About Kao Kalia Yang

Kao Kalia Yang is a Hmong American teacher, speaker, and writer. Her work crosses audiences and genres. She is the award-winning author of the memoirs, The Latehomecomer, The Song Poet, Somewhere in the Unknown World, and Where Rivers Part. Yang co-edited the groundbreaking book, What God is Honored Here?: Writings on Miscarriage and Infant Loss By and For Native Women and Women of Color. Yang is a librettist for the The Song Poet Opera (commissioned by the MN Opera). Her children’s books, A Map Into the World, The Most Beautiful Thing, The Shared Room, Yang Warriors, From the Tops of the Trees, and The Rock in My Throat center around Hmong children who live in our world, who dream and hurt and hope in it.

Yang’s work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Chautauqua Prize, the PEN USA literary awards, the Dayton’s Literary Peace Prize, as Notable Books by the American Library Association, Kirkus Best Books of the Year, the Heartland Bookseller’s Award, and garnered four Minnesota Book Awards.

Yang is McKnight, Soros, and Guggenheim fellow.


  • BA in American Studies, Carleton College
  • MFA in Creative Writing, Columbia University

Professional Fields

Work History

  • Activist & Professor, Author

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