Regional Chairs

Northeast

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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.

Midwest

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Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore is a writer, bookseller, and instructor in Chicago. He’s been published in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Entropy, The Chicago Reader, and has reviews and interviews in the Chicago Review of Books and Electric Literature. Timothy received his MFA from Roosevelt University. He is a Kundiman fellow.

South

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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.

Southwest

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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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Neil Aitken

Neil Aitken is the author of Babbage’s Dream (Sundress 2017), The Lost Country of Sight (Anhinga 2008), winner of the Philip Levine Prize, and 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. Neil’s co-translations appear in The Book of Cranes: Selected Poems of Zang Di, 1984-2015 (Vagabond AU 2015), and New Cathay: Contemporary Chinese Poetry, 1990-2012 (Tupelo 2013). He was awarded the DJS Translation Prize in 2011. He holds a PhD in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California and an MFA in Creative Writing from UC Riverside. Neil lives outside of Portland, Oregon where he 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.

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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

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Carolyn Ho

Carolyn Ho is a poet, artist, and works as the Grants Manager at Asian Law Caucus. Previously, she was an art director at her own small marketing and design company for three years. She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.A. in English and San Francisco State University with her MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing. She is a Kundiman fellow, William Dickey fellow, won the SF Foundation’s Phelan Award, the Anne Fields Poetry Award, the Kathryn Manoogian Scholarship, and is a grant recipient of the San Francisco Arts Commission, among others.

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Michelle Peñaloza

Michelle Peñaloza, a proud daughter of immigrants, was born in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan and grew up in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee. She is author of landscape/heartbreak (Two Sylvias, 2015), Last Night I Dreamt of Volcanoes (Organic Weapon Arts, 2015), and Former Possessions of the Spanish Empire, which recently won the 2018 Hillary Gravendyk National Poetry Prize. Her work can be found in New England Review, Pleiades, TriQuarterly, Prairie Schooner, Vinyl, and The Collagist, with poems forthcoming in The Normal School and Third Coast. Michelle is the recipient of fellowships from Kundiman and the Richard Hugo House, awards from 4Culture and Artist Trust, recent residencies from Caldera and The Lemon Tree House, as well as scholarships from VONA Voices and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, among others. Michelle lives in rural Northern California.

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.

Hawaii

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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.