Kirby Michael Wright

532 Elepaio Street
Honolulu, HI 96816

Author's Bio

I was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I am a graduate of Punahou School in Honolulu and the University of California at San Diego. I received my MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University. I have been nominated for five Pushcart Prizes and three Best of the Nets. I am a past recipient of the Honolulu Weekly Nonfiction Prize, the Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, the Ann Fields Poetry Prize, the Redwood Empire Mensa Award for Creative Nonfiction, the Academy of American Poets Award, two Browning Society Awards for Dramatic Monologue, and Arts Council Silicon Valley Fellowships in Poetry and The Novel. BEFORE THE CITY, my first book of poetry, took First Place at the 2003 San Diego Book Awards. I am also the author of the companion novels PUNAHOU BLUES and MOLOKA’I NUI AHINA, both set in Hawaii. I was a Visiting Fellow at the 2009 International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, where I represented the Pacific Rim region of Hawaii and lectured with Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder. I was also a Visiting Writer at the 2010 Martha's Vineyard Writers Residency in Edgartown, MA, the 2011 Artist in Residence at Milkwood International, Czech Republic, the 2014 Resident Scholar at the Earthskin Artist Colony in Auckland, New Zealand, and the 2016 Artist in Residence in the Åland Islands, Finland. Two of my plays have been performed at the Secret Theatre in Long Island City and a third at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre in New York.

Publications and Prizes

At The Customs House
(Lemon Shark Press, 2017)
, Before the City
(Lemon Shark Press, 2003)
, Hong Kong Man
(Lemon Shark Press, 2015)
, Moloka'i Nui Ahina, Summers on the Lonely Isle
(Lemon Shark Press, 2007)
, Notes Above Water, Selected Poems
(Lemon Shark Press, 2014)
, Punahou Blues
(Lemon Shark Press, 2005)
, Square Dancing at the Asylum: Nouveau Noir Flash Fiction
(Lemon Shark Press, 2013)
, The End My Friend: Prelude to the Apocalypse
(Lemon Shark Press, 2013)
, THE QUEEN OF MOLOKA'I, Book 1: Based On a True Story
(Lemon Shark Press, 2019)
, The Widow from Lake Bled
(Moon Pie Press, 2014)
, The Wounded Morning, Poetry and Flash
(Lemon Shark Press, 2017)
B: An Anthology of Barbie Poems
(Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2012)
, Best of Branches
(Uccelli Press, 2002)
, Element(ary)...My Dear
(Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2015)
, Empty Mirror
(Empty Mirror Books, 2013)
, Fast Forward: Flash Fiction Anthology, Volume 5
(Fast Forward Press, 2012)
, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine
(University of Arkansas Press, 2013)
, FutureCycle 2011
(FutureCycle Press, 2012)
, IMPACT: An Anthology of Short Memoirs
(Telling Our Stories Press, 2012)
, The Understanding between Foxes and Light
(Great weather for MEDIA, 2013)
, To Be Read Aloud
(To Be Read Aloud Publishing, 2007)
580 Split, Alchemy, Angry Old Man, Anti-Heroin Chic, Arabesques Review, Artful Dodge, Ascent Aspirations Magazine, Asia Literary Review, Bayou Magazine, Black Bear Review, Black Heart Magazine, Blinking Cursor, Blue Fifth Review, Blue Lyra Review, Blue Mesa Review, Branches Quarterly, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Cactus Heart, Calliope, Cape Rock, Caper Literary Journal, Caveat Lector, Chaminade Literary Review, Circle Magazine, Clare Literary Journal, Coe Review, COG, Cold Mountain Review, Concho River Review, Connotation Press: An Online Artifact, Cortland Review, Crack the Spine, Dead Flowers, Drunken Boat, Embodied Effigies, Emerge Literary Journal, Erosha, Fairfield Review, Fiction At Work, Flash Fiction, Flash, The International Short-short Story Magazine, Floorboard review, Florida English, Folio, Forge, Fox Chase Review, Fox Cry Review, Front Range Review, FutureCycle Poetry, Gargoyle Magazine, Ginosko Literary Journal, Grain Magazine, Gulf Stream, Harpur Palate, Hawai'i Review, Hawaii Pacific Review, Hayden's Ferry Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Horizon, Howling Dog, Icon, In Posse Review, Ink, Into the Teeth of the Wind, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, Kindling, Landfall, Leveler, Line Zero, Litro Magazine, Ludlow Press, Mad Hatters' Review, Mad Poets Review, Map Literary, Marco Polo Arts Mag, Maryland Poetry Review, Maryland Review, Mascara Literary Review, Mason's Road, Mayday Magazine, Meat for Tea: The Valley Review, Meat Whistle Quarterly, Medulla Review, Megaera, Melic Review, Monkey Puzzle, Moon City Review, Moonshot Magazine, Mosaic Art & Literary Journal, Muse Apprentice Guild, Muses Workshop Online, Neon, New Madrid, Out of Our, Owen Wister Review, Ozone Park, Pacific Review, Palo Alto Review, Petrichor Review, Phantom Kangaroo, Pieran Springs, Pif Magazine, Pig Iron Malt, Pisgah Review, Pithead Chapel, Plainsongs, Platte Valley Review, Pleiades, Poetic Diversity, Poetry for the Masses, Poetry Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, Poetry Repair Shop, Poetry South, Poets Against the War, Portland Review, Poydras Review, Prime Mincer, Printer's Devil Review, PRISM International, Prose Poem, Psychic Meatloaf, Pudding Magazine: The International Journal of Applied Poetry, Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Red Booth Review, Red Ochre Lit, Red River Review, Red Rock Review, Reed Magazine, Revolution House, River City Review, River Poets Journal, Riverbabble, Riverrun, Rockford Review, Rogue Scholars, San Diego Reader, San Jose Studies, San Pedro River Review, Santa Clara Review, Santa Fe Literary Review, Scholars & Rogues, Seems, Sein und Werden, Sentence, Shampoo, Sheepshead Review, Shenandoah, Short, Fast and Deadly, sidereality, Sisyphus, Slab Literary Review, Slant, Sleet Magazine, Slipstream, SNReview, Southern Indiana Review, Southword Journal , Split Lip Magazine, Star 82 Review, Still Crazy, Stirring : A Literary Collection, Stoneboat, SubtleTea, Switchback, Taj Mahal Review, Temenos Journal, Blue Moon Literary & Art Review, The Broadkill Review, Chaffey Review, The Coachella Review, Conium Review, Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, The Dos Passos Review, The Fiddleback, Foliate Oak, The Fourth River, The Green Tricycle, Ilanot Review, The Kerf, The Literary Bohemian, The Medulla Review, Molotov Cocktail, The Monarch Review, Montreal Review, The Prose Poem, The Prose-Poem Project, The Quotable, The Shit Creek Review, Thin Air Magazine, Third Wednesday, Three Candles, Thunder Sandwich, Tight, Tipton Poetry Journal, Toyon Literary Magazine, Trestle Creek Review, Tributaries, Tryst, Two Cities Review, Urbanus, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Washington Square Review, Wayne Literary Review, Welter Magazine, West Magazine, West Wind Review, whimperbang, Wilderness House Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, Worcester Review, Writer's Bloc, Writer's Forum, Yemassee, Zing
Life Extension
(Lemon Shark Press, 2001)
, Permanent Damage
(Last Automat Press, 2013)
, Princess Cathy in the Land of Regret
(Medulla Publishing, 2014)
, The Girl With the Green Violin
(Etched Press, 2015)
Prizes Won: 
2018 Redwood Empire Mensa Award for Creative Nonfiction, Resident Writer at the The Åland Islands Residency (Finland), Resident Scholar at Earthskin Muriwai (New Zealand), Official Selection for the 2016 One Act Festival at New York's Secret Theatre, New York Mills Cultural Center Artist in Residence, Ad Hoc Flash Fiction Award, Second Place Brilliant Flash Fiction Award, Jodi Stutz Memorial Prize in Poetry, Ann Fields Poetry Prize, Academy of American Poets Poetry Prize, Browning Society Award for Dramatic Monologue, Arts Council Silicon Valley Artist Fellowships for Poetry and The Novel, Visiting Writer Fellowship for International Writers Conference in Hong Kong, First Place in Poetry by San Diego Book Awards Association, First Place in Alsop Review Fiction Competition, Editor's Circle Award in Poetry Magazine, First Place in The Political Poet Poetry Competition (in Honor of Walt Whitman), Finalist in The Bevel Summers Story Prize, Honolulu Weekly Poetry Prize, Honolulu Weekly Essay Prize, Second Place Prairie Schooner Nonfiction Award, Finalist in The Tony Quagliano International Poetry Award, Muses Review Poet Neophyte of the Month, Featured Writer of the Month at Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Featured Writer at Embodied Effigies Magazine, Ka Palapala Po'okela Book Awards Honorable Mention, Seven Certificates of Excellence from the San Diego Book Awards, Five Pushcart Prize Nominations, Short List Bath Flash Fiction Award, Featured Writer of the Month at Kona Public Library, Certificate of Recognition by the California State Assembly, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World.

