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AWP 19 Kundiman Fellows Signing

At AWP Portland, four Kundiman Fellows will be signing at our booth. Visit Booth 3055 to meet Neil Aitken, Shamala Gallagher, Vanessa Huang, and Lillian Li!

3/29, 1 – 2: Vanessa Huang

3/29, 2 – 3: Shamala Gallagher

3/30, 2 – 3: Neil Aitken

3/30, 3 – 4: Lillian Li

See all of our AWP19 programs here.

Neil Aitken is the author of two books of poetry, Babbage’s Dream (Sundress 2017) and The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga 2008), winner of the the Philip Levine Prize, as well as a poetry chapbook, Leviathan (Hyacinth Girl Press 2016), an Elgin Prize winner. He is the founding editor of Boxcar Poetry Review, curator of Have Book Will Travel, and host of the podcast series, The Lit Fantastic. He also co-directs De-Canon: A Visibility Project & Library, which showcases the work of writers of color in a physical archive while also providing an online exploration of the intersection of race and literary production and canon-making. His poetry has appeared in The Adroit Journal, American Literary Review, The Collagist, Crab Orchard Review, Ninth Letter, Southern Poetry Review, and many other journals and anthologies.

A Canadian of Chinese, Scottish,and English ancestry, Neil was born in British Columbia, and grew up in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, and various parts of the western United States and Canada. He holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California, an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside, as well as a BS in Computer Science with a Mathematics minor from Brigham Young University. With Ming Di, he co-translated The Book of Cranes: Selected Poems of Zang Di, 1984-2015 (Vagabond AU 2015), and his collaborative translations of other mainland Chinese poets are also prominently featured in New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry, 1990-2012 (Tupelo 2013). He was awarded the DJS Translation Prize in 2011. Neil presently serves as a board member of Poetry East West, and on advisory committees for the Portland Book Festival and the East Portland Arts & Literary Festival. He lives outside of Portland, Oregon where he works as a freelance creative writing coach and workshop facilitator. (

Shamala Gallagher is a poet and essayist who is working on a novel. Her recent work appears in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Gulf Coast, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review, Verse Daily, Poetry Daily, Copper Nickel, West Branch, The Offing, and The Rumpus, among other journals, as well as in the anthologies Completely Mixed Up: Mixed Heritage Asian North American Writing and Art (2015) and Bettering American Poetry vol. 2 (2018). Her chapbook I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke was published by dancing girl press in 2015. She holds a BA from Stanford University and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas-Austin, and she has received fellowships from Kundiman, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and the New York State Summer Writers Institute. She has worked as a case manager for homeless families in San Francisco and for HIV+ individuals in Austin, TX. She has volunteered and worked in several domestic violence shelters, and she has taught writing workshops in public schools and community centers. She currently teaches creative and critical writing at the University of Georgia in Athens, where she's pursuing a PhD in English.

Born in Berkeley and home in diaspora from California and Taipei to Atlanta, New York, and Tianjin, Vanessa Huang is a multimedia poet, artist, and cultural worker whose practice inherits teachings from the prison industrial complex abolition, gender liberation, and intersecting social justice movements. For over 15 years, Vanessa has worked to shift cultural narratives and strategies based in fear, violence, and exploitation towards realities centering love, vision, and transformation. Vanessa’s deejaying extends this practice, continuing to conjure public/digital space for sonic healing and freedom dreams.

quiet of chorus (UpSet Press 2018) is Vanessa’s debut poetry collection. Vanessa has received literary fellowships from Kundiman and Macondo, holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from Brown University, and has worked with racial, economic, and trans/gender justice organizations with a focus on decarceration, homecoming, and transformative justice. Vanessa’s interdisciplinary work and writings have conversed through community organizing, printmaking, and rallies; film, choreography, and sonic performance; letters to/from prison and with bread delivery through a community supported bakery subscription newsletter; and a range of publications including critical race and gender studies journals, magazines, and the anthologies Abolition Now: Ten Years of Strategy Against the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2008), Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex (AK Press, 2011), Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011), and Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices (Trans-Genre Press, 2015).

Lillian Li is the author of the novel Number One Chinese Restaurant (Henry Holt). Her work has been published in the New York Times, Granta, Guernica, Glimmer Train, Bon Appetit, and Jezebel. Originally from the D.C. metro area, she lives in Ann Arbor.