Jose Wendell P. Capili was educated at the University of Santo Tomas (UST), University of the Philippines (UP), The University of Tokyo, The University of Cambridge, and The Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies (RSPAS), Australian National University (ANU), where he earned his PhD on the emergence of Southeast Asian Diaspora Writers in Australia from 1972 to 2007.
He is a Professor of English, Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at the College of Arts and Letters (CAL), UP Diliman (UPD), and the Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs and Director, Office of Alumni Relations (OAR), University of the Philippines System.
He was a holder of the UP Carlos P. Romulo Professorial Chair (1998-1999, 2000-2001) and the UP Centennial Professorial Chair (2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011). Previously, he was Program Development Associate to the UP Diliman Chancellor (1997-1999, 1999-2001); and UP CAL Associate Dean for Administration and Development (2000-2003, 2003-2004), Associate Dean for Research, Creative Works and Publications (April-May 2007), and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2007-2009).
He received Carlos Palanca, Cultural Center of the Philippines, USTETIKA, UP Outstanding Student Artist, UP International Publication, UP Diliman Gawad Chancellor, and UP creative writing grant awards for his poetry and essays, as well as scholarships, grants, and fellowships from the Cambridge Trust, British Council, The Japanese Ministry of Education (Monbusho), The University of Hong Kong/Standard Chartered Bank, Korea Foundation, Asia-Europe Institute and Cultural Centre of The University of Malaya (UM), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), University of Kyoto, UP, and the ANU in the fields of creative writing, literature, social anthropology, and history.
His books are A Madness of Birds (poems, University of the Philippines Press, 1998); Bloom and Memory (essays, University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2002), Mabuhay to Beauty! (pop culture, Milflores Publishing, 2003), From the Editors: Migrant Communities and Emerging Australian Community (Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, 2007), and Salu-Salo: In Conversation with Filipinos (with John Cheeseman, Blacktown and Liverpool, New South Wales, Australia: Blacktown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse, 2008). With John Jack Wigley, he translated and edited Lupito and the Circus Village (written by Rowald Almazar, artworks by Jose Santos III, Manila: University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2008).
His poems, reviews, creative/critical essays, newspaper articles and academic papers were published in Australia, Austria, England, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States, including Anagram (Johns Hopkins University), Ani (Cultural Center of the Philippines), Budhi (Ateneo de Manila), Bulawan (National Commission on Culture and the Arts), Business Mirror, Caracoa, Diliman Review (UP), Korea Times, Korea Herald, Literary Review (Farleigh Dickinson University), Mabuhay (Philippine Air Lines), Manila Chronicle, Philippine Daily Globe, The Philippine Daily Inquirer, The Philippines Free Press, Philippine Graphic, Philippine Studies (Ateneo de Manila), Poet's Voice (University of Graz, Austria), Sands and Coral (Silliman University), Solidarity, Southeast Asian Review of English (Malaysia), Sunday Inquirer Magazine, Westerly (University of Western Australia), and the PEN International Poetry Anthology (Japan PEN).
In 2005, Capili was a visiting scholar at The National University of Singapore, The University of Sydney, The University of Western Australia, The University of Melbourne, and The University of Queensland. His poems and critical essays were read and featured during the 2000 British Council Seminar on the Contemporary Writer at the University of Cambridge, the inaugural Hong Kong International Literary Festival at the Fringe Club and the University of Hong Kong (2001), the 2007 & 2008 Sydney Writers' Festival at Casula Powerhouse and Liverpool Regional Museum, and the 76th PEN International Congress at Keio Plaza Hotel, Japan P.E.N. Club, and Waseda University (Tokyo, 2011).