Studies
    • Advanced Creative Nonfiction Writing
    • Advanced Poetry Writing
    • Poetry Chapbooks
    • Memoir Projects

My 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. I’ve written articles on the legacy of Arechi (The Wasteland) poet, Tamura Ryūichi, the effects of Emily Dickinson’s poetry in Japanese translation, Endō Shūsaku’s vision of the Church beyond the east-west divide, and Murakami Haruki’s fiction and 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. One of my lyric essays takes raising silkworms and harvesting their cocoons as a motif for the liminal space in which poetry and translation happen for me. My translation of “Hara Tamiki,” an essay by Endō Shūsaku about his friendship with the author of atomic-bomb literature, is scheduled to appear in the fall issue of Copper Nickel.

Book Chapters and Articles:

“Proximate Magic: Magical Realism and the City in Haruki Murakami’s IQ84.” Co-authored with Wendy Faris. Magical Realism and Literature, ed. Christopher Warnes and Kim Sasser. Cambridge University Press, 2020. 319-336.

Response to Jerry Root’s “Out of Old Fields the Flowers of Unborn Springs.” In Splendour in the Dark: C. S. Lewis’s Dymer in His Life and Work. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2020. 232-240.  

“Season of Eternity: The Resonance of Dickinson’s Poems in Japanese.” Religion & Literature 46.1 (Spring 2014): 187-195.

“Beginning with Some God.” Mapping the Line: Poets on Teaching, ed. Bruce Guernsey. Charleston, IL: Penyeach Press, 2013. 93-99.   

“In the Beginning Was the Fear.” Tamura Ryūichi: on the Life & Work of a 20th Century Master, ed. Takako Lento and Wayne Miller. Warrensburg, MO: Pleiades Press, 2011. 91-100.

 

Poems and Essays: 

“Marigold.” The Southern Review 56:3 (Summer 2020): 342-344.

“Autumn Note.” “From Now On.” Kira Kira.” “Scent Dragonfly.” Hypertext Review Vol. 6 (Spring/Summer 2020): 60-63.   

“American Dream.” “Easter Cherries” (reprinted). “Heartland” (reprinted). “Legion.” “My Moby-Dick (reprinted). “The Night I Received Your Wedding Invitation.” “Water and Fire.” In A Strange Land: Introducing Ten Kingdom Poets, ed. D. S. Martin. Eugene: Cascade Books, 2019. 33-40.   

Easter Cherries (reprinted). The Missouri Review, Poem of the Week (May 27, 2019).

“Through the Willows.” “Easter Cherries.” “Gretel, through the wood.” “Heartland.” “Border.” The Missouri Review 41.4 (Winter 2018): 73-82.  

“At the Tea Moon.”My Moby-Dick.” “Student.” Tokyo Poetry Journal Vol. 5: Japan and the Beats (2018): 173-175.

“Rupture.” “Contained Things.” The Southern Review 53.3 (Summer 2017): 413-414.

The Production of Silk.” Kenyon Review (March/April 2017).     

“Waking Ritual.” Windhover 21.1 (Spring 2017): 10-11.

Distance.” The Christian Century 134.9 (April 26, 2017): 28.

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

“Island Country.” Bluestem 25.1 (Spring 2015): 116.

Beetle Child.” The Cresset 78.1 (Michaelmas 2014): 21.

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

Girl Insomniac.” The Christian Century 130.25 (December 2013): 10.

“Afternoon with Koi.” “Class by the Sea.” “Firefly.” “Harvest Moon.” Poetry Kanto 29 (2013).

“Autumn Troupe” (reprinted). “Late August Song” (reprinted). “No Longer Kraków” (reprinted). “The Leafy Sea-Dragon” (reprinted). “Miniature Pavilion” (reprinted). “The Art of Flowers.” American Odysseys: Writings by New Americans. Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press, 2013. 416-438.