Lisa Chen is the author of Mouth (Kaya Press), winner of a 2009 Writing Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. She is a 2017-2018 resident at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Program and is writing a book about the artist Tehching Hsieh, the nature of work, and the life of projects. Born in Taipei, she now lives in Brooklyn.
DéLana R.A. Dameron is the author of Weary Kingdom released in 2017 and How God Ends Us, selected by Elizabeth Alexander as the 2008 South Carolina Poetry Book Prize. She is an arts & culture administrator in Brooklyn and founder of Red Olive Creative Consulting and Black Art Futures Fund.
Vikas K. Menon is a poet, playwright, and songwriter. He was a 2015 Emerging Poets Fellow at Poets House and his poems have been featured in numerous publications, including Indivisible: An Anthology of South Asian American Poetry and The Harpercollins Book of English Poetry. He co-wrote Priya’s Shakti (www.priyashakti.com), the first of a series of ongoing augmented reality comic books that address gender-based violence (GBV). He was also one of the co-writers of the currently touring shadowplay “Feathers of Fire.” His other plays have been presented at by Pratidhwani Theatre, Ruffled Feathers Theater Company, Ingenue Theatre and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. He received his M.F.A (Poetry) from Brooklyn College and his M.A. in Literature from St. Louis University.
Rita N. Soni is an advisor to social enterprises that leverage technology for development. B2R Technologies, employing rural underserved youth in India is one such business. She has spent the last decade leading the social wing of corporate institutions. Most recently, She was CEO of Nasscom Foundation, strengthening the efforts of the Indian IT-BPO industry towards inclusive growth to advance social development. Prior to this work, Soni worked in the philanthropic world with Ford Foundation and the American India Foundation. Soni has a master’s degree in International Affairs (MIA) from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in New York City and a bachelor’s degree (Hons) in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Jimmy Yan currently serves as Special Counsel to the Chief Investment Officer at the Office of the New York City Comptroller’s Bureau of Asset Management which manages the investments of the NYC pension funds. Prior to this, he worked as General Counsel in the Manhattan Borough President’s Office and General Counsel in the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He began his career as a public interest attorney working in the areas of immigrant rights, education law and senior issues. Prior to law school at NYU, Jimmy was an English and Ethnic Studies double major at the University of California at Berkeley where he was a co-editor of Tea Leaves, an Asian American student literary arts journal. He grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. Jimmy is proud to have been a supporter of Kundiman and the vision of its founders, particularly Sarah Gambito, from its inception and is gratified to see its ongoing success and support for Asian American poets.