Mentorship Lab

Fordham University, lincoln center
New York City
July 2019 – december 2019

Application Period: March 1st – April 15th
This program is made possible with support from The Jerome Foundation.

We are thrilled to announce a new mentorship initiative: Kundiman’s 2019 Mentorship Lab! This program will support 9 emerging writers through a six-month program. Three writers will be chosen in each genre of Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, & Poetry, and will work closely with one of our established Mentors: T Kira Madden (Creative Nonfiction), Bushra Rehman (Fiction), & J. Mae Barizo (Poetry)!

program details

This program will support nine NYC–based emerging artists for a six-month mentorship program from July 2019 – December 2019. This lab will include not only mentorship support from mentoring artists, but also writing workshops, master classes, and a culminating reading open to the public. Kundiman has long been a source of community and support for Asian American writers, and we’re excited to offer this space of close collaboration and community guidance.

Mentorship Fellows receive $1000; a six-month mentorship with the Mentor in their genre; six Master Classes and six Writing Workshops; and travel, lodging, and participation in a feature reading at the Asian American Literature Festival in Washington, DC in August 2019. To encourage learning and community across genres, the Master Classes will include fellows from all three genres. The Workshops will be conducted within specific genres.


Master Classes and Workshops will take place at Fordham University Lincoln Center in NYC.

The Asian American Literature Festival will take place in early August 2019 in Washington, D.C. Travel and lodging will be provided.


The Mentorship Lab is open to emerging writers who self-identify as Asian American. Writers must not have published a full-length book by the conclusion of the Lab, and cannot be enrolled in a degree-granting program during the time of the Mentorship Lab. Writers must be residents of the five boroughs of New York City, and be living in NYC for the full period of the Mentorship Lab. 


requirements for mentorship fellows

  • Meet with entire cohort for introductory meeting in July 2019

  • Participate in biweekly 30-minute check-ins with Mentors from August 2019–December 2019, via phone or Skype

  • Present at featured reading at the Asian American Literary Festival, which takes place in early August 2019 in Washington, D.C.

  • Attend all 6 Master Classes and 6 Writing Workshops on biweekly Mondays at Fordham Lincoln Center from September – December 2019

  • Participate in culminating public reading in December 2019



Between March 1st and April 15th, apply to the Mentorship Lab by clicking on one of the below buttons. Submit a cover letter and brief writing sample of 5–7 pages of poetry or 5 pages of prose (1250 words max). Mentorship Fellows will be announced by June 10th. There is no application fee.

2019 mentors

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J. Mae Barizo is the author of The Cumulus Effect (Four Way Books). She is the recipient of fellowships and awards from Bennington College, the Jerome Foundation, and Poets House. A prize-winning poet, critic and performer, recent work appears in AGNIBookforumBoston Review and Los Angeles Review of Books.  A classically-trained musician and a champion of cross-genre work, J. Mae has performed sound/text collaborations with Salman Rushdie, film composer Paul Cantelon, and many more. She has performed with Mark Morris Dance Group, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kanye West and Pharrell, among others. She teaches writing at Poets House, the New School and Pratt School of Architecture. She lives in New York City.

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T Kira Madden is a queer, APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She is the founding Editor-in-chief of No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature, she is the author of the memoir LONG LIVE THE TRIBE OF FATHERLESS GIRLS (Bloomsbury). She lives in New York City and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.

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Bushra Rehman has co-edited the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism. She has written an autobiographical novel titled Corona. Her latest work, Marianna’s Beauty Salon, is a collection of poems. Rehman has received awards and residencies from the Jerome Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, Cave Canem, Center for Book Arts, Cullman Center for Teachers, Kundiman, Hedgebrook, Soul Mountain Retreat, Norcroft, Barbara Deming Memorial Foundation and Headlands Center for the Arts. She has served as a teaching artist for Poet’s House, Teachers & Writers Collaborative, Urban Word NYC, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

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Kundiman’s Mentorship Lab is made possible with support from The Jerome Foundation.