Kundiman at the Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival

Where to find us, plus a full schedule and list of participants, below

Thursday, July 27: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery


Nan McEvoy Auditorium (bottom floor) 

2–3 pm: Kundiman Poetry Reading
Franny Choi, Paul Tran, Gowri K, Janine Joseph, and Rajiv Mohabir

Multipurpose Room

4:15–5:15 pm: Small Group Mentorship on Craft and the Writing Life
With Don Lee (Sign-up only)


Room 414 in Thurston Hall at GWU, 1900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20052

10 pm–onwardLate Nite Salon

Friday, July 28: Phillips Collection & Dupont Underground

Phillips Auditorium (bottom floor)

3–4:30 pm: Kundiman/AALR Mentoring Reading
 Alexander Chee, Paisley Rekdal, Grace Jahng Lee, and Justin Monson
Moderated by Ryan Lee Wong

Phillips Gallery 116 (Main Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Elda Rotor, Victory Matsui, Sarah Gambito

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Kazim Ali

3–4 pm: Avant Poetics Salon
Facilitated by Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Phillips Gallery 202 (2nd Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Thi Bui, Nicole Chung, Jennifer Chang

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Regie Cabico

Phillips Carriage House

12–1 pm: Tea with Tarfia Faizullah

Mentorships are free to the public and are first-come, first-served. In order to benefit the most people possible, please sign up for only one slot by clicking below.

Saturday, July 29: Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson Building LJ119

11 am–12:30 pm: Intimate Lecture on Asian American Literary History by Karen Tei Yamashita, followed by Kundiman Reading
Featuring Karen Tei Yamashita, Vt Hung, Mark Keats, and Sejal Shah



Room 414 in Thurston Hall at GWU, 1900 F St NW, Washington, DC 20052

9 pm–onwardLate Nite Salon


Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival: FULL SCHEDULE

Thursday, July 27: Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
8th St NW & F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

Auditorium Foyer (bottom floor)

12–5 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • PAL Pilipino American Library, curated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Kaya Press #LitinColor Library, Postcard Project, Collective Zine Project
  • AALR tarot card workshop, child-to-parent letter workshop
  • Poets & Writers resource table
  • Penguin books table
  • Passenger Pigeon Press table
  • Tammy Nguyen art books exhibit

George Washington University (Summer Lodging)

9 pm- onward: Late Nite Salon

Nan McEvoy Auditorium (bottom floor)

12–1 pm: Opening Welcome
Local DC Asian American writers

1–2 pm: Spoken Word Poetry Workshop
Facilitated by Regie Cabico

2–3 pm: Kundiman Poetry Reading
Franny Choi, Paul Tran, Gowri K, Janine Joseph, and Rajiv Mohabir

3–4 pm: Fiction Reading
Don Lee and Akhil Sharma

4:15–5:15 pm: Small Group Mentorship on Craft and the Writing Life ith Don Lee

4–5:30 pm: Vietnamese Diasporic Literature Today
Linh Dinh, Cathy Linh Che, Andrew Lam, Vu Tran, and Isabelle Thuy Pelaud
Moderated by Mimi Khúc

5:30–7 pm: Poetry Magazine Issue Launch
Issue contributors Li-Young Lee, Garrett Hongo, Cathy Linh Che,
and Sueyeun Juliette Lee in conversation with issue guest editors
Tarfia Faizullah, Timothy Yu, and Lawrence-Minh Bùi Davis

Friday, July 28: Phillips Collection
1600 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20009
 Dupont Underground
19 Dupont Cir NW, Washington, DC 20036

Phillips L2 (bottom floor)

11 am-4:30 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • Kaya Press #LitinColor Library, Postcard Project, Collective Zine Project
  • AALR tarot card workshop
  • AALR chid-to-parent letter workshop
  • Poets & Writers resource table
  • Penguin books table
  • 826 DC station
  • Fantom Comics table
  • Participatory sculpture installation
  • Bookswap

Phillips Courtyard (Main Floor)

11 am-4:30 pm: Literary Lounge, featuring:

  • PAL Pilipino American Library, curated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Durational participatory reading of Carlos Bulosan’s America Is In the Heart, coordinated by PJ Gubatina Policarpio
  • Passenger Pigeon Press table
  • Tammy Nguyen art books exhibit
  •  Podcast interview station

Phillips Courtyard (Bookstore)

Noon–1pm: Literary Addresses
Kazim Ali and Franny Choi

2–3pm: Literary Addresses

Phillips Gallery 202 (2nd Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Thi Bui, Nicole Chung, Jennifer Chang

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Regie Cabico

3–4 pm: DVAN Graphic Narrative & Art Book Panel Talk
Thi Bui, Matt Huynh, and Tammy Nguyen

Dupont Underground

6–8 pm: Poetry Slam
Regie Cabico

8–10 pm: Literaoke
Andrew Lam, Tanzila Ahmed, Franny Choi, Paisley Rekdal, Tarfia Faizullah, Ed Lin, Wo Chan, Sally Wen Mao, Mimi Khúc
Hosted by Regie Cabico

10–11 pm: Dance Party

Phillips Auditorium (bottom floor)

