Ira Sukrungruang is the author of three nonfiction books Buddha’s Dog & other Meditations, 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. 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 the president of Sweet: A Literary Confection, a 501c3 nonprofit organization and is honored to be the Richard L. Thomas Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College.

Areas of Expertise

Creative writing; creative writing pedagogy; inclusive literature 


2002 — Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University

1998 — Bachelor of Arts from Southern Illinois Univ Carbond

Courses Recently Taught

Each section of these first-year seminars approaches the study of literature through the exploration of a single theme in texts drawn from a variety of literary genres (such as tragedy, comedy, lyric poetry, epic, novel, short story, film and autobiography) and historical periods. Classes are small, offering intensive discussion and close attention to each student's writing. Students in each section are asked to work intensively on composition as part of a rigorous introduction to reading, thinking, speaking and writing about literary texts. During the semester, instructors will assign frequent essays and may also require oral presentations, quizzes, examinations and research projects. This course is not open to juniors and seniors without permission of the department chair. Offered every year.

Students in this workshop will write imaginative nonfiction in any of its traditional forms: memoirs, reflections, polemics, chronicles, idylls, lampoons, monographs, pamphlets, profiles, reviews, prefaces, sketches, remarks, complaints -- anything but the traditional college essay. As in other writing workshops, attention in class will be paid above all to the writing itself, word by word, sentence by sentence. Admission to this course is open, though students may not take this course in the first semester of their first year. Seats are reserved for students in each class year. This counts toward the emphasis in creative writing and the creative practice requirement for the major. Offered most years.

Students in this workshop will write imaginative nonfiction in any of its many forms and will write and revise one or more pieces to produce 75-90 pages over the course of the semester. As with all writing workshops, classroom discussion will require an openness to giving and receiving criticism. Outside reading will include essays and at least one book-length work by acknowledged masters of the form. To better explore questions of craft, written responses to these readings will be due each week. This counts toward the creative writing emphasis and toward the creative practice requirement for the major. Prerequisite: ENGL 200, 202, 205 (or an equivalent introductory workshop) and permission of instructor via application. (Consult the department for information on the application process and deadlines.) Offered every year.

This seminar is required for English majors pursuing an emphasis in creative writing. The course will involve critical work on a topic chosen by the instructor (such as "Reliable and Unreliable: Investigating Narrative Voice," "Beginnings and Endings," "The Little Magazine in America" and "Documentary Poetics") to provide context and structure for students' creative work. Students should check online listings for the specific focus of each section. Although not primarily a workshop, this seminar will require students to work on a substantial creative project (fiction, nonfiction or poetry). Senior English majors pursuing an emphasis in literature are required to take ENGL 410 instead. Students pursuing honors will take ENGL 497 rather than the Senior Seminar. Prerequisite: senior standing and English major. Offered every year.

Individual study in English is a privilege reserved for senior majors who want to pursue a course of reading or complete a writing project on a topic not regularly offered in the curriculum. Because individual study is one option in a rich and varied English curriculum, it is intended to supplement, not take the place of, coursework, and it cannot normally be used to fulfill requirements for the major. An IS will earn the student 0.5 units of credit, although in special cases it may be designed to earn 0.25 units. To qualify to enroll in an individual study, a student must identify a member of the English department willing to direct the project. In consultation with that faculty member, the student must write a one-to two page proposal for the IS that the department chair must approve before the IS can go forward. The chair’s approval is required to ensure that no single faculty member becomes overburdened by directing too many IS courses. In the proposal, the student should provide a preliminary bibliography (and/or set of specific problems, goals and tasks) for the course, outline a specific schedule of reading and/or writing assignments, and describe in some detail the methods of assessment (e.g., a short story to be submitted for evaluation biweekly; a thirty-page research paper submitted at course’s end, with rough drafts due at given intervals). Students should also briefly describe any prior coursework that particularly qualifies them for their proposed individual studies. The department expects IS students to meet regularly with their instructors for at least one hour per week, or the equivalent, at the discretion of the instructor. The amount of work submitted for a grade in an IS should approximate at least that required, on average, in 400-level English courses. In the case of group individual studies, a single proposal may be submitted, assuming that all group members will follow the same protocols. Because students must enroll for individual studies by the seventh class day of each semester, they should begin discussion of their proposed individual study well in advance, preferably the semester before, so that there is time to devise the proposal and seek departmental approval before the established deadline.