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Celebrated author Maxine Hong Kingston to speak at West campus

Maxine Hong Kingston
October 22, 2012

Maxine Hong Kingston, who has received accolades including the National Book Award and the presidentially conferred National Humanities Medal, will speak at 7 p.m., Nov. 1, in the La Sala Ballroom at ASU’s West campus, 4701 W. Thunderbird Road in Phoenix. The event is free and open to the public; visitor parking on campus costs $2 per hour.

During her presentation Kingston will discuss the power of writing and its capacity to bring us close to peace. Among the many books she has authored is “Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace.” This collection, compiled from Kingston’s healing workshops, contains the distilled wisdom of survivors of five wars, including combatants, war widows, spouses, children, conscientious objectors, and veterans of domestic abuse.

At 3 p.m. on Nov. 1, Kingston will conduct a 90-minute workshop for veterans of war and those who work with veterans, describing the possibilities in using writing as a tool for expression. Those interested in attending the workshop, also to be held on the West campus, should contact Jeff Kennedy, artistic director for the campus, at (602) 543-6025 or

“We are honored to welcome Ms. Kingston to campus to share her insights with ASU and the local community, including our military veterans,” said Kennedy, who is a faculty member in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, the core college on the West campus. “Her appearance is all the more meaningful within the context of the ‘War and Peace’ academic theme being featured this year in New College. Viewed through the lens of the fine arts, literature, history, communication, and the natural sciences, the New College community is tackling issues associated with war and peace to help all of us develop our own more nuanced and thoughtful responses.”

The book ”Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace” includes accounts from people who grew up in military families, served as medics in the thick of war, or came home to homelessness. All struggle with trauma, including post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse, and other consequences of war and violence. Through their writings, readers witness worlds coming apart and being put back together again through liberating insight, community, and the deep transformation that is possible only by coming to grips with the past.

Kingston also is the author of “The Woman Warrior,” “China Men,” “Tripmaster Monkey,” and “The Fifth Book of Peace,” among other works. Additional awards she has received include the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation. For many years a senior lecturer for creative writing at UC Berkeley, she lives in California.

Information about this and other upcoming events to be held at ASU’s West campus may be found at