Ira Sukrungruang’s new memoir is This Jade World, just out (October 2021) from University of Nebraska Press as part of the American Lives Series. He is the author of three previous books of nonfiction: Buddha’s Dog & Other Meditations (2018), Southside Buddhist (2014), and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (2010), as well as the short story collection The Melting Season (2016) and In Thailand It Is Night (2013), a volume of poetry. He co-edited What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology (2003) and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology (2005).
Ira was born in Chicago to Thai immigrants and earned his MFA from The Ohio State University. He is a former member of the Board of Trustees for the Association of Writers and Writing Program (AWP), and is currently on the Advisory Board of Machete, an imprint of The Ohio State University Press dedicated to publishing innovative nonfiction by authors who have been historically marginalized. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award for Southside Buddhist, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Anita Claire Scharf Award in Poetry. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including The Rumpus, American Poetry Review, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction, and he is the president of Sweet: A Literary Confection (sweetlit.com). The Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College, he teaches in VCFA’s low-residency MFA in Writing and International MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programs.