Front Cover by Jia Sung. Doppelganger, 2013. MIXED MEDIA ON BOARD. Courtesy of the artist.Order a copy now
Volume 59, Issue 4
IN THE EDITORS’ preface to Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers (1974), Frank Chin, Jeffrey Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong issued a provocative “shot across the bows” aimed at the U.S. literary canon. (The titular use of the hyphen in “Asian American” in Aiiieeeee! reflects a contemporaneous, mid-twentieth century usage.) Noting that Asian American authors had been “long ignored and forcibly excluded from creative participation in American culture,” Chin, Chan, Inada, and Wong stressed that Aiiieeeee! was the product of “fifty years of our whole voice.” Accessing the racist stereotype of a “yellow man as something that [sic] when wounded, sad, or angry, or swearing, or wondering whined, shouted, or screamed ‘aiiieeeee!’” the anthology’s editors were very much products of a mid-century civil rights movement marked by calls for increased cultural representation, radical self-determination, and greater political enfranchisement. Composed of seven generations of Japanese American, Chinese American, and Filipino American writing, Aiiieeeee! was among the first published anthologies to focus exclusively on Asian American authorship; as important, the collection’s unapologetic stance vis-à-vis a monolithic U.S. literary landscape was predicated on laying bare the “elegant, angry, and bitter” dimensions of the Asian American experience.
Almost fifty years have passed since Chin, Chan, Inada, and Wong dealt that initial cultural blow, and Asian American literature has grown to encompass not only points “east” but also sites “south,” “north,” and “west.” Whereas Aiiieeeee! was with few exceptions limited to East Asian American authors born in the United States, contemporary Asian American literature is marked by a capaciousness consistent with Lisa Lowe’s oft-used characterization of such work via frames of “heterogeneity,” “hybridity,” and “multiplicity” in Immigrant Acts. From diasporic South Asian essayists like Samina Najmi to Southeast Asian American elegists like Anida Yoeu Ali; from transnational Asian Canadian authors like Hari Alluri to third-generation U.S. writers like Amy Uyematsu; from gender nonconforming poets like Wo Chan to mixed-race graphic novelists such as Javanica Dai, the present-day terrain of Asian American literature is characterized by a profound geopolitical diversity that encompasses to varying degrees and often divergent ends the multifaceted experiences of native-born, immigrant, and refugee subjects. Such diversity by way of location is matched by a complexity with regard to histories of racialization, war, displacement, and resettlement. Last, but certainly not least, as the work in this special Massachusetts Review issue makes abundantly clear, Asian American writing — despite conservative claims “otherwise” — is an integral part of the U.S. literary canon.
While such assertions of “American-ness” vis-à-vis culture may initially strike an “odd” chord, Asian American literature — to continue with a war metaphor — has since the publication of Aiiieeeee! been under constant attack. As Viet Thanh Nguyen (the 2016 recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction and National Book Award finalist) recently reminded us in a May 3, 2018, Washington Post op-ed, those who emphasize the canonical place of Asian American writing within the established space of “Western literature” are quickly and mercilessly cast as brash “barbarians at the gate.” These narrow categorizations are by no means limited to those on the conservative side of the U.S. political spectrum; according to Nguyen, the rise of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee xenophobia on the right finds a parallel in attacking against “identity politics” on the left. The right blames newcomers, foreigners, and minorities for the cultural and economic decline of the country. The left blames the same group for insisting too strongly on their identities, which alienates some white people, distracts from the need to focus on inequality, and in academia threatens the canon.
Notwithstanding such polarizations, that in the face of distinct political agendas converge on either wholesale dismissal or selective embrace, Asian American literature — as Nguyen suggests and as the themes explored by those in this special issue accentuate — is incontrovertibly relevant with regard to the nation’s past and present.
