Mai Der Vang

​Assistant Professor, English and Poetry
California State University, Fresno​

Mai Der Vang’s passion for creative writing and poetry began while she was a child growing up in Fresno. A daughter of Hmong refugees, “writing became a way for me to communicate and survive, and then it became a way for me to express and inspire,” she says. Vang has been awarded a Provost’s Award for Promising New Faculty and Provost’s Award for Extraordinary Teaching in Extraordinary Times after being nominated by her students. Her first book, “Afterland,” received the Walt Whitman Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her second book, “Yellow Rain,” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and it received the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets. Vang is the first Hmong American woman to be recognized in the 106-year history of the Pulitzer’s arts and letters prizes. She enjoys sharing her passion for creative writing with her students and feels it’s how she can help change the world. ​​

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