Ira Sukrungruang

Ira Sukrungruang (CNF, Fiction, Poetry) | Tampa, FL

Booking Fee:

$2000 + Travel & Accommodations (Negotiable)

Will Travel:




Ira Sukrungruang is the author of the memoirs Southside Buddhist and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, the short story collection The Melting Season, and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. His collection of essays, Buddha’s Dog: Essays and Meditations, is forthcoming in 2018. He is the coeditor of two anthologies on the topic of obesity: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Emerging Writer Fellowship. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection (, and teaches in the MFA program at University of South Florida.


Buddha’s Dog: Essays and Meditations (University of Tampa Press, 2018). Essays. CNF.
The Melting Season (Burlesque Press, 2016). Short stories. Fiction.
Southside Buddhist (University of Tampa Press, 2014). Memoir. CNF.

In Thailand It is Night (University of Tampa Press, 2013). Poetry.
Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy (University of Missouri Press, 2010). Memoir. CNF.

Edited Anthologies

Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 2005). Co-Edited with Donna Jarrell. Anthology. CNF.
What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 2003). Co-Edited with Donna Jarrell. Anthology. CNF.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

“An engaging, artfully constructed take on the immigrant/assimilation experience. Talk Thai is a fresh and compelling journey into the author’s life.”
—Dinty W. Moore, author of Between Panic and Desire

Talk Thai is a story of a young boy growing up in a house heavy with questions asked in one language and answered in another. It is a mature reflection of what constitutes family, home, belonging and friendship—an exploration of the sights and sounds, the smells and sorrows of growing up and choosing from different cultures the values and the characteristics of manhood. Ira Sukrungruang’s memoir is a rich contribution to the voices that create the language of America’s immigrant population.”
—Kalia Yang, author of The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir

“In Talk Thai, Ira Sukrungruang gives readers a fresh, funny, and poignant perspective on childhood, identity,
cultural confusion, and growing up Thai American. This is a gem of a memoir.”
—Bich Minh Nguyen, author of Stealing Buddha’s Dinner and Short Girls

“To read the poems in In Thailand It Is Night is to encounter a speaker who knows that poetry lies deeply embedded in the body, and in the litany of breath itself. Sukrungruang has limned an extraordinary collection couched in the broken language of immigration and the mystical language of reincarnation, a book that is as dreamy as it is resolute. Deeply rooted in the landscape, these poems define emotion using the riches of the natural world: finches and cranes and crows, geckos and tree frogs and cardinals and moths these creatures weave longing, memory, and family into an intricate, lyric-narrative web. My palms are up, writes Sukrungruang, and this gesture signifies how open his poetry is to the world, to the simultaneous beauty and suffering it brings.
–Erika Meitner

“The essays in Ira Sukrungruang’s Southside Buddhist are splendid meditations and memoirs that take us deep into the heart of this son of Thai immigrants as he attempts to define himself a complicated matter, caught as he is, between cultures, between his mother and father, between his memory of that family and the new ones he forms, between the parts of himself that strain to cohere. These essays resonate with beauty and grit and the author’s intense longing to be whole. This is a collection to savor.”
—Lee Martin, author of The Bright Forever

“Sukrungruang does all this with courage and grit — southside style — and, I’ll say, a Buddhist approach to witnessing. Binoculars provide a tool for looking outward. Writing, though, provides a means to see inward —to observe, to consciously inhabit, even to love.”
—Los Angeles Review of Books

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