The “identity politics” that brought Asian America “into being” were intimately tied to segregationist acts at home and disastrous foreign policy abroad. As Nguyen succinctly summarizes and evocatively surmises, the very term “Asian American” was “coined in 1968 by radical Berkeley students. Before then, we were ‘orientals’ at best, the ‘yellow peril’ at worst, excluded from the Western canon except when Western cannons were aimed at us.” In the five decades that have passed since the lexical genesis of “Asian American,” those included under this “identity politics” umbrella continue to negotiate a fractious national imaginary. Yet, as this special issue underscores, such negotiations — more often than not — assume an original, beautiful, and artistic register that is part and parcel of the contemporary Asian American literary canon.
This issue appears by way of a partnership between the Massachusetts Review, the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center (APAC), and the University of Connecticut Institute for Asian and Asian American Studies, with a guest editorial committee of Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, Rajini Srikanth, and Min Hyoung Song. It grows out of the 2017 Asian American Literature Festival, held July 27–29, at the Smithsonian and Library of Congress in Washington, DC, memorializing that historic occasion by featuring literary work commissioned as part of the festival, two “intimate lectures,” and a series of “literary addresses.” The two lectures, by Karen Tei Yamashita and Kimiko Hahn, offer inside, loving looks at key moments and key figures in Asian American literary history, and bookend the issue. The addresses, which assess the state and futures of Asian American literature from a range of vantage points, appear throughout the issue as nodes of creative and sociopolitical investment — and lampposts to guide the way. The hope is to illume outward, beyond the pages of this issue, to a rich and growing body of literature and what it augurs for our ever-migratory humanity.
— Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis, for the editors
by Karen Tei Yamashita
by Charles Yu
by Viet Thanh Nguyen, illustrated by Matt Huynh
by Amit Majmudar
by Sally Wen Mao, with an introduction by Ocean Vuong
The President's Telegram
Chinese Silence, Asian American Critique
thoughts in language
In the Ruins of Ani
Diana Khoi Nguyen
To My Future Lover in Pakistan and How to Raise a Bonsai
(B)Aiiieeeee!: The Future is Femme and Queer
Spring and Winter
My Therapist Asks If I Would Be Happier If I Were Straight
So are you Chinese or Japanese?
Bryan Thao Worra
To the Gentleman Who Catcalls Me Without Fail Every Morning on My Way to Work
Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay
Smile & Nod
The Boy Who First Fucked Me in High School Got Married Yesterday, Chasm, and Yellow Peril
Hieu Minh Nguyen
june 4, 2018: i wish i could wake up and make a sincere apology
Self-Portrait as Trees
The Older, the More
Northern Korea Postcard: Driving in South Hwanghae Province
Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Reflections and Camp
Anida Yoeu Ali
The Dictator En Route to His Burial at the National Heroes' Cemetery
R. Zamora Linmark
Jalalabad Will Never Be JBAD
Deconstructing Madmen: Mapping the Relevance of Asian American Literature
Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Minidoka Was a Concentration Camp in Idaho
W. Todd Kaneko
In the Tropics
Joseph O. Legaspi
Restless Energies: Reaching for the Far Horizon
Chaos Had No Eyes
What Can I Do?
John Okada, Introduction by Floyd Cheung
What Can I Do?