Personal Favorites

What I'm Reading Now: 
The Bridge by Hart Crane
The Sufferings of Young Werther by Goethe
Djinn by Alain Robbe-Grillet
The Candles of your Eyes by James Purdy
Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata
Favorite Books: 
Dubliners, In Our Time, The Great Gatsby, The Sun Also Rises, Light in August, The Wasteland, A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man, Death In Venice, A Season in Hell, Seven Plays (Shepard), The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, Notes From The Underground
Favorite Authors: 
Joyce, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Crane, Goethe, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Rimbaud, Kafka, Plath, Eliot, Purdy, Kawabata, Mann, Sam Shepard, Tennessee Williams, Albee, Salinger, Dostoyevsky

More Information

Listed as: 
Fiction Writer, Poet
Gives readings: 
Travels for readings: 
Identifies as: 
Pacific Islander
Prefers to work with: 
Adults, Seniors
Fluent in: 
Born in: 
Honolulu, HI
Raised in: 
Honolulu, HI
Strolling Helsinki Neoclassic bones crumble. The 18th Century is propped by scaffolding along South Harbour yet visible under sheets of plastic. I’m struck by the stench of feces outside Hotel Kämp. Cracked pipes? I squint my vulture eyes: tourists swarm the Esplanadi for another free concert. A Finnish band sings “Black Magic Woman” to a Cuban couple doing the Salsa. I smell fish frying at the wharf. The Estonians are magicians with spatulas, flipping filets with crusty edges. I vow to purchase juniper coasters and peruse the postcards. Stamps too expensive. One day I will cross paths with Lasse Virén and ask about the Olympics. I imagine that Viking face tightening while contemplating his answer. I reach booths with red and orange canvas tops—the fish girl from Turku beckons from behind a greasy apron. I must dine before these vendors close at dusk, before the water trucks arrive to squirt apples and trash into Market Square gutters. I feel good incognito. Is this the aftermath of lust? Perhaps there was too much heat between us to make what we did count. I struggle to remember your face, to recall the pitch of your cry. Steam rises off the blackened salmon stuck to the end of my fork.
Please note: All information in the Directory is provided by the listed writers or their representatives.
Last updated: Mar 14, 2019