11 am–12 pm: Kaya Press Reading
Gene Oishi, Hari Alluri, and Anelise Chen

12–1 pm: Flickering Words: A Reading of Queer Asian Writers Rajiv Mohabir, Wo Chan, Shamala Gallagher, and Peggy Lee Moderated by Regie Cabico

1–2 pm: AAWW Margins Fellows Reading
Yanyi, Rami Karim, Kyle Lucia Wu, and Mariam Bazeed Moderated by Jyothi Natarajan

2–3 pm: Poetry Magazine Reading
Sarah Gambito, Larissa Lai, Shamala Gallagher, and Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Moderated by Poetry magazine associate editor Lindsay Garbutt

3–4:30 pm: Kundiman/AALR Mentoring Reading
 Alexander Chee, Paisley Rekdal, Grace Jahng Lee, and Justin Monson
Moderated by Ryan Lee Wong

Phillips Carriage House

11 am–12 pm: Writer-Educator Speed-Dating

12–1 pm: Tea with Tarfia

1–2 pm: Writer-Scholar Speed-Dating
Facilitated by Christine Kitano and Peggy Lee

2–3 pm: Vietnamese American Community Meet and Greet

3–4:30 pm: Vietnamese History Talk
Dr. Nguyen Quoc Tri

Phillips Gallery 116 (Main Floor)

11–1:15 pm: One-on-One Mentoring (by sign-up only)
Elda Rotor, Victory Matsui, Sarah Gambito

2–3 pm: Seminar Mentoring
Kazim Ali

3–4 pm: Avant Poetics Salon
Facilitated by Sueyeun Juliette Lee

Phillips Gallery 206 (2nd Floor)

TBD: Open Mic


Saturday, July 29: Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540
(Capitol South Metro Station, orange line)

TBD Location

4 pm: Closing Ceremonies/Asian American Literary Town Hall


George Washington University (summer lodging)

10pm: Late Night Salon


Thomas Jefferson Building LJ119

11 am–12:30 pm: Intimate Lecture on Asian American Literary History, followed by Kundiman Reading
By Karen Tei Yamashita; Featuring Karen Tei Yamashita, Vt Hung, Mark Keats, and Sejal Shah

12:30–2 pm: Lunch Break

2–3:30 pm: Intimate Lecture on Asian American Literary History, followed by Poetry Magazine Reading
By Kimiko Hahn; Featuring Kimiko Hahn, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge,
John Yau, Paisley Rekdal, Kazim Ali, Khaty Xiong, Sally Wen Mao,
Rajiv Mohabir, and Gerald Maa

Featured Speakers


Tanzila Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles. An avid essayist, she had a monthly column called Radical Love and has written for Sepia Mutiny, Truthout, The Aerogram, The Nation, Left Turn Magazine, and more. She is published in the anthologies Modern Loss (2018), Six Words Fresh Off the Boat (2017),  Good Girls Marry Doctors (2016), Love, Inshallah (2012) and poetry collection Coiled Serpent (2016). Her third poetry chapbook Emdash and Ellipses was published in early 2016. Taz was honored in 2016 as White House Champion of Change for AAPI Art and Storytelling and in 2017 as UCLA Luskin Alumni of the Year.  Taz curates Desi music at Mishthi Music where she co-produced Voices of Our Vote: My #AAPIVote Album (2016) and Beats for Bangladesh (2013). Her artwork was featured in Sharia Revoiced (2015), in Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s “H-1B” (2015), and Rebel Legacy: Activist Art from South Asian California (2015). She also makes disruptive art annually with #MuslimVDay Cards

You can find her rant at @tazzystar and at tazzystar.blogspot.com.


Kazim Ali is the author of numerous books of poetry, essay, fiction, translation and cross-genre work, most recently THE SECRET ROOM: A STRING QUARTET and ANAIS NIN: AN UNPROFESSIONAL STUDY. His new collection of essays and journals, SILVER ROAD, will be published by Tupelo Press in the fall of 2017 and his new collection of poems, INQUISITION, will be published by Wesleyan in early 2018. He is associate professor of Creative Writing and Comparative Literature at Oberlin College.

Photo: selfie


Neelanjana Banerjee is the Managing Editor of Kaya Press, an independent press dedicated to Asian Pacific American and Asian diasporic writing. Her poetry, fiction, essays and journalism have appeared in Prairie Schooner, PANK Magazine, The Literary Review, and anothologies like Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion. She is the co-editor of Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, and teaches writing at UCLA and through Writing Workshops Los Angeles.


Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry, most recently Hello, the Roses(New Directions). She has collaborated with artists in the book arts and in theatre, including Richard Tuttle, Kiki Smith  and Tan Dun.  Slow Time, poems translated into Chinese, was published by Intellectual Property Publishing House in 2016.  She lives in New Mexico and New York City.


Thi Bui is a writer, artist, and former public school teacher. She came to the U.S. as a refugee in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and continues to advocate for refugees and immigrants today.The Best We Could Do (Abrams ComicArts) is her debut graphic novel. She lives in Berkeley, California.

