Juliet Kono was born in Hilo, Hawai’i, the granddaughter of Japanese immigrants. She earned her BA and MA from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Kono is the author of two collections of poetry, Hilo Rains (1988) and Tsunami Years (1995), and collaborated on No Choice but to Follow (2010), a series of linked poems, with the poets Jean Yamasaki Toyama, Ann Inoshita, and Christy Passion. Kono frequently writes about American history from a Japanese immigrant’s perspective, tracking major events of the 20th century and their repercussions. Anshu: Dark Sorrow (2010), Kono’s first novel, follows a young Hawaiian woman through World War II–era Japan. Kono is also the author of the short story collection Ho‘olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile (2004) and a children’s book, The Bravest ‘Opihi (2014).
Kono has received honors and awards for her work, including a U.S.-Japan Creative Artists Exchange Fellowship from the Japan-United States Friendship Commission. She lives in Honolulu and teaches composition and creative writing at Leeward Community College.