Kelsey Cleveland is an American writer currently working on a travel memoir, Waving Hello, Bowing Goodbye: A Dual Love Story with Japan and a Man. She began pursuing her childhood dream to learn Japanese at Smith College and continued at Nanzan University in Nagoya. Later, she spent eight years living in Kobe and traveling throughout Japan. She worked for the Osaka City government as a Coordinator of International Relations for the Osaka Sister City Network as part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). She also served as the first Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Canadian Academy, an international school in Kobe.
Excerpts from her travel memoir, Waving Hello, Bowing Goodbye, have received honorable mention in the Writer's Digest 86th Annual Writing Competition, won Creative Nonfiction's daily micro-essay contest, and been published in Monologging (Autumn 2021 issue), and Press Pause (November 2021 issue). Her essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Smith College Alumnae Quarterly, Hippocampus Magazine, the Brevity blog, Oregon Humanities Magazine, and the Sankei Shimbun (in Japanese), a major newspaper in Osaka. Cleveland has studied memoir/narrative nonfiction at Hedgebrook, Catapult, and with Marion Roach Smith.
She now resides with her husband and teenage son outside Portland, Oregon, where she works for Portland Japanese Garden, belongs to Willamette Writers, and her passport is safely stowed for now. Connect with her on Twitter @kerushi_san.