Tacoma Program

Peter Bacho

Peter Bacho

"Peter nourished belief in myself, initiated a love for writing and inspired me to continue my education"

Evergreen Tacoma Graduate

Peter Bacho

Peter Bacho is the author of five books: Cebu, Dark Blue Suit, Boxing in Black and White, Nelson's Run, Entrys and his latest Leaving Yesler. His books have received several awards, including the 1992 American Book Award. His script, A Christmas for Dancing, was named a finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

Bacho graduated summa cum laude from Seattle University in 1971. He earned two law degrees from the University of Washington in 1974 and 1981, respectively. In 1988, Bacho worked as an assistant professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at the University of Washington. He was a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1989. During this time, he was also a regular editorial contributor for the Christian Science Monitor, where he specialized on Philippine politics and covered issues ranging from politics to war. He also wrote for major foreign policy journals including SAIS and the Journal of International Affairs. Eventually, he became a full-time editorial writer for The News Tribune in Tacoma (1999-2004).

Bacho won the American Book Award for Cebu in 1992. His short story “The Wedding” received a “distinguished” cite, Best American Short Stories of 1993. His second book, Dark Blue Suit, won the Murray Morgan Award and a Washington State Governor's Writers Award, in 1998. His nonfiction work, Boxing in Black and White was listed in the top 100 books of 1999 by the Center for Children’s Books (University of Illinois). In 2004 he was a semi-finalist in the prestigious Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project, a national competition co-sponsored by Paramount Pictures. Seattle University named Bacho the Distinguished Northwest Writer in Residence for 2005. In 2006, the University of Washington listed Cebu as one of the top 100 books written by a UW writer over the past century (1906-2006). In 2008, the Northwest Asian Weekly honored him as a literary “pioneer.”

Bacho is the foremost chronicler of the Filipino-American experience. As a child he lived with his immigrant parents in migrant worker camps, traveling from harvest to harvest. Much of his youth was spent in Seattle’s blue collar and multi-ethnic Central District, a place of hard lives and tough times. He was the first in his family to graduate from high school, then college and finally law school. These experiences continue to inform his writing.

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