Photo: Gabe Clark


Regie Cabico is a spoken word pioneer having won The Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam and later taking top prizes in three National Poetry Slams. Mr. Cabico received his BFA at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a 2006 NYU Asian Pacific American Studies Artist In Residence. Television credits include 2 seasons of HBO's Def Poetry Jam, NPR's Snap Judgement & MTV's Free Your Mind.  His work appears in over 30 anthologies including Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poets Café, Spoken Word Revolution & The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry.  Mr. Cabico received the 2006 Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers for his work teaching at-risk youth at Bellevue Hospital.  As a theater artist he received three New York Innovative Theater Award Nominations for his work in Too  Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind with a win for Best Performance Art Production The Kenyon Review recently named Regie Cabico the "Lady Gaga of Poetry" and he has been listed in BUST magazine's 100 Men We Love. He has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Allen Ginsberg and through Howard Zinn's Portraits Project at NYU, has performed with Stanley Tucci, Jesse Eisenberg & Lupe Fiasco.

photo credit ALEXANDER MOZOROV (Regie giving shoulder - Sepia Photo)

photo credit TY HARDAWAY (Regie Microphone)



Wo Chan is a poet, writer, and drag performer. Wo holds honors from Kundiman, Lambda Literary, Millay Colony of the Arts, and the Asian American Writers Workshop, and is the author of the chaplet ORDER THE WORLD, MOM (Belladonna Press, 2016). Wo has performed their work at NY Live Art, Dixon Place, BAM Fisher, VOX Populi, and the Architectural Digest Expo. Wo is a standing member of the Brooklyn-based drag & burlesque alliance Switch n' Play.

Photo: Jocelyn Yan


Jennifer Chang is the author of The History of Anonymity and Some Say the Lark, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books in October. Her poems and essays have appeared in APR, Boston Review, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New Republic, A Public Space, and elsewhere. She teaches creative writing and literature at the George Washington University and lives in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Nate Ackerman


Cathy Linh Che is the author of the poetry collection, Split (Alice James Books), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize, the Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America, and the Best Poetry Book Award from the Association of Asian American Studies. She is the Executive Director at Kundiman.

Photo: Jess X. Chen



Franny Choi is the author of the poetry collection Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and the chapbook Death by Sex Machine (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). She is an MFA candidate at the University of Michigan, a Kundiman Fellow, host of the poetry podcast Vs., and a member of the Dark Noise Collective.

Photo: Tarfia Faizullah


Keith Chow is the founder of the pop culture website The Nerds of Color and host of the podcasts Hard NOC Life and DC TV Classics, both available on iTunes. He is also the co-editor of the comic anthologies Secret Identities, Shattered, and the just published New Frontiers. Follow Keith on twitter @the_real_chow and @TheNerdsofColor.

Photo: Ayumi Yasuda


Nicole Chung, an editor at Catapult and the former managing editor of The Toast, has written for The New York Times, the Times Magazine, Hazlitt, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, The MorningNews, and other publications. She is working on a memoir about transracial adoption.


Sarah Park Dahlen is an associate professor (effective 2017 fall) in the Master of Library and Information Science Program at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. She teaches courses on youth materials and library services, storytelling, and library science. Her research addresses transracially adopted Koreans in children’s literature, the information behaviors of adopted Koreans, and diversity in children’s literature and library education. Sarah serves on the Children & Libraries advisory committee and was awarded the University of Illinois iSchool Leadership Award in 2016. She co-edited Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors Through Reading with Jamie Naidoo and the Children’s Literature Association Quarterly’s Special Issue on Orphanhood and Adoption in Children’s Literature with Lies Wesseling. Her next book is on Asian American youth literature with Paul Lai. sarahpark.com @readingspark.


Tsering Wangmo Dhompa is the author of three collections of poetry: My rice tastes like the lake, In the Absent Everyday and Rules of the House(all from Apogee Press, Berkeley).  Dhompa's first non-fiction book, Coming Home to Tibet was published by Shambhala Publications in 2016. She teaches creative writing and is a PhD candidate in Literature at the University of California in Santa Cruz.

Photo: Rom Srinivasan


Linh Dinh is the author of six books of poems, three of fiction and the just-released Postcards from the End of America, an account of this country's economic, social and political unraveling. He is widely anthologized.



Jerrica Escoto has been a spoken word performer for over a decade.  She was on the 2010, 2013, and 2015 San Diego Slam Team and a finalist at the 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam where she ranked 12th in the world that year.  Jerrica has used her poetry to mentor youth and facilitate workshops for young women in community schools and juvenile hall.  In 2014, she released her first book of poetry with fellow poet, Gill Sotu, entitled "How to Love Gods and Acrobats." Jerrica holds a Masters degree in Women’s Studies and has taught at both SDSU and CSUSM. Her professional career in content and creative strategy started when she served as a Creative Content Specialist for celebrity life-coach, Tony Robbins. She is currently self-employed and plays hybrid roles as a content producer/creative strategist/project manager – primarily in the live events realm, as well as the University setting.


Tarfia Faizullah was born in 1980 in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Midland, Texas. She is the author of a previous poetry collection, Seam, winner of a VIDA Award, a GLCA New Writers’ Award, a Milton Kessler First Book Award, Drake University Emerging Writer Award, and other honors. Her poems are published widely in periodicals and anthologies both in the United States and abroad, are translated into Persian, Chinese, Bengali, Tamil, and Spanish, have been featured at the Smithsonian, the Rubin Museum of Art, and elsewhere, and are the recipients of multiple awards, including three Pushcart Prizes, the Frederick Bock Prize from Poetry, and others. In 2016, she was recognized by Harvard Law School’s Women Inspiring Change. Faizullah currently teaches in the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program as the Nicholas Delbanco Visiting Professor in Poetry.


