Li-Young Lee (b. 1957) was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, of Chinese parents. In 1959, after spending nineteen months in jail as a political prisoner, Lee's father fled Indonesia with his family. The family traveled through Hong Kong, Macau, and Japan before settling in the United States. Lee studied at several American universities, earning his B.A. at the University of Pittsburgh, and taught at various schools, including Northwestern University and the University of Iowa. During 1990, he traveled in Indonesia and China gathering material for an autobiographical prose work.
His work has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1987. His second book of poems, The City in Which I Love You (1990), was the Lamont Poetry Selection of the Academy of American Poets. His most recent book is The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (1995).