Areas of Expertise

Japanese Literature, Literary Translation, Children’s Literature, and Creative Writing.

Teaching Interests

At Temple, Nagai divides her time between teaching creative writing courses and Japanese literature from the pre-modern to modern periods.


Mariko Nagai’s creative works examine the marginalized voices from history, using archival materials to excavate the forgotten voices from the past.

Representative Publications and Honors

Mariko Nagai's creative work in poetry and fiction, and translation of Japanese literature, have appeared in literary journals such as Asian Pacific American Journal, the Gettysburg Review, New Letters, Prairie Schooner, Southern Review and other journals, and have received the prestigious Pushcart Prize both in poetry (1998) and fiction (2001). A graduate of the New York University Master's Program in Creative Writing (Poetry), where she was the Erich Maria Remarque Fellow, she has received numerous fellowships and awards for her writing from art foundations around the world, including the Akademie Schloss Solitude, the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center, the UNESCO-Aschberg Bursaries for the Arts, Hawthornden Fellowship at the Hawthornden International Writers Retreat, the Fondation Rowalt-Ledig fellowship at the Chateau de Lavigny, amongst others.

  • Sword of Yesterday (MacMillan 2022)
  • Body of Empire (Tarpaulin Sky Press 2021)
  • Under the Broken Sky (MacMillan 2019)
  • Irradiated Cities (Les Figues Press 2017)
  • Dust of Eden (Albert Whitman & Co, 2014)
  • Instructions for the Living (Word Palace Press, 2012)
  • Georgic: Stories (BkMk Press/ University of Missouri Kansas City, 2010)
  • Histories of Bodies: Poems (Red Hen Press, 2007)


  • M.A. in creative writing (poetry), New York University
  • B.A. with distinction in English and American literature, Boston University