David Mura is a poet, creative nonfiction writer, critic, playwright and performance artist. A Sansei or third generation Japanese American, Mura has written two memoirs: Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei (Anchor-Random), which won a 1991 Josephine Miles Book Award from the Oakland PEN and was listed in the New York Times Notable Books of Year, and Where the Body Meets Memory: An Odyssey of Race, Sexuality and Identity (1996, Anchor).
Mura’s third and most recent book of poetry is Angels for the Burning (2004, Boa Editions Ltd.). His second book of poetry The Colors of Desire (1995, Anchor), won the Carl Sandburg Literary Award from the Friends of the Chicago
Public Library. His first, After We Lost Our Way (Carnegie Mellon U. Press), won the 1989 National Poetry Series Contest. He has also written the chapbook, A Male Grief: Notes on Pornography & Addiction (Milkweed Editions). His book of critical essays, Song for Uncle Tom, Tonto & Mr. Moto: Poetry & Identity, was published by the U. of Michigan Press in its Poets on Poetry series in 2002.
Along with African American writer Alexs Pate, Mura has created and performs a multi-media performance piece, Secret Colors, about their lives as men of color and Asian American-African American relations. This piece premiered for the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1994) and has been presented at various venues throughout the country. A film adaptation of this piece, Slowly, This, was broadcast in the PBS series ALIVE TV in July/August 1995. Mura has also been featured on the Bill Moyers PBS series, The Language of Life.
Among his awards, Mura has received a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a US/Japan Creative Artist Fellowship, two NEA Literature Fellowships, two Bush Foundation Fellowships, four Loft-McKnight Awards, several Minnesota State Arts Board grants, and a Discovery/The Nation Award. He has also received a Jones Commission, a Multicultural Collaboration Grant, and a McKnight Advancement Grant for playwrighting from the Playwrights’ Center.