John Okada, Introduction by Floyd Cheung
Arhm Choi Wild
Ode to Mochi and Origin and Departure
Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Asian American Literature in the Twenty-First Century
Min Hyoung Song
The Mixed Race Myth
The End of Canon
Upon Stumbling Across a Bleached Bottlenose Dolphin Carcass at Provincetown and Snakebite
Kantian Love Story
Sex, Death, and Social Stationery
It Was a Yellow Light
Opening the Palm
Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
the mountains speak to the village
Ada, After the Bomb
The Pariah Niche
Angel Island: The Roots and Branches of Asian American Poetry
Table of Contents
The President’s Telegram, an essay by John Yau
Chinese Silence, Asian American Critique,
an address by Timothy Yu
thoughts in language, a poem by Ruth Ozeki
In the Ruins of Ani,
a memoir excerpt by Harry Harootunian
Oracle Bones, a graphic narrative by Matt Huynh
On Memorial, a poem by Diana Khoi Nguyen
To My Future Lover in Pakistan and
How to Raise a Bonsai, poems by Viplav Saini
Ravine, a poem by Arthur Sze
(B)Aiiieeeee!: The Future is Femme and Queer, an address by Franny Choi
Spring and Winter, poems by Chen Chen
Copper Beech, an essay by Rahul Mehta
My Therapist Asks If I Would Be Happier If I Were Straight,
a poem by Shelley Wong
“So are you Chinese or Japanese?,”
an address by Bryan Thao Worra
A Poetry Portfolio:
Introductory Note, by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials and
Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis
To the Gentleman Who Catcalls Me Without Fail
Every Morning on My Way to Work,
a poem by Saymoukda Duangphouxay Vongsay
Smile & Nod, a poem by Rami Karim
The Boy Who First Fucked Me in High School Got
Married Yesterday, Chasm, and Yellow Peril,
poems by Hieu Minh Nguyen
Invasive Species and Vocative,
poems by Amit Majmudar
Origin Story, a poem by Hari Alluri
june 4, 2018: i wish i could wake up and make
a sincere apology, a poem by Wo Chan
Self-Portrait as Trees, a poem by Hayan Charara
The Older, the More, a poem by Amy Uyematsu
Northern Korea Postcard: Driving in
South Hwanghae Province,
a poem by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Reflections and Camp, poems by Anida Yoeu Ali
The Dictator En Route to His Burial at the
National Heroes' Cemetery,
a poem by R. Zamora Linmark
Jalalabad Will Never Be JBAD,
a poem by Zohra Saed
Deconstructing Madmen: Mapping the Relevance
of Asian American Literature,
an address by Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
Domanju, an essay by Brandon Shimoda
Minidoka Was a Concentration Camp in Idaho,
a poem by W. Todd Kaneko
In the Tropics, a poem by Joseph O. Legaspi
Movement, a poem by Suman Chhabra
Restless Energies: Reaching for the Far Horizon,
an address by Rajini Srikanth
from Sweetness, a novel excerpt by Marina Budhos
Chaos Had No Eyes, a poem by Marilyn Chin
What Can I Do?, a story by John Okada,
with an introduction by Floyd Cheung
13th Anniversary, a poem by Arhm Choi Wild
Ode to Mochi and Origin and Departure,
poems by Mia Ayumi Malhotra
Rebirth, a story by Amit Majmudar
Heirloom, a poem by Christine Kitano
Asian American Literature in the Twenty-First Century,
an address by Min Hyoung Song
The Mixed Race Myth,
a graphic narrative by Javanica Dai
The End of Canon, an address by Kazim Ali
Upon Stumbling Across a Bleached Bottlenose Dolphin
Carcass at Provincetown and Snakebite,
poems by Rajiv Mohabir
Kantian Love Story, a poem by Alleliah Nuguid
Sex, Death, and Social Stationery,
an essay by Swati Khurana
Quick, a poem by Hyejung Kook
A Poetry Portfolio:
It Was a Yellow Light, a poem by Sarah Audsley
Opening the Palm,
a poem by Marci Calabretta Cancio-Bello
Amma, a story by Samina Najmi
the mountains speak to the village,
a poem by Raena Shirali
Ada, After the Bomb, a story by Alicia Upano
The Pariah Niche, an essay by Geeta Kothari
A Cosmology, a poem by Jane Wong
Angel Island: The Roots and Branches
of Asian American Poetry, an essay by Kimiko Hahn
Notes on Contributors
ANIDA YOEU ALI is an educator, performance artist and global agitator. Ali is the winner of the 2014-2015 Sovereign Asian Art Prize for her series The Buddhist Bug. She has performed and exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, Musée d'art Contemporain Lyon, Malay Heritage Centre, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Karin Weber Gallery Hong Kong, and Queensland Art Gallery. Her artistic works have been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Art Matters Foundation, Ford Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts and Tacoma Arts Commission. Currently based in Tacoma, Ali is also the co-founder of Studio Revolt, and currently serves as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington, Bothell.
