Congratulations to the 2016 Kundiman Poetry Prize Winner!

Tupelo Press and Kundiman are delighted to make the joint announcement that Tupelo Press Editor-in-Chief Jeffrey Levine and Poetry Editor Cassandra Cleghorn have selected Sharon Wang of Ridgewood, New York, as winner of the 2016 Kundiman Poetry Prize for her manuscript, The Republic of Mercy.

Sharon Wang's poems have appeared in journals including Blackbird, Omniverse, The Volta, and Tupelo Quarterly. She is a poet and software engineer living in New York City.

Cassandra Cleghorn and Jeffrey Levine on The Republic of Mercy:

This is a startling, ambitious debut. In Sharon Wang's thrilling and corporeal geometry, touch dominates, if often in its "aftermarks": singes, whiffs, folds of fabric, echoing gestures between bodies. A sureness of craft and extraordinary control of tone enable Wang to move through a range of lyric personae, always believable, never reducible, by turns modest ("here move slowly we are not practiced"), speculative, heart-broken, ecstatic, even giddy with vaulting dreams ("But who wouldn't want to be the sun"). With generous language and quicksilver intelligence, Wang expresses "a hunger so large it stops the mouth." In Wang's hands abstractions beget the world; the poems describe what is "hard and brilliant," the spaces between objects, and what's left in the wake of losses. But despite its attunement both to elegy and to witness, the mode is praise: "He loved the world. He loved it suddenly / and without reason." Like the book's favorite flower, the aster, Wang's poems contain something that threads inside them, "asking them to open, shut, live." And live they do. As the poet works to understand, "If in fact it wasn't possible to build/ the world anew," she does build –– extravagantly, judiciously, lovingly. The result is a book of radiant integrity.

Sharon Wang receives a $1,000 cash prize, publication by Tupelo Press, and national distribution.

Heartfelt congratulations to the following distinguished finalists:

Bird of the Indian Subcontinent by Subhashini Kaligotla, A Lesser Love by EJ Koh, Goddess of Democracy: An Occupy Lyric by Henry Wei Leung, When I See You Again, It Will Be With a Different Face by Mia Ayumi Malhotra, Bridled by Amy Meng, So Far by Laurel Akemi Nakanishi, Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater by Sam Roxas-Chua, The Secret Lives of Misspelled Cities by Zohra Saed, and Welcome Home, Spaceboy! by Armin Tolentino.

This marks the second year of the new partnership between Tupelo Press, a nonprofit, independent literary press, and Kundiman, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation and cultivation of Asian American literature. Tupelo Press selects the winner of the annual Kundiman Poetry Prize from among a group of finalists chosen by Kundiman's artistic board. Now in its 7th year, the Kundiman Poetry Prize ensures the annual publication of a book by an Asian American poet. The award is open to self-identified Asian American poets at any stage in their careers.

Kundiman Interim Executive Director Search: Apply by May 31st

We are seeking an interim Executive Director who will advance Kundiman’s mission by supporting our key programs, building bridges across communities, and providing Kundiman with sustainable growth. This position will be supported by a Managing Director and several interns. The ideal candidate is committed to arts and the Asian American community. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for Kundiman’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its mission.

The deadline to apply for this position is May 31st, 2016.

For more information, please follow this link.

Feb 1 – April 15 (Extended): Submit to the Kundiman Poetry Prize


The Kundiman Poetry Prize is dedicated to publishing exceptional work by Asian American poets at any stage of their career. Winner receives $1,000 and book publication with Tupelo Press. Submit your manuscript by April 15th, 2016. 


Tupelo Press is an independent, literary press devoted to discovering and publishing works of poetry, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction by emerging and established writers.


2015 –– Rajiv Mohabir, The Cowherd's Son
2014 –– Janine Joseph, Driving Without a License 
2013 –– Lo Kwa Mei-en, Yearling 
2012 –– Cathy Linh Che, Split 
2011 –– Matthew Olzmann, Mezzanines 
2010 –– Janine Oshiro, Pier 


Asian American writers living in the United States.

To learn more about general manuscript guidelines or how to submit, please visit:

Support 2016 Kundiman Fellows



Kundiman is excited to welcome new and returning fellows to the 2016 Retreat. In 2015, Kundiman has had a successful campaign, and we were able to raise $15,500 for room and board. Though room and board are free, each fellow must pay a non-refundable tuition fee of $375 plus the cost of travel to attend the Retreat.

In an effort to help first-time and returning Fellows attend the 2016 Retreat, we have created a Support 2016 Kundiman Fellows crowd-funding campaign. Fellows can create their individual teams, in which their networks of family and friends can make a direct donation. 

Check out the campaign here. Read about each of our fellows and show support by giving $5, $10, $20, $100...any small donation goes a long way! Your donation will go toward a Fellow’s tuition and will help defray the cost of travel. Please donate today to support a 2016 Kundiman Fellow! 

about the retreat

This five-day Retreat will take place at Fordham University's Rose Hill Campus located in the Bronx, NYC from June 15-19th, 2016. Poetry and Fiction Fellows will work with nationally renowned Asian American faculty Jaswinder Bolina, Kimiko Hahn, Lee Herrick, Porochista Khakpour, R. Zamora Linmark, and Bich Minh Nguyen. At the Retreat, accepted fellows have the opportunity to write in a safe and instructive environment that identifies and addresses the unique challenges faced by emerging Asian American writers. Generative in nature, the workshops are designed to help fellows write new work. Daily activities include craft talks, readings, group writing exercises, and social gatherings. Our hope is that fellows are able to forge a deeper relationship to their artistic process and are able to encounter their work with renewed focus and energy. 

March 15: Emotive Fruition Call for Submissions

Updated Call for submissions

Emotive Fruition, a performance series where poets and actors come together to create a show of live poetry, is seeking submissions for its May 25th show at the Botanic Lab in NYC. This episode will be held in conjunction with the release of Janine Joseph’s debut collection, Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Prize for Poetry. Joseph's powerful collection speaks directly to the experience of living and writing as an undocumented person in America today. 

For this themed performance, we are looking for published or unpublished poems that explore notions and experiences of (un)documented immigration, migration, home, exile, and/or what it means to be(come) American. We are seeking poems that are written in the first person and can function as a story, a confession, a revelation, an elegy, a reckoning, a moment of desire, etc. We are interested in how a poem on the page can come to life on stage, with the voice of the poet coming through the voice of the actor.

After poems are selected and poets notified, we will hold a rehearsal in Manhattan with both poets and actors on May 23rd. The rehearsal is a time when all the poets involved meet the professional actors assembled. At rehearsal, each poet speaks about their poem, its concerns and intentions, and the actor takes these discussions and directions in so they can sensitively and thoughtfully interpret the text for the stage. Because of the nature of the collaboration, we seek poets who live in the New York City area and who can travel to rehearsal. Kundiman will be able to provide a small honorarium to the poets involved. Please follow the guidelines below. We look forward to reading your work!


* Send one Microsoft Word document of 1-10 poems (NOT PDF!) to

* Please title your attachment and the subject line of your email as “LastName_EmoFru_Year.doc” (example: Dooley_EmoFru_2015.doc).

* Provide your name and email address on each page of your attachment.

* Please include a brief bio in the body of your email.

Deadline: March 15, 2016