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Ishle Yi Park '95

Ishle Yi Park ’95, is the first woman to become the poet laureate of Queens, New York. Her work has been published in numerous anthologies including Ploughshares & Century of the Tiger: One Hundred Years of Koreans in America.

Her book, The Temperature of This Water, won 3 awards: the Pen America Award for Outstanding Writers of Color, the Association of Asian American Studies poetry award, and the Asian American Writers' Workshop's Member's Choice Award. Ishle was an HBO Def Poet and toured the U.S. and New Zealand with a multicultural cast of poets and musicians, and is currently an Eden Advocate, sponsored by Element.

She has taught creative writing workshops, given keynote speeches, and performed her poems and songs at colleges and high schools across the United States and abroad, including at the Arts Alive Festival in South Africa, the Calabash Literary and Arts Festival in Jamaica, the Parihaka Peace Festival, the Auckland International Arts Festival, and Splore in New Zealand, the Singapore Writers' Festival in Singapore, the Overseas Korea Foundation in Jeju, South Korea, and DEEP in North Korea.

Ishle dreams of the reunification of her motherland, and is blessed to be given the opportunity to become a mother. She enjoys surfing, playing guitar, reading, writing, and singing. She also enjoys hosting and organizing cultural benefits for people and communities in need, such as We Who Believe in Freedom, Mansei!, Kaya, Small Offerings, Sound Off, and From da Ground on Up: A Benefit for Haiti.

She currently lives in Hawaii. Alumni can visit her at Kavaroots on Hawaii’s beautiful North shore, where she will be happy to give you a free acai bowl for taking the trip.