Lawrence Matsuda was born in the Minidoka, Idaho, World War II Relocation Center, a concentration camp. He was among the approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans who were held without due process, some for three or more years. Matsuda has a Ph.D. in education and was a visiting professor at Seattle University. In 2005 he and two colleagues co-edited the book Community and Difference: Teaching, Pluralism and Social Justice, Peter Lang Publishing, New York. It won the 2006 National Association of Multicultural Education Phillip Chinn Book Award. In 2010 Black Lawrence Press published his first book of poetry, A Cold Wind from Idaho. “Minidoka Fences” also appeared in Cerise Press 1:3, Spring 2010.
His second book, Glimpses of a Forever Foreigner, was released in August of 2014. It is a collaboration between Matsuda and artist Roger Shimomura. In 2015 he completed two graphic novels with art work by Matt Sasaki and interviews with Japanese American fighters from the 442nd and their relatives; part one, An American Hero: Shiro Kashino, was released in April 2015 and part two, Fighting for America: Nisei Soldiers, was released in September 2015, published by Wing Luke Museum and Nisei Veterans Committee Foundation