KAZIM ALI'S most recent books are Inquisition and Silver Road: Essay, Maps and Calligraphies. Northern Light, a memoir of his childhood growing up in northern Manitoba, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions. He divides his time between Ohio and California.
HARI ALLURI is the author of The Flayed City, Carving Ashes, and the chapbook The Promise of Rust. An award-winning poet, educator, and cofounding editor at Locked Horn Press, his work appears in anthologies, journals and online venues, including Chautauqua, Poetry International, and on Split This Rock. He immigrated to Vancouver, Musqueam land, and writes there again, where he is currently working on a poetic intervention into the story of Ekalavya.
SARAH AUDSLEY, a Korean adoptee, lives and writes in New Hampshire's White Mountains region. She is a candidate in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Her non-fiction has appeared in Appalachia Journal and Alpinist magazine and her poetry has appeared in Four Way Review, Potluck Magazine, and the Massachusetts Review.
MARINA BUDHOS is an author of award-winning fiction and nonfiction. Her most recent novel Watched received an Asian-Pacific American Award in Literature Honor. With her co-author Marc Aronson, she published Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro & The Invention of Modern Photojournalism, and Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom & Science, which was a finalist for an LA Times Book Award. Her new novel, The Long Ride, is due out from Random House in 2019. Budhos has been a Fulbright Scholar to India, and is a professor of English at William Paterson University.
MARCI CALABRETTA CANCIO-BELLO is the author of Hour of the Ox (University of Pittsburgh, 2016), which won the 2015 AWP Donald Hall Prize for Poetry and the 2016 Florida Book Award bronze medal for poetry. She has received poetry fellowships from Kundiman, the Knight Foundation, and the American Literary Translators Association. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, The Georgia Review, The New York Times, and more. She serves as a program coordinator for Miami Book Fair.
WO CHAN is a poet and drag performer living in Brooklyn. Wo is the author of the chapbook Order the World, Mom, and has received honors from the New York Foundation of the Arts, Kundiman, Lambda Literary, and the Asian American Writers Workshop. As a standing member of the Brooklyn based drag/burlesque collective Switch N' Play, Wo has performed at venues including The Whitney, Joe's Pub, National Sawdust, New York Live Arts, and BAM Fisher. Wo was born in Macau, China, and currently lives in New York where they are an MFA Candidate in Poetry at NYU.
HAYAN CHARARA'S most recent book is Something Sinister. He is founding and series editor, with Fady Joudah, of the Etel Adnan Poetry Prize. He lives in Houston, TX.
CHEN CHEN is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which won the A. Poulin, Jr. Poetry Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry. The collection was also longlisted for the National Book Award for Poetry and named a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. He is the 2018-2020 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University.
FLOYD CHEUNG is Professor of English Language and Literature and of American Studies at Smith College. His scholarly work focuses on the recovery of lesser-known early Asian American literature including H. T. Tsiang's And China Has Hands and John Okada: The Life and Rediscovered Work of the Author of No-No Boy. With Keith Lawrence, he coedited and contributed to Recovered Legacies: Authority and Identity in Early Asian American Literature.
SUMAN CHHABRA is a multigenre writer and cellist. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chhabra is the author of Demons Off, a chapbook through Meekling Press. She is a Kundiman Fellow and her work has been supported by Ragdale, Vermont Studio Center, TAYO, Poemeleon, WINDOW, Hair Club, and Homonym. Chhabra teaches at SAIC.
MARILYN CHIN'S award-winning poems and tales are Asian American classics and are taught all over the world. Her newest book is A Portrait of the Self as Nation: New and Selected Poems. Presently, she serves as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. She lives in San Diego.
FRANNY CHOI is the author of Soft Science and Floating, Brilliant, Gone, as well as a chapbook, Death by Sex Machine. She has received fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Helen Zell Writers Program. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, American Poetry Review, the New England Review, and elsewhere. She is a Kundiman fellow, co-host of the podcast VS, and member of the Dark Noise Collective.