Shamala Gallagher is an Indian/Irish American poet and essayist from San Jose, CA. Her writing appears in Poetry, Black Warrior Review, The Missouri Review, Verse Daily, West Branch, The Offing, and The Rumpus, among other journals, and is forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry 2016. She is also the author of a chapbook, I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke (dancing girl press, 2015). She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers and has received fellowships from Kundiman, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She lives in Athens, GA, where she is pursuing a PhD at the University of Georgia.


Sarah Gambito is the author of the poetry collections Loves You (forthcoming, Persea Books), Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Literary Arts Program at Brown University. Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers and grants and fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, Urban Artists Initiative and The MacDowell Colony.  She is Associate Professor of English / Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University and co-founder of Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American writers.


Lindsay Garbutt is the associate editor of Poetry. She co-hosts the Poetry Magazine Podcast with Don Share and Christina Pugh.


Kimiko Hahn is the author of nine collections of poetry, including Brain Fever and Toxic Flora (W.W.Norton). Both of these were prompted by fields of as previous work was triggered by Asian American identity, women's issues, black lung disease, and personal grief. All her work is influenced by Japanese aesthetics.  She teaches in the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Literary Translation at Queens College, CUNY and is President of the Board, The Poetry Society of America.  Photo: Beowulf Sheehan



Gail N. Harada was born in Honolulu but spent most of her elementary school years on a U.S. Army base in Japan. Being one of the few Asian-Americans on base, living in an enclave of American culture in the land of her ancestors, and being from Hawaiʻi influenced her sense of identity and awareness of sociopolitical issues at a young age. She has a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. In 2000, she was awarded a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been published in various collections, including Breaking Silence, Talk Story, and in the Creative Writing Resource Guide for Secondary Teachers Volume 1: A Fat Ulu Production. She is the author of Beyond Green Tea and Grapefruit, a collection of poems, short stories, and a memoir. She teaches writing and literature at Kapiʻolani Community College.



Caroline Kyungah Hong is an Associate Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in English at Queens College, City University of New York (CUNY). She is currently finishing a book on Asian American comedy and has published work on Asian American literature and pop culture, including articles on Asian American graphic narratives. She is the current President of the Circle for Asian American Literary Studies (CAALS) and also a founding managing editor of the online, open-access Journal of Transnational American Studies (JTAS).

Photo: Marvin Kim



Garrett Hongo’s latest is CORAL ROAD: POEMS (Knopf).  THE MIRROR DIARY: SELECTED ESSAYS is due from University of Michigan Press in August.  His awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, NEA, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Fulbright program.  



Vt Hung was born in Dorchester, MA. His parents were boat people who opened the first Vietnamese grocery store in Boston. He received his education from B.C. High, Boston College, the Lynch School of Education, the Boston Public Library. and WGBH Channel 2. He is a former Kundiman fiction fellow and Margins fellow at the Asian American Writers' Workshop in NYC. Currently, he is completing his M.F.A. in Creative Writing at Syracuse University in fiction.


Matt Huynh is an Australian visual artist and storyteller based in New York City. His clients include The New York Times, GQ, Esquire, Rolling Stone and Adobe. His work appears in the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and his comics have been presented on the Sydney Opera House stage. His interactive comic, The Boat, won a World Illustration Award and was specially commended by the United Nations Media Peace Awards. To see more, visit www.matthuynh.com

Photo: Namu Kim


Simone Jacobson is a multipotentialite, project manager, writer, entrepreneur, performing artist, yoga instructor and community organizer with a strong passion for empowering women, Asian American advancement, and the arts. Simone's poems and essays about race, culture, class and the arts have been published in Gawker, Fusion, Beltway Poetry, and in print. A co-founding director of the community-based Asian and Pacific Islander American performance series, Sulu DC, which culminated in a citywide AAPI Literary Arts & Performance Poetry Festival, she is currently the co-owner and general manager of Toli Moli. Toli Moli, a woman-owned family business on a mission to sweeten snack time, will also be featured at the Smithsonian Asian American Literature Festival on July 28. You can learn more about Simone and her mom's Burmese falooda and noodle shop at www.tolimolidc.com.


Janine Joseph was born and raised in the Philippines and Southern California. She is the author of Driving without a License (Alice James Books, 2016), winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize and finalist for the 2017 Oklahoma Book Award. She lives in Stillwater, OK, where she is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. Find out more at www.janinejoseph.com

Photo: Jaclyn Heward  


Gowri K. is a Tamil American writer, performing artist, and lawyer based in Washington, DC. She is a fellow of the Asian American literary organization Kundiman, poetry coordinator at the arts non-profit BloomBars, a poetry events host at Busboys and Poets, senior poetry editor at Jaggery, and co-editor of Beltway Poetry Quarterly.

