Bino A. Realuyo was born and raised in Manila, the son of a survivor of the Bataan Death March and a World War II Japanese concentration camp in the Philippines. He is a poet and a novelist, an adult educator and a community activist. He is the author of the award winning books, The Umbrella Country, a novel and The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, a poetry collection. He was also the editor of The NuyorAsian Anthology: Asian American Writings About New York City and The Literary Review’s Spring 2000 special issue on the Philippines: Am Here: Contemporary Filipino Writings in English.
His first novel, The Umbrella Country, was published by Ballantine’s Readers Circle, Random House in 1999. One of the nominees for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Award in 2000, it was also Booklist’s Top Ten First Novels of 1999 and a recipient of an Asian American “Member’s Choice” Literary Award.
His first collection of poetry, The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, was a recipient of the 2005 Agha Shahid Ali Prize for poetry and was published by University of Utah Press. Poems in this collection have previously appeared in prestigious magazines in the U.S. such as The Kenyon Review, Manoa, The Literary Review, New Letters and The Nation. He was a recipient of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from Poetry Society of America. His first poems published in the Philippines were praised by the late National Artist for Literature N.V.M Gonzalez as “the most moving ones I have come across in years.” Gonzalez wrote in a letter to the publication, “I am honored for being one of his first readers, although for now, he is a continent, and an ocean away.”
Realuyo has finished a novel titled, The F.L.I.P Show, about Filipinos on the east coast. He is at work on another novel and a collection of poetry. He has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship for fiction, a Van Lier Foundation fellowship for poetry, Urban Artist Grant for fiction, PEN Open Book award for non-fiction, Valparaiso Foundation fellowship for fiction, a Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from Poetry Society of America, and an Asian American “Member’s Choice” Book Award.
He was a co-founder of the Asian American Writers Workshop. He works in the field of adult literacy, especializing in the integration of computer technology and English as a Second Language instruction in disenfranchised immigrant communities. He is on the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s international MFA program in Creative Writing.