JAVANICA DAI is currently an undergraduate English major and art hobbyist. Her favorite fish is the coelacanth.
LAWRENCE-MINH BÙI DAVIS, PHD is Curator of Asian Pacific American Studies at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center and founding Director of the Washington, DC-based arts nonprofit The Asian American Literary Review.
JENNIFER KWON DOBBS is the author of Paper Pavilion, Interrogation Room, and the chapbooks Notes from a Missing Person and Necro Citizens. A recipient of grants from the Daesan Foundation, Minnesota State Arts Board among others, she is currently coediting an anthology of auto-critical writing on kinship and is associate professor of creative writing and director of Race and Ethnic Studies at St. Olaf College.
KIMIKO HAHN is the author of nine books of poetry, including The Artist's Daughter, The Narrow Road to the Interior, Toxic Flora, and Brain Fever. She is the winner of the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, the American Book Award, and the Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. She has also been award fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hahn teaches in the MFA program at Queens College. In 2016, she was elected president of the Poetry Society of America.
HARRY HAROOTUNIAN is the Max Palevsky Professor of history, emeritus, at the University of Chicago. He is an adjunct senior research professor at the Weatherhead East Asian Institute at Columbia University. He is the author of two forthcoming books: Uneven Moments in Japan’s Modern History, and In the Ruins of Ani: The Armenian Genocide and Its Unaccounted Lives.
MATT HUYNH is a visual artist based in New York City. His bold brush and ink paintings are informed by Eastern sumi-e ink traditions and Western comics. His animation, paintings, and comics interrogate war, diaspora, asylum seekers, and migrant communities. Huynh’s work has been exhibited at MOMA, the Smithsonian, the Sydney Opera House, and the New York Historical Society.
W. TODD KANEKO is the author of The Dead Wrestler Elegies, co-author of Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, and his poems and prose can be seen in many journals and anthologies. A Kundiman fellow, he is coeditor of the online literary journal Waxwing and lives in Grand Rapids, MI, where he teaches creative writing at Grand Valley State University.
RAMI KARIM is a writer from Los Angeles by way of Beirut. He is the author of Smith & Nod, and his work has appeared in Halal If You Hear Me: An Anthology of Queer and Nonbinary Muslim Writers, the Brooklyn Review, Apogee, Makhzin, The Margins, and Tagvverk, among others. He is a 2017-2018 Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, a lecturer at the City University of New York, and a 2018 artist-in-residence at Cité internationale des arts in Paris.
SWATI KHURANA is a contemporary artist, who was born in New Delhi, India in 1975, and emigrated to New York in 1977, where she lives and works. She works in embroidery, collage, drawing, and installation, exploring gender and rituals that are particular to Indian immigrant culture. Khurana has exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution,, Exit Art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Warsaw).
CHRISTINE KITANO is the author of the poetry collections Sky Country and Birds of Paradise. She teaches poetry and Asian American literature at Ithaca College.
HYEJUNG KOOK'S poetry has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner, Pleiades, Hyphen Magazine, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Poems2go, and wildness. Other works include an essay in The Critical Flame and Flight, a chamber opera libretto. Hyejung is a Fulbright grantee and a Kundiman fellow.
GEETA KOTHARI is the author of I Brake for Moose and Other Stories and the editor of "Did My Mama Like to Dance?" and Other Stories about Mothers and Daughters. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in various journals and anthologies, including New England Review, Fourth Genre, and Best American Essays. She teaches at the University of Pittsburgh and currently serves as the nonfiction editor at the Kenyon Review.
JOSEPH O. LEGASPI is the author of the poetry collections Threshold and Imago, both from CavanKerry Press; and three chapbooks: Postcards (Ghost Bird Press), Aviary, Bestiary (Organic Weapon Arts), and Subways (Thrush Press). Recent works have appeared in POETRY, New England Review, World Literature Today, Beloit Poetry Journal, and the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day. He cofounded Kundiman, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to nurturing generations of writers and readers of Asian American literature.