Photo: Fid Thompson


Traci kato-Kiriyama is an award-winning artist, cultural producer, and community organizer; educator and springtime Teaching Writer-in-Residence for Grand Park; Artist-in-Residence for NeighborWorks America;  Steering Committee member of VigilantLOVE;  Director/Co-Founder of Tuesday Night Project (recognized by USA Today and LA Weekly for their Tuesday Night Cafe art+community flagship mic series, currently in its 19th year).  She and stage partner, aerial artist/actor Kennedy Kabasares, are in their third stage of development for Tales of Clamor - a theatrical case-study that utilizes aerial apparatuses, analyses of silence and noise, and rarely scene video footage from the 1981 CWRIC Hearings (Commission of Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians).

As an author for Writ Large Press, traci continues to transform the manuscript for her next book project, which she looks forward to release in 2018.  Her writing and commentary have been featured in numerous print and online publications including The Coiled Serpent anthology (Tia Chucha Press); Elle.com for Melissa Harris-Perry; The Hollywood Reporter; The Rafu Shimpo; An Eye For An Eye Makes The Whole World Blind (Regent Press); Open Doors: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry (Chapparal Canyon Press).


Mark L. Keats was adopted from South Korea at the age of three. He earned his MFA in fiction from the University of Maryland and is the recipient of a Kundiman Fellowship. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel, Waxwing, The Offing, Smokelong Quarterly, and others. He is currently a PhD candidate in English and Creative Writing at Texas Tech University.


Mimi Khúc is a scholar, teacher, and writer on issues of race and mental health, queer of color feminist politics, and Asian American motherhood. She is the guest editor for the recently released Open in Emergency: A Special Issue on Asian American Mental Health.



Christine Kitano’s second poetry collection, Sky Country, is forthcoming from BOA Editions in September 2017. She is an assistant professor at Ithaca College where she teaches creative writing, poetry, and Asian American literature. Christine grew up in Los Angeles, and was raised by a first-generation Korean American mother and nisei father. She is currently co-writing a book about the first generation of Japanese immigrants to arrive in Hawai‘i, which will be published in 2018 by the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i and University of Hawai‘i Press. Find her online at www.christinekitano.com.


Juliet S. Kono is the author of two poetry collections, Hilo Rains and Tsunami Years; a collection of short stories, Ho‘olulu Park and the Pepsodent Smile; the novel Anshū: Dark Sorrow; and a children’s book, The Bravest ‘Opihi. She co-authored two books of renshi(linked poetry), No Choice but to Follow and What We Must Remember, both initially online writing projects. She has appeared in many anthologies and collections and several of her poems are featured on the Poetry Foundation website. Her books have been recognized with Ka Palapala Po‘okela Awards for Excellence in Literature and she has received the Hawai‘i Award for Literature, the Elliot Cades Award for Literature, the American Japanese National Literary Award, and a U.S./Japan Friendship Commission Creative Artist Exchange Fellowship. She is retired and lives with her husband in Honolulu.



Brenda Kwon teaches Language Arts at Honolulu Community College. She received her Ph.D. in American Literature with an emphasis on Asian American Literature from UCLA, with King- Kok Cheung as her mentor. The recipient of the 2016 Elliot Cades Award for Literature, she is the author of The Sum of Breathing, which was awarded a Ka Palapala Po‘okela by the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association; Beyond Ke‘eaumoku: Koreans, Nationalism, and Local Culture in Hawai‘i; and co-editor of YOBO: Korean American Writing from Hawai‘i. Her academic and creative work have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, including Amerasia Journal and Elaine Kim's Making More Waves, and she has performed her poetry both nationally and internationally. A 2005 Fulbright Fellow, she founded two community spoken word series, Rhythm & Rhyme and re:VERSES. As a 500-hr registered yoga teacher, she teaches yoga and meditation at Open Space Yoga in Honolulu.


Larissa Lai is the author of two novels, When Fox Is a Thousand and Salt Fish Girl; two books of poetry, sybil unrest (with Rita Wong) and Automaton Biographies; a chapbook, Eggs in the Basement; and most recently, a critical book, Slanting I, Imagining We: Asian Canadian Literary Production in the 1980s and 1990s. A new novel, The Tiger Flu, is forthcoming from Arsenal Pulp Press in Fall 2018. A recipient of the Astraea Foundation Emerging Writers' Award, she has been a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Tiptree Award, the Sunburst Award, the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the bpNichol Chapbook Award, the Dorothy Livesay Prize and the ACQL Gabrielle Roy Prize for Literary Criticism. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary and directs The Insurgent Architects' House for Creative Writing there.

email: larissa.lai@ucalgary.ca

websites: www.larissalai.com, www.tiahouse.ca



Award-winning author Andrew Lam is the web editor of New America Media, a regular blogger for the Huffington Post, and contributor to National Public Radio.  His collection of essays, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, about the problem of identity as a Vietnamese living in the U.S., received the PEN Open Book Award. His second book, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, a meditation on how Asian immigration changed the West, was named Top Ten Indies by Shelf Unbound Magazine.  Birds of Paradise Lost, a collection of short fiction about Vietnamese newcomers struggling to remake themselves in the San Francisco Bay, was a finalist for the California Book Award and won the Josephine Miles award for fiction.  Lam is working on a collection of short fiction exploring sex and love in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Minh Lê is the author of Let Me Finish! (an NPR Best Book of 2016) illustrated by Isabel Roxas and the upcoming Drawn Together with Caldecott medalist Dan Santat, both published by Disney-Hyperion. He is a federal early childhood policy analyst by day and also reviews children's books for a number of national publications, including the New York Times, the Horn Book, and the Huffington Post. He received his bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a master’s in education from Harvard University. Outside of spending time with his beautiful wife and sons, his favorite place to be is in the middle of a good book. Visit Minh online at minhlebooks.com or on Twitter @bottomshelfbks.


