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The Asian American Writers’ Workshop Food and Books Festival 10/5/13 11am – 7pm Festival, 8pm – midnight After-Party



FULL LINEUP Click to show list



11AM – 1PM, 4 – 6PM |
YWCA Ground Floor Meeting Room

Come on by and make dumplings on the spot. We’ll have the dumpling skins and two fillings, as well as instructions on how to wrap them. You wrap. We steam. You walk away with free dumplings. Admit it, this is awesome.


Into the Labyrinth
Hildegard Westerkamp

All-Day | Roulette Lobby

Drop by the Roulette Lobby to listen to Hildegard Westerkamp’s Into the Labyrinth, a sonic journey between dream and reality into Indian culture that originally premiered at the Gibraltar Points Arts Center, Toronto Island. It’s a selection from a larger piece, Listen My Heart to the Whispers of the World, a compilation of sound compositions reflecting on the soundscape of the South Asian subcontinent and titled after poetic fragments from Rabindranath Tagore. These sound installations were curated by Alexis Bhagat and Lauren Rosati, the founders of ((audience)), an organization dedicated to the advancement of aural arts by providing wide distribution and new contexts for works by emerging and established sound artists and composers. Learn more at


Butterfly-Making Workshops with Felipe Baeza & Sonia Guinansaca

11:30AM – 12:30PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

The monarch butterfly, coined partly by immigrant rights-focused arts organization CultureStrike, has come to represent the beauty of migration–symbolizing the naturalness and elegance of border-crossing. Come make your own butterfly wearable wings at this special workshop with undocumented artist Felipe Baeza and writer Sonia Guinansaca. You’ll be given pre-cut cardboard wings that you can paint on both sides and stencil, as well as fasteners so you can wear them once they dry. Spaces are limited, so please show up early!


Hossannah Asuncion, Evan Chen, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Sally Wen Mao, and Cathy Linh Che

1PM – 2PM | YWCA Ground Floor Meeting Room

Want a poem written for you? We’re taking requests. Meet some hot emerging poets and give them a prompt. They’ll write a poem for you on the spot. Featuring Hossannah Asuncion (Fragments of Loss), Evan Chen, Cynthia Arrieu-King (Manifest), Sally Wen Mao (Mad Honey Symposium), and Cathy Linh Che, the winner of the 2012 Kundiman First Book Prize.


Super Baos with Super Powers! with Prince Roastpork ‘Porky’ Bao, Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo

2PM – 3PM | YWCA Ground Floor Meeting Room

Dim Sum Warriors is a children’s comic book series about kung fu-fighting dumplings that has been featured by Time, the BBC and the New York Times, and scored an Honorable Mention in Publishers Weekly’s Critics Poll of the Best Graphic Novels of 2012. Also available as an educational iPad app that supports the learning of Chinese, it was ranked by Fast Company as one of the 10 Coolest Original Digital Comics of 2012. Flushing, Queens-based creators Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo will talk about how they developed the concept from their shared love of martial arts movies and Chinese food, as well as their desire to teach their daughter Mandarin. They’ll also help the kids in the audience cook up characters based on their favorite eats! They’ll also be joined by the hero of the comic, Prince Roastpork ‘Porky’ Bao.


Irving Yew

3PM – 4PM | YWCA Ground Floor Meeting Room

Bring your kids to our origami booth! Whether you’re an origami pro or can’t even fold a piece of paper in half, Irving Yew’s here to help you keep your creases crisp and those flat squares transformed into charming creatures in no time! Come over with everyone in your family for a fun origami workshop, and take home your creations. We’ll provide supplies.


Mark Nowak, Camille Rankine, Celeste Lim, Erika K. Stanley, and Rajpattie Sheodat

3PM – 6PM | YWCA 2nd Floor Gallery

Ever wanted to write a poem but weren’t sure how? Well, all you need to do is drop by our Make-A-Poem Booth, where poets from Manhattanville College will guide you through how to write a poem on the spot. We’ll have a model poem for you to look at–including one for kids and teens. The whole thing’ll just take about five minutes–and you’ll have a poem you can bring home. The county fairground meets street poetry in this special interactive workshop taught by Manhattanville College MFA Program Director and Guggenheim Fellow Mark Nowak, Camille Rankine, Celeste Lim, Erika K. Stanley, and Rajpattie Sheodat. Say “hi” to them on Twitter!



YWCA Upstairs Gallery

A Brooklyn Smorgasburg staple, this Williamsburg restaurant makes baos that will melt in your mouth, with fillings like BBQ Pork, Pumpkin Butternut Squash and Sweet Red Bean.


YWCA Upstairs Gallery

Husband and wife team Shiv and Shikha bring you the king sandwich of Indian street food, scrumptious toasted vegan pockets of goodness, from their very own Bombay Sandwich Co.! Munch on the fresh, seasonal ingredients and savor their life-changing chutneys, made from traditional recipes passed on through generations.


YWCA Upstairs Gallery

Started in 2010 as the fizzy brainchild of an artist and chemist couple, Brooklyn Soda Works has dreamed up a collection of adventurous beverages will totally refresh your palate. Taste unexpected yet simple flavors like Red Currant & Shiso, Grapefruit, Jalapeno & Honey, or Concord Grape & Fennel Seed.


YWCA Upstairs Gallery

Experience Chinese Food 2.0! Brooklyn Wok Shop is a mom-and-pop joint built by Melissa and Edric Har that offers Chinese food with an artisanal twist: Cantonese in heritage, but handcrafted using classically French techniques.


YWCA Upstairs Gallery

Looking for the ideal sweet-