R. ZAMORA LINMARK is the author of Pop Vérité and three other poetry collections, all from Hanging Loose Press. He's also written two novels, Leche and Rolling the R's, which he'd adapted for the stage. Forthcoming is his first novel for young adults, The Importance of Being Wilde at Heart, from Delacorte Press/Random House. He currently lives in Honolulu and Manila.
AMIT MAJMUDAR'S next books are Soar: A Novel and Kill List: Poems. His most recent book is Godsong: A Verse Translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, with Commentary. He has served as Ohio's first Poet Laureate and works as a diagnostic nuclear radiologist in Westerville, OH, where he lives with his wife and three children..
MIA AYUMI MALHOTRA is the author of Isako Isako, winner of the 2017 Alice James Award. She received her MFA from the University of Washington and is a Kundiman and VONA/Voices Fellow. Her poems have appeared in Indiana Review, The Greensboro Review, Best New Poets, and elsewhere. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
SALLY WEN MAO is the author of Oculus and Mad Honey Symposium. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the New York Public Library Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers.
RAHUL MEHTA is the author of the short story collection Quarantine, which won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Debut Fiction and the Asian American Literary Award for Fiction, and the novel No Other World. His fiction and essays have appeared in the Kenyon Review, the Sun, Noon, New Stories from the South, the New York Times Magazine and elsewhere. Born and raised in West Virginia, he teaches creative writing at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.
RAJIV MOHABIR is the author of The Cowherd’s Son, and The Taxidermist’s Cut. In 2015 he was a winner of the AWP Intro Journals Award. His poetry appears and is forthcoming from journals like POETRY, New England Review, Kenyon Review, Quarterly West, and Prairie Schooner. He received his MFA in Poetry and Translation from at Queens College, CUNY and his PhD in English from the University of Hawai`i. Currently he is an assistant professor of poetry at Auburn University.
SAMINA NAJMI is professor of English at California State University, Fresno. Her essays have appeared in World Literature Today, Entropy, The Progressive, and others. Her essay “Abdul” won Map Literary’s 2012 nonfiction prize and “Greenford’s Gift” was selected by Roxane Gay for publication in The Rumpus. A recent Hedgebrook residency allowed her to complete a draft of her memoir-in-essays, Beneath the Dust of Distances: 379-A/1.
DIANA KHOI NGUYEN'S debut collection, Ghost Of, was selected by Terrance Hayes for the Omnidawn Open Contest. In addition to winning the 92Y “Discovery”/Boston Review Poetry Contest, she is pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Denver.
HIEU MINH NGUYEN is a queer Vietnamese American poet and performer based out of Minneapolis. Recipient of 2017 NEA fellowship for poetry, Hieu is a Kundiman fellow, a poetry editor for Muzzle Magazine, and an MFA candidate at Warren Wilson College. His work has appeared in PBS Newshour, POETRY Magazine, Gulf Coast, BuzzFeed, Poetry London, Nashville Review, Indiana Review, and more. His debut collection of poetry, This Way to the Sugar (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) was named a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the MN Book Award. His second collection of poetry, Not Here, is forthcoming with Coffee House Press in 2018.
VIET THANH NGUYEN'S novel The Sympathizer is a New York Times best seller and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Other honors include the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, the Andrew Carnegie Medal from the ALA, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, among others. His other books are Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award) and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. He is the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.
ALLELIAH NUGUID is from Fremont, CA. Her work has most recently appeared in Nimrod, Reservoir, and Salt Hill Journal. Currently she is a doctoral candidate at the University of Utah.
Born in Seattle in 1923, JOHN OKADA was studying at the University of Washington when he and his family were incarcerated at Minidoka War Relocation Center in 1942. Okada was recruited out of the camps to serve as a Japanese-language translator for the US Army during World War II. Afterwards, he finished bachelor's degrees in English and in library science at the University of Washington, as well as a master's degree in English at Columbia University. He is best known for his novel, No-No Boy (1957). Okada died in 1971.