Li-Young Lee is the author of several volumes of poetry.  His forthcoming volume, entitled "The Undressing," is due in 2018 from W.W. Norton publishers.  He lives in Chicago, IL.


Peggy Lee is a writer and scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She is a past recipient of the Asian American Writer’s Workshop Open City Fellowship and was part of the inaugural Kundiman cohort for creative nonfiction. Born in Birmingham, Alabama, she is second generation Korean American and a queer daughter of immigrants.


Sueyeun Juliette Lee grew up three miles from the CIA and currently lives in Denver, where she works as the Program Director for Chinook Fund. A former Pew Fellow in the Arts for Literature in Poetry, her books include That Gorgeous Feeling (Coconut, 2008), Underground National (Factory School 2011), Solar Maximum (Futurepoem 2015), and No Comet, That Serpent In the Sky Means Noise (Kore Press, 2017) as well as numerous chapbooks. For ten years, she edited Corollary Press, a chapbook series dedicated to innovative multi-ethnic writing. She has held arts residencies at Casa Libre en la Solana (Arizona), Kunstnarhuset Messen (Norway), Hafnarborg (Iceland), and UCross Foundation (Wyoming) for poetry and video art. Find her at silentbroadcast.com.


Don Lee is the author of the novels Lonesome Lies Before Us, The Collective, Wrack and Ruin, and Country of Origin, and the story collection Yellow. He has received an American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, an O. Henry Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the M.F.A. program in creative writing at Temple University and splits his time between Philadelphia and Baltimore.

Photo: Melissa Frost


Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is an all-around stand-up kinda guy. He is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards. Lin's latest book, Incensed, was published last year by Soho Crime. He lives in New York with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung.


Yanyi is a poet and critic based in Brooklyn, New York. He is a 2017-2018 Asian American Writers Workshop Margins Fellow and contributing editor at Foundry. He formerly served as Director of Technology and Design at The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research, senior editor at Nat. Brut, and curatorial assistant at The Poetry Project. The recipient of a 2015 Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House, Yanyi's poems and criticism have appeared in Model View Culture, cellpoems, The Cortland Review, and DIARY, chaplet #193 at Belladonna* Collaborative. Find him at yanyiii.com.



Gerald Maa is an editor-in-chief of the Asian American Literary Review.  He has earned support from places like the Library of Congress Asian Reading Room, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Vermont Studio Center.  His writing has been published in places such as /Poetry/, /A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race/, and /Studies in Romanticism/ as well as exhibited and performed in Los Angeles, New York, and Sweden.


Sally Wen Mao is the author of Mad Honey Symposium (Alice James Books, 2014) and Oculus (Graywolf, 2019). Her poetry is published in Poetry, A Public Space, Tin House, and other magazines. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, she is currently a fellow at the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library.

Photo: Jess X. Chen


Born in Seoul, South Korea, Kita Marshall is a queer, biracial poet who considers herself from a little bit of everywhere due to the experience of traveling extensively during her childhood. This and other myriad tales about her life are present in her poetry along with her passion for community engagement. 

As a vocal advocate for racial justice, LGBTQIA, and accessibility, Marshall engages with local activist and community groups for a number of social justice issues.

She is a Cave Canem fellow and a fellow of The Watering Hole. Her work has appeared in two anthologies: Multiverse and After Ferguson: In Solidarity.


Victory Matsui is an editor at One World, an imprint at Random House, whose mission is to publish diverse writers who tell truths, challenge dominant thinking, and imagine new possibilities for the future. They acquire and edit fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. They have worked at Little, Brown and Company and Poets & Writers Magazine.


Rajiv Mohabir is the author of The Cowherd’s Son (Tupelo Press 2017, 2015 Kundiman Prize) and The Taxidermist’s Cut (Four Way Books 2016,  Four Way Books Intro to Poetry Prize). In Fall of 2017 he will join the creative writing faculty at Auburn University as an Assistant Professor of poetry. Read more about him at www.rajivmohabir.com


Nayomi Munaweera is the award-winning author of the novels, Island of a Thousand Mirrors and What Lies Between Us. Her voice has been compared to that of Michael Ondatjee, Jhumpha Lahiri and Alice Walker. Her books explore the various complexities of living in a female body as complicated by race and migration. Her short fiction and non fiction are also widely available. She lives in Oakland California and is working on her third book while teaching at the Ashland University low residency MFA program.


Tammy Nguyen (b. 1984, San Francisco, CA) is a multimedia artist working with geopolitics, science, and less known histories.  She received a BFA from the Cooper Union in 2007 and an MFA from the Yale School of Art in 2013. From 2007-08, Nguyen was a Fulbright Scholar in Vietnam where she studied traditional lacquer painting. She has exhibited at the Leroy Neiman Center, San-Art, The Fine Arts Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, the Bronx Museum, Wave Hill, Carriage Barns Art Center, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, and the Inside-Out Museum. In 2014, Nguyen was awarded the Van Lier Fellowship at Wave Hill as well as inclusion in the Bronx AIM program. In 2015, she was selected for the Scholarship for Advanced Studies by The Center for Book Arts in New York City. Her work has been collected by Yale University, Museum of Modern Art, and the Philadelphia Art Museum.  In Fall 2016, Nguyen founded Passenger Pigeon Press, an independent press that brings the work of scientists, journalists, creative writers, and visual arts together to create politically nuanced projects.

