Regional Chairs


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Bethany Carlson

Bethany (Carlson) Swann is a creative writer who teaches college courses in literature and composition in Connecticut. She holds master’s degrees from Yale Divinity School and Indiana University. In addition to being a Kundiman fellow and the regional chair of Kundiman Northeast, she is a fellow of the Lilly Graduate Fellows Program in Humanities & the Arts. Her chapbook DIADEM ME was published by Miel Press (2013).  

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Sejal Shah

Sejal Shah is the author of Everything Needs to Be Said, a finalist for the 2017 Mary McCarthy Prize, and Things People Say, a finalist for the 2017 Cleveland State University Poetry Center’s Essay Collection Prize. Her work has appeared in Brevity; Conjunctions; Kenyon Review Online; The Literary Review; The Margins; The Rumpus; Under Her Skin: How Girls Experience Race in America (Seal Press), among others. Sejal is the recipient of a 2018 NYFA/NYSCA Fellowship in Fiction and residencies from The Anderson Center, Blue Mountain Center, Kundiman, the Millay Colony for the Arts, New York University, and the Ragdale Foundation, among others. Sejal holds a BA in English from Wellesley College and an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The daughter of Gujarati parents who emigrated from India and Kenya to the U.S., Sejal grew up in Rochester, New York, where she currently lives.



Suman chhabra

Suman Chhabra is a multigenre writer. She holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an MFA in Writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Chhabra is the author of Demons Off, a chapbook through Meekling Press. She is a Kundiman Fellow and her work has been supported by Vermont Studio Center, Ragdale, The Massachusetts ReviewTAYOPoemeleonWINDOWHair Club, and Homonym. Chhabra teaches courses in Reading and Writing at SAIC. 



Shamala Gallagher

Shamala Gallagher is the author of the chapbook I Learned the Language of Barbs and Sparks No One Spoke. 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). 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. Shamala currently teaches creative and critical writing at the University of Georgia in Athens, where she's pursuing a PhD in English.

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Tiana Nobile

Tiana Nobile is a recipient of a 2017 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer's Award, the Lucy Grealy Prize for Poetry, and a fellowship from Kundiman. A finalist of the National Poetry Series and Kundiman Poetry Prize, she is a Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of the chapbook, The Spirit of the Staircase (2017). Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry NorthwestThe New RepublicGuernica, and the Texas Review, among others. She lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.


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Jane Lin

Jane Lin is a poet and software engineer for an environmental consulting company. She received her BA and BS from Stanford University and her MFA from New York University, where she was a New York Times fellow. Her poems have appeared in Cura, Five Points, jmww, New Madrid, Slant, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Collagist, The Harwood Poetry Anthology, and The Mas Tequila Review. Jane’s honors include fellowships from Kundiman, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and Taos Summer Writers’ Conference. Her debut poetry collection, Day of Clean Brightness (3: A Taos Press) was a finalist for the Kundiman Poetry Prize and the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award in Poetry, and semi-finalist for the Crab Orchard Review First Book Award. Jane facilitated the monthly Poetry Gatherings at Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos, NM for over a decade. She also taught poetry workshops at UNM-Los Alamos from 2000-2011.

Pacific Northwest

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Jordan Alam

Jordan Alam is a queer Bangladeshi-American writer, performer, and social change educator based out of Seattle. Her work engages with moments of rupture and transformation in the lives of people on the margins. Jordan’s work is heavily engaged in community and she is a current Kundiman Pacific Northwest co-chair. Her short stories and articles have appeared in The Atlantic, CultureStrike Magazine, The Rumpus, and AAWW’s The Margins; she has spoken at events including the Aspen Ideas Festival and the Eyes on Bangladesh exhibition. She is also the founder of the Asian American social justice publication, Project As[I]Am. Most recently, she has been creating collaborative performance pieces about stories of the body through a fellowship with Town Hall Seattle and editing a draft of her debut novel.

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Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan explores identity, power, mythology, and technology in a world where the body is flung across borders yet possesses unrivaled power to transcend them. Shankar is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, winner of the 2017 Flyway Sweet Corn Poetry Prize, and has been a fellow at Kundiman and at Hugo House. He is a 4Culture grant recipient for Claiming Space, a project to lift the voices of writers of color, and his chapbook, Postcards From the New World, won the Paper Nautilus Debut Series chapbook prize. Shankar draws strength from his global upbringing and from his work as a civil rights attorney for the ACLU. In Seattle, he awakens to the wonders of Cascadia every day, but his heart yearns east to his other hometown, Delhi.

Northern California


Michelle Lin

Michelle Lin is a poet, community arts organizer, and author of A House Made of Water (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017), an examination of sisterhood, the cycles of trauma, and survival. Most recently, she has taught or performed at the United States of Asian America Festival, Lamba Lit Fest, and Asian American Writer’s Workshop. She is the co-organizer for "KSW Presents," Kearny Street Workshop's reading series that centers Asian Pacific American writers and writers of color. Michelle works as the grassroots fundraising manager for RYSE Center in Richmond, California, a liberatory safe(r) space for youth of color. She studied poetry at UC Riverside and received her MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. Recent work can be found in Underblong, The Margins, The Wanderer, and HEArt.


Ploi Pirapokin

Ploi Pirapokin uses speculative fiction as a way to explore postcolonial poetics, American imperialism in Asia, and Pan-Asianism. She is working on a short story collection set in an alternate Asia and a memoir about what it means to be alien in America today. Her work has been published in, The Offing, Apogee Journal, The Bellingham Review, Fiction International and more. She has received support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, the Creative Capacity Fund, Headlands Center for the Arts, Ragdale, the Anderson Center, and others. She is a graduate of the Clarion Writer's Workshop and holds degrees from the University of San Diego and San Francisco State University. She is currently the Assistant Director for the Ruth Asawa's School of the Arts creative writing department, and teaches creative writing for UCLA Extension's Writers Program and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation.

Southern California

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Jean Ho

Jean Chen Ho is a writer in Los Angeles. She was born in Taiwan and grew up in southern California. She is a doctoral candidate in Creative Writing and Literature at the University of Southern California, where she is a Dornsife Fellow in fiction. She has an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Jean has also been awarded fellowships from MacDowell Colony, Vermont Studio Center, the Mastheads Residency, Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, VONA, Kundiman, Squaw Valley Community of Writers, and Bread Loaf. She has been a finalist for numerous literary prizes and was awarded a Distinguished Scholar Award by the USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association. At work on a linked story collection and a novel, Jean is represented by Ayesha Pande Literary.

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Kenji Liu

Kenji C. Liu (劉謙司) is author of Monsters I Have Been (Alice James Books, 2019), and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize. His poetry can be found in magazines, anthologies, chapbooks, and journals, including American Poetry Review, Anomaly, Action Yes!, and The Feminist Wire. An alumnus of Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community of Writers, he lives in Los Angeles.


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Adrian Khactu

Adrian Khactu is Kundiman’s Hawaii Regional Chair and teaches high school English at ‘Iolani School in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, where he specializes in race and comparative American literatures. He holds creative writing degrees from Stanford and Temple Universities. His work has won the Richard Moyer Prize in Fiction, the Academy of American Poets’ William Carlos Williams Prize, the Atlantic Monthly Student Writing Contest, and the Ezra Pound Prize in Literary Translation, as well as writing fellowships from Kundiman, VONA, Iowa Writers’ Summer Workshop, and Vermont Studio Center.