RUTH OZEKI is a writer, Zen priest and author of three novels, My Year of Meats, All Over Creation, and A Tale for the Time Being. She is teaches creative writing at Smith College, where she is the Grace Jarcho Ross 1933 Professor of Humanities.
ZOHRA SAED is the co-editor, with Sahar Muradi, of One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature (University of Arkansas Press), editor of Langston Hughes: Poems, Photos and Notebook from Turkestan 1932-1933; and Woman. Hand/Pen.. Her essays on the Central Asian diaspora have appeared in Eating Asian America, The Asian American Literary Review, Aster(ix), and Tongue: A Journal of Writing and Art. She is co-founder UpSet Press, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit indie press, with poet Robert Booras.
VIPLAV SAINI grew up in India and is an associate professor of economics at Oberlin College. A Kundiman Fellow, he has received a Katharine Bakeless award from the Breadloaf Writer’s Conference and a fellowship from the Palm Beach Poetry Festival.
CATHY J. SCHLUND-VIALS is a professor of English and Asian/Asian American studies at the University of Connecticut. She is the author of Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing and War, Genocide, and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work. She has edited or coedited Disability, Human Rights, and the Limits of Humanitarianism, Keywords for Asian American Studies, Asian America: A Primary Source Reader, Beiging of America: Personal Narratives about Being Mixed Race in the Twenty-First Century, Flashpoints for Asian American Studies, and Redrawing the Historical Past: Multiethnic Graphic Narrative, among others. She is currently working on two book-length projects: the first is concentrated on distanced warfare, disability, and rights violation in U. wars in Asia; the second on video games, comics, and militarized excess.
BRANDON SHIMODA'S recent books are The Desert (poetry and prose, The Song Cave), Dept. of Posthumous Letters (drawings, with text by Dot Devota and Caitie Moore, Argos Books) and The Grave on the Wall (an ancestral memoir, forthcoming from City Lights), from which "Domanju" is excerpted. He lives in the desert.
RAENA SHIRALI is a poet, editor, and educator from Charleston, South Carolina. Author of GILT, Shirali recently received the 2018 Milt Kessler Poetry Book Award and a VIDA scholarship for Sundress Academy for the Arts’ Residency. Her other honors include a Pushcart Prize, the Philip Roth Residency at Bucknell University’s Stadler Center for Poetry, and the Gulf Coast Poetry Prize. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is a co-organizer for We (Too) Are Philly, a summer poetry festival highlighting voices of color. She also serves as Poetry Editor for Muzzle Magazine and Poetry Reader for Vinyl.
MIN HYOUNG SONG is a professor of English at Boston College. He is the author of The Children of 1965: On Writing and Not Writing as an Asian American and Strange Future: Pessimism ad the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, as well as the co-editor of The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature. He is currently writing a book about climate change and children in American literature.
RAJINI SRIKANTH is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her publications and teaching cover Asian American literature, human rights, comparative race and ethnic studies, and transnational American Studies. She is, most recently, the co-editor of The Cambridge History of Asian American Literature; her earlier publications include the book Constructing the Enemy: Empathy/Antipathy in US Literature and Law and the award-winning book The World Next Door: South Asian American Literature and the Idea of America.
JIA SUNG is an artist and educator, born in Minnesota, bred in Singapore, now based in Brooklyn. She is currently an art director at Guernica, a 2018-2019 Smack Mellon Studio Artist, and recipient of the Van Lier Fellowship. Since graduating from RISD in 2015, her work has been featured in publications such as Hyperallergic, Jacobin, the Poetry Foundation, TED Talks, Lenny Letter, Nautilus, and exhibited at La Mama Galleria, the Whitney Houston Biennial, and the RISD Museum.
ARTHUR SZE'S tenth book of poetry, Sight Lines, will be published in early 2019 by Copper Canyon Press. He is a recipient of the Jackson Poet Prize from Poets & Writers and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 2012 to 2017.
