Collage of book covers by Gene Luen Yang.

Gene Luen Yang

Learn more about this year's Distinguished Visiting Writer.

Cartoonist, teacher, and MacArthur Foundation Fellow

Gene Luen Yang writes, and sometimes draws, comic books and graphic novels. He advocates for the importance of reading, especially reading diversely, and served as the Library of Congress’ fifth National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. He is the first writer who works primarily in graphic novels to have held this post.

American Born Chinese, his first graphic novel from First Second Books, was the winner of the Printz Award and an Eisner Award, and was the first-ever graphic novel to be named a finalist for the National Book Award. His two-volume graphic novel Boxers & Saints won the L.A. Times Book Prize and was a National Book Award Finalist. His other works include Secret Coders (with Mike Holmes), The Shadow Hero (with Sonny Liew), New Super-Man from DC Comics (with various artists), and the Avatar: The Last Airbender series from Dark Horse Comics (with Gurihiru).

In 2016, he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow. His latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, was released in March 2020.

Follow Gene on Twitter @geneluenyang and learn more at

An Evening with Gene Luen Yang

Join the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program for an evening with Gene Luen Yang, the bestselling writer and artist behind American Born Chinese, Boxers & Saints, the Avatar: the Last Airbender comics, and many other iconic works. This online talk will explore the making of comics and graphic novels, bridging the gap between words and pictures, and the importance of narratives that convey a multitude of cultural experiences. The event will conclude with a live audience Q&A moderated by Bart Beaty, professor of advanced studies in comics at the University of Calgary.

Books will be available for online purchase via the University of Calgary Bookstore. Like all our events, this year's Distinguished Visiting Writer event is free and open to all. Please register to attend.

Thursday, March 11, 2021 | Online at 7 p.m. | Zoom Webinar

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