Mentorship Program

Mentorship Program

Kundiman is partnering with the Asian American Literary Review and the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center to offer a mentorship program to emerging Asian American writers!

Mentees receive a two month long mentorship, $1000 honorarium, travel, and lodging, and a feature reading with their mentors at the first-ever Asian American Literary Festival. They will also have their exchange published in the Asian American Literary Review.

During a two month long letter writing exchange, mentors and mentees will share work, exchange ideas about writing process, craft and practice, the writing life, Asian American history, and personal reflections about the world around them. The exchange will begin and end with a Skype conversation with mentors. The mentorship will culminate in a reading at the Asian American Literary Festival, July 27–July 29th, in Washington, D.C., where mentees will meet with their mentor for lunch and participate in a featured reading.


Any writer who self-identifies as Asian American who has not published a full length book by the date of the festival. Writers must be in the United States at the time of the literary festival.

Applications are due April 15 via Submittable.



Paisley Rekdal (poetry)

Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee, a hybrid-genre photo-text memoir entitled Intimate, and four books of poetry: A Crash of Rhinos, Six Girls Without Pants, The Invention of the Kaleidoscope and Animal Eye, which was a finalist for the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Prize, the Balcones Prize and winner of the UNT Rilke Prize. Her newest book of poems, Imaginary Vessels, has just been published, and a book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, a Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam is forthcoming in 2017. Her work has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Civitella Ranieri Residency, an NEA Fellowship, the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Her poems and essays have appeared in or are forthcoming from The New York Times Magazine, American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Tin House, the Best American Poetry series, and on National Public Radio among others. She currently teaches at the University of Utah, where she is also the creator and editor of the community web project Mapping Salt Lake City.

Alexander Chee (prose)

Alexander Chee is the bestselling author of The Queen of the Night and Edinburgh. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, an editor at large at VQR and The Lit Hub, and a critic at large for The Los Angeles Times. His essays and stories have appeared in Best American Essays 2016, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, and Out, among others. He is winner of the Whiting Award, the AAWW Lit Award, and fellowships from the NEA and the MCCA. He teaches creative writing at Dartmouth College.