ALICIA UPANO is the recipient of the 2018 James Jones First Novel Fellowship and the fiction winner of the 2016 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award Hawai‘i. Her creative work has appeared in the Asian American Literary Review and Bamboo Ridge, among others. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, she’s lived in Asia and on both U.S. continental coasts, and currently resides on O‘ahu with her family.
AMY UYEMATSU is a sansei (third-generation Japanese American) poet and teacher from Los Angeles. She has five published collections: 30 Miles from J-Town; Nights of Fire, Nights of Rain; Stone Bow Prayer; The Yellow Door; and Basic Vocabulary. She was a co-editor of the widely used UCLA anthology, Roots: An Asian American Reader. A former public high school math instructor, she currently leads a writing workshop at the Far East Lounge in L.A.’s Little Tokyo.
OCEAN VUONG is the author of Night Sky with Exit Wounds and the debut novel On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019). His writings have been featured in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New Yorker, and American Poetry Review. Born in Saigon, Vietnam, he lives in Western Massachusetts where he serves as an Assistant Professor at Umass-Amherst.
SAYMOUKDA DUANGPHOUXAY VONGSAY is a Lao American poet and playwright. She was born in a refugee camp in Nongkhai, Thailand, and immigrated to Minnesota in 1984. Her plays have been presented by the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Theater Mu, Consortium of Asian American Theater Artists, and Theater Unbound. She's an Aspen Ideas Bush Foundation scholar, a Playwrights Center Many Voices fellow in playwriting, a Loft Literary Center Spoken Word Immersion fellow, among others. Her picture book, When Everything is Everything, is a love note to the Lao diaspora.
ARHM CHOI WILD is a Kundiman fellow and holds a MFA in Poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. She has been published in the anthology Daring to Repair by Wising Up Press and in the magazines Barrow Street, Split this Rock, Two Hawks Quarterly, Peal, Otoliths, and Scholars & Rogues. She has been working as a teacher in New York City for the last five years, and has performed and competed in poetry slams across the country, including at Brave New Voices, the Bowery Poetry Club, the Michigan Theater, and Asheville WordFest.
JANE WONG'S poems can be found in Best American Poetry 2015, American Poetry Review, Third Coast, jubilat and others. A Kundiman fellow, she is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from the U.S. Fulbright Program, the Fine Arts Work Center, Hedgebrook, and Bread Loaf. She is the author of Overpour (Action Books, 2016) and is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Western Washington University.
SHELLEY WONG is the author of the chapbook Rare Birds. Her poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, Kenyon Review Online, Sycamore Review, and Verse Daily.She is the recipient of a 2017 Pushcart Prize and fellowships and support from Kundiman, MacDowell Colony, Kenyon Review Writers Workshop, Fine Arts Work Center, I-Park Foundation, Fire Island National Seashore, and SPACE (Portland, ME).
BRYAN THAO WORRA is the president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association. a forty-year-old international organization. A Lao American writer, he holds over twenty awards for his writing and community leadership, including an NEA fellowship, and was a Cultural Olympian representing Laos during the 2012 London summer Games. One of the cofounders of the National Lao American Writers Summit, Worra is the author of six books, with work appearing internationally.
KAREN TEI YAMASHITA is the author of seven books, including I Hotel, finalist for the National Book Award, and more recently, Letters to Memory, all published by Coffee House Press. She received a US Artists Ford Foundation Fellowship, and is professor of literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
JOHN YAU is a poet, fiction writer, publisher, and critic, whose latest books include a selection of essays, The Wild Children of William Blake; two monographs, Thomas Nozkowski and Philip Taaffe; and book of poetry, Bijoux in the Dark. He lives in New York and is professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University.
CHARLES YU is the author of three books, including his most recent story collection, Sorry Please Thank You. He has written for HBO, AMC, FX and Adult Swim. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Wired, and Slate, among other publications.
TIMOTHY YU is the author of the poetry collection 100 Chinese Silences, an editors’ selection in the NOS Book Contest from Les Figues Press, and three chapbooks of poetry. He is also the author of Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1965 and editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets. His work has recently appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Poetry, and the New Republic. He is professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.