Dr. Craig Santos Perez is a native Chamoru (Chamorro) from the Pacific Island of Guåhan (Guam). He is a poet, scholar, editor, publisher, essayist, critic, book reviewer, artist, environmentalist, and political activist.
Employment & Education:
Craig works as an Associate Professor in the English Department at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa, where he teaches creative writing, eco-poetry, and Pacific literature. He is affiliate faculty with the Center of Pacific Islands Studies and the Indigenous Politics Program. He was the Director of the Creative Program from 2013-2015.
He earned a B.A. from the University of Redlands (2002), an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco (2006), and an MA (2009) and Ph.D. (2015) in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.
He was a faculty member for Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA, 2018), Kundiman Writers Retreat (2019), and Mokulēʻia Writers Retreat (2019).
Publications, Editing, and Service
Craig is the author of two spoken word poetry albums (Undercurrent, 2011, and Crosscurrent 2017), and four books of poetry: from unincorporated territory [hacha] (2008), from unincorporated territory [saina] (2010), from unincorporated territory [guma’] (2014), and from unincorporated territory [lukao] (2017). His scholarly essays have been published in national and international peer-reviewed academic journals and anthologies.
He is the co-founder of Ala Press (the only publisher in the US dedicated to Pacific literature) and the co-editor of four anthologies of Pacific literature: Chamoru Childhood (2008), Home(is)lands: New Art and Writing from Guahan and Hawaiʻi (2018), Effigies III: Indigenous Pacific Islander Poetry (2019), and Indigenous Literatures from Micronesia (2019).
He serves on the editorial boards of Sun Tracks, an indigenous literature series with the University of Arizona Press, and The Contemporary Pacific, an academic journal of Pacific Islands Studies published by the University of Hawaiʻi Press. In 2018, Craig became the series editor for the New Oceania Literary Series with the University of Hawaiʻi Press. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Pacific Islanders in Communication, which focuses on Pacific film and television.
At the University of Hawaiʻi, he co-curates the Native Voices Reading and Lecture Series, the Chamorro Studies Speaker Series, and the New Oceania Literary Series. He is a participating scholar for the Humanities for the Environment Asia-Pacific Observatory.
Awards and Praise
Craig has been a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize (2010) and the Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry (2019), and he has received the Pen Center USA/Poetry Society of America Literary Prize (2011), the American Book Award (2015), the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship (2016), and the Hawai’i Literary Arts Council Elliot Cades Literary Award (2017), the most prestigious literary prize in Hawaiʻi. He received a Ford Foundation Fellowship for his scholarly research (2009-2011). In 2016, he received the University of Hawaiʻi Chancellors’ Citation for Meritorious Teaching.
His work has been featured in BBC Cultural Frontline, CNBC, The Atlantic, Slate, The New Republic, Vice, The Guardian, The World Meteorological Organization, The Honolulu Star Advertiser, Honolulu Magazine, The Pacific Daily News, and The Guam Daily Post. He has performed his environmental poetry at the 350.org Honolulu Climate March, The IUCN World Conservation Congress, the Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance conference, and the International Conference on Environmental Futures.
In 2010, the Guam Legislature passed Resolution No. 315-30, recognizing and commending Craig “as an accomplished poet who has been a phenomenal ambassador for our island, eloquently conveying through his words, the beauty and love that is the Chamorro culture.”
Asia-Pacific Observatory (Humanities for the Environment)