Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Dwight Okita  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;

Born: August 26, 1958 in Chicago, Illinois

-- Website --
-- Dwight Okita on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Dwight was born in and still resides in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Dwight Okita is a contemporary poet. He was educated at the University of Illinois Chicago Circle. Okita has also written plays.To see Sally Parson's review of Okita's book ''The Prospect of My Arrival'' in the ''Windy City Times'', go to: []

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Crossing with the Light
ISBN: 0962428795

Tia Chucha. 1995

NOTE: Sometimes Amazon carries this book, sometimes it doesn't. Another way to purchase remaining copies of Crossing with the Light is to visit:
My debut novel Prospect was a Top 3 finalist in their international contest. The poems from this book have been reprinted in a multitude of textbooks and anthologies, including the Norton Introduction to Literature. Sadly, the book is going out of print.
This book contains one of the most reprinted poems about the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. It's called "In Response to Executive Order 9066." The poem has appeared in CELEBRATE AMERICA IN POETRY AND ART (Smithsonian) and many textbooks and anthologies. The poem looks at this moment in American history through the eyes of a teenage girl. Another popular poem is "Notes for a Poem on Being Asian American," which has appeared in the NORTON INTRODUCTION TO LITERATURE and NORTON INTRODUCTION TO POETRY. Okita's poetry is widely reprinted every year in textbooks and anthologies.
The book also looks at the poet's life as a gay man in poems like "When Frank Walks In" and "Where the Boys Were." This last poem was inspired by the AIDS crisis. There is often humor in the poems, sometimes a sense of wonder. Other titles included: "Mysteries of a Bowling Alley," "Letters I Never Wrote," and "Poem for the Unnamed." The Amazon page used to let visitors to Look Inside but it hasn't worked in a while. See below for more info in the "From the Author" section.
(If you enjoy Okita's poetry, you may want to take a peek at his award-winning, debut novel THE PROSPECT OF MY ARRIVAL. It was a finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards and is available on Amazon in both kindle and trade paperback. His forthcoming novels include THE HOPE STORE, and EVERY TIME WE SAY GOODBYE.)
Author site:

The Prospect of My Arrival
ISBN: 1460959892

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2011

A human embryo is allowed to preview the world before deciding whether to be born. His name is Prospect. To help him make up his mind, he will meet a range of people including a greeting card writer, a sociopath, and Prospect's inscrutable mother, among others. Trish Mesmer is the scientist charged with counseling Prospect, though she has more hidden agendas then a centipede has legs. At the same time, Trevor Grueling grows increasingly committed to derailing the bio-experiment all together. This speculative tale is served up with equal helpings of whimsy, dread, and hope. The book is literary fiction at heart, with a somewhat sci-fi premise, so the book may not appeal to hardcore sci-fi readers. Those who appreciate the trippy, modern world on display in the movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" or "Being There" may find themselves at home.
(If you enjoy imagery and language, Okita's poetry has been widely anthologized and taught in schools. His poetry book CROSSING WITH THE LIGHT is available on Amazon also!)


Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, 1988, for Achievement in Poetry

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

, Contact author directly at

Upcoming Appearance

Book Signing and Reading 7 30pm, Wedneday, Oct 26, 2011 at Women & Children First - 5233 N Clark, Chicago