About Claire Light


I was born in Hong Kong in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, and grew up in upstate New York, Arizona, Hong Kong, Ohio, Beijing, China, and Michigan. Sort of in that order. I am a multiracial, transnational faculty brat, with all the concomitant privileges and advantages.

As an adult I lived in Germany (mostly Berlin) for several years (studying and partying.) When I returned to the States, it was to the San Francisco Bay Area—golden gate to the East, crazy port town—where I still live. Since I've been here I've worked primarily in ethnic community arts and cultural nonprofits, becoming a sort of generic nonprofit professional along the way.

I worked for four years as a program manager for Kearny Street Workshop (KSW), an Asian American arts organization, where I helped found an annual festival for emerging artists, and later served as board president, and then executive director; co-founded and was a senior editor, blogger, and development director at national Asian American magazine Hyphen; and have worked in fundraising, curated arts programs, written arts criticism, and freelanced in a variety of nonprofit areas (which I'm still doing.) I also served on the board of the Carl Brandon Society.

I went and got an MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State, which I do recommend doing, if only to give you time to write and opportunities to teach. The degree itself hasn't actually been of much use so far. I've also done a some creative writing instruction: to adults at KSW and at the Oakland Word program, at SFSU as a TA, and as a writer-in-residence at San Francisco's School of the Arts.

My writing has been published in various places, and a collection of my short stories was published by Aqueduct Press in 2009. There's more about my publications here. And yes, I'm currently working on a novel. Isn't everyone? :)





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