She is currently an artist-in-residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space program and is a Pacific Delegate for the Carnegie Council for for Ethics and International Affairs.  She teaches art at the Berkeley Carroll School in Brooklyn.



Ellen Oh is co-founder, President, and CEO of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children's literature. She is also a former adjunct college instructor and corporate/entertainment attorney. She is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy, The Prophecy Series, and the upcoming MG novel, The Spirit Hunters, to be published in summer 2017.



Christy Passion is a critical care nurse and poet. Her works have appeared in various Hawai‘i journals and anthologies, as well as in mainland and international journals, such as the Crab Creek Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Blue Collar Review, and Mauri Ola. She has received the James A. Vaughn Award for Poetry, the Atlanta Review International Merit Award, and the Academy of American Poetry Award. She is the recipient of the prestigious 2017 Elliot Cades Award for emerging writer and her first solo collection of poetry, Still Out of Place, has been awarded a 2017 Ka Palapala Po‘okela Award by the Hawai‘i Book Publishers Association. Her latest publication, What We Must Remember, is a collaboration of linked poetry which reanimates one of the most infamous trials in 20th century Hawai‘i, the Massie Case, and the surrounding social and racial injustice.


Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is Professor in Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. She is the author of This Is All I Choose To Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature (2011) and the co-editor of Troubling Borders: Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora (2013). She is the founder and co-director of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN), an organization that promotes Vietnamese cultural productions of the Diaspora.

Photo: Julie Thi Underhill


Kathy Pham is a student at the University of Calgary. Her fiction explores the lives of immigrants, unconventional families, and inter-generational conflicts. She is currently an editor for NōD Magazine.


PJ GUBATINA POLICARPIO is an arts organizer: a socially engaged artist, curator, programmer, writer, and educator. His multidisciplinary practice utilizes research, archive, collaboration, curatorial, education and public engagement as both art and tool. In 2016, PJ founded and curated the inaugural Filipino American Book Festival at Diversity Plaza in collaboration with the Queens Museum and DOT's One NYC Plaza Equity Program. Inspired by the Festival, PJ launched the PAL / Pilipinx American Library, a moveable non-lending library that centers the local and global Pilipinx voice.


Paisley Rekdal is the author of a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a hybrid-genre photo-text entitled Intimate; and five 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 poetry collection is Imaginary Vessels, and her latest nonfiction work is The Broken Country, which won the 2016 AWP Nonfiction Prize. Her work has received the Amy Lowell Poetry Traveling Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, a Fulbright Fellowship, and various state arts council awards. She teaches at the University of Utah and is Utah’s Poet Laureate.



Jess Rizkallah is a Pushcart Prize nominated Lebanese-American writer / illustrator living between Boston & New York. Alumna of Lesley University, MFA candidate at NYU, and founding editor at Maps For Teeth magazine / pizza pi press. She ranked #31 at the Women of The World Poetry Slam in 2016. She has competed & performed at venues and slams across Boston & the east coast. Her work has appeared in Word Riot, Nailed Magazine, Button Poetry, Rattle, Sukoon, and on her mother's fridge. Her collection THE MAGIC MY BODY BECOMES won the 2016 Etel Adnan Poetry Prize & is forthcoming on University of Arkansas Press, October 2017. Find her at jessrizkallah.com.

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Cathy J. Schlund-Vials is Professor of English and Asian/Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut; she is also the director of the UConn Asian and Asian American Studies institute. In addition to numerous articles, book chapters, and edited collections, Professor Schlund-Vials is author of two monographs: Modeling Citizenship: Jewish and Asian American Writing (Temple UP 2011) and War, Genocide and Justice: Cambodian American Memory Work (University of Minnesota Press 2012).  She is the current president of the Association for Asian American Studies (AAAS) and a series editor for Temple University Press’s Asian American History & Culture initiative.


Sejal Shah’s essays have appeared in The Asian American Literary Review, Brevity, the Kenyon Review Online, Waxwing, and several anthologies, including the just-released Mad Heart Be Brave: Essays on the Poetry of Agha Shahid Ali (University of Michigan Press). Recently, she has been sending out two manuscripts: How to Make Your Mother Cry: Stories, and Things People Say, a book of essays. She teaches at Writers & Books, a community-based literary center in Rochester, New York, and serves as co-chair of Kundiman Northeast.

Photo: Preston Merchant



Akhil Sharma is the author of Family Life, a New York Times Best Book of the Year and the winner of the International DUBLIN Literary Award and the Folio Prize. Sharma’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The Best American Short Stories, and the O. Henry Award anthology. A native of Delhi, he lives in New York City and teaches English at Rutgers University–Newark.


Beau Sia is the son of Chinese immigrants from the Philippines. He was raised in Oklahoma, and emerged in New York. He is currently living in Los Angeles, writing his forthcoming book of poetry, White Power.


Min Hyoung Song is Professor of English at Boston College. His most recent book is The Children of 1965: On Writing, and Not Writing, as an Asian American, which has won several awards, including from the Association for Asian American Studies, and the co-edited Cambridge History of Asian American Literature. He is working on a new research project on race and ecology.


Susan Tan’s debut children’s novel, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire, is a semi-autobiographical story based on her own experiences growing up in a mixed race family.  It is the first in a series, with a second book, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book is A Classic, due for release in March of 2018.  Susan is a post-doctoral teaching fellow at UMass Boston where she teaches critical studies in Children's and Young Adult Literature.  She received her BA from Williams College and her PhD from the University of Cambridge, and was the 2015 Gish Jen Emerging Writers Fellow at the Writers' Room of Boston.


Paul Tran is Poetry Editor at The Offing and Poet In Residence at Urban Word NYC. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner, MTV, and RHINO, which gave them an Editor's Prize. They're the first Asian American since 1993 to be the Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Champion.


Vu Tran's first novel is Dragonfish, a NY Times Notable Book and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of the Year.  He is the winner of a Whiting Award, and his short stories have appeared in publications like the O. Henry Prize Stories and the Best American Mystery Stories.  Born in Vietnam and raised in Oklahoma, Vu received his MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and his PhD from the Black Mountain Institute at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Practice in Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.


Dr. NGUYEN QUOC TRI was the last Rector of the National Institute of Public Administration of the now-defunct Republic of Vietnam. He migrated to the United States in 1975 where he worked as a university professor and subsequently as an administrator at the World Bank, USAID, and other international institutions. His magnum opus, published in 2013 and republished in 2016, is a study of the life and achievements of Regent Nguyen van Tuong, the Royal Court of Vietnam’s paramount strategist in Vietnam’s struggle against France’s colonial conquest in the late 19th century. This 1500-page book, entitled Nguyen Van Tuong and the Nguyen Dynasty’s Struggle against French Colonialism, took him 10 years to complete and rested on hitherto-unknown documents he had uncovered in hundreds of diplomatic, military, and religious archives in France. Dr. Nguyen received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. He currently resides in Montgomery Village, Maryland.


Louie Tan Vital is a Filpina American poet, aspiring politician, and community organizer. Currently working in the 115th Congress, Louie has explored public policy through poetry, spoken word, acting, and public speaking with the opportunity to perform and compete on many different stages.

She is the author of “Kapwa Flowing from my Bosom”, a collection of poems dealing with diasporic wounds, femininity, sexuality, her hurt, her love, her rage with modern forms of colonialism, her confusions with millennial forms of wanting, and her transient body’s deep aching for her ancestors.

Her words have been featured on Yahoo News, ABS CBN The Filipino Channel, Medium, and the Herald. Louie shares to champion vulnerability. This is all of her poured into the pages.


Justin Woo is a Rutgers graduate, Jersey City resident, Chinese-American poet, theatre artist, videographer, photographer, and DJ. He has performed at universities, theaters, and slam venues throughout the Northeast including the 2007 NYC Fringe Festival and the Tony Award-winning Crossroads Theatre. He was a member of the 2011 and 2012 JC Slam team, and is a slam committee member and technical director at JC Slam. He is currently writing “Get Free," a science fiction play about androids and racism.


Kyle Lucia Wu is a writer based in Brooklyn. She is the co-publisher of Joyland, the party correspondent at Literary Hub, and a PEN prison writing mentor. She is an Asian-American Writers Workshop Margins Fellow for 2017 and has an MFA in fiction from The New School. Her work has appeared in Guernica, Electric Literature, Literary Hub, Vol 1 Brooklyn, The Rumpus, and Interview Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @kylelucia & @joylandfiction. Photo credit is Gabriela Bhaskar.


Ryan Lee Wong is a writer and cultural organizer based in Brooklyn. He is the Managing Director at Kundiman, and a Visiting Scholar at the A/P/A Institute at NYU. His writing has appeared in The Offing, The Village Voice, T Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, and Hyperallergic, and he has received fellowships from VONA, Kundiman, and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center.



Khaty Xiong is the author of debut collection Poor Anima, which is the first full-length collection of poetry published by a Hmong American woman in the United States. She is also the author of three poetry chapbooks: Elegies, Deer Hour, and Ode to the Far Shore. Recently, her work appeared in The Academy of American Poets’ “Writing from the Absence,” a project highlighting emerging Hmong American writers.

Photo: taken by the author



Karen Tei Yamashita is the author of seven books, including I Hotel, finalist for the National Book Award, and forthcoming, 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’s latest books include The Wild Children of William Blake (Autonomedia, 2017) and the first monograph on Thomas Nozkowski (Lund Humphries, 2017). Letter Machine Editions will publish his next book of poems, Bijoux in the Dark, in the spring of 2018. He is Professor of Critical Studies at Mason Gross School of the Arts (Rutgers University) and editor of the online magazine Hyperallergic Weekend. He lives in New York. The photo was taken by Eve Aschheim.


Timothy Yu is the author of the poetry collection 100 Chinese Silences (Les Figues Press) and of three chapbooks. He is also the author of Race and the Avant-Garde: Experimental and Asian American Poetry since 1965 (Stanford) and the editor of Nests and Strangers: On Asian American Women Poets (Kelsey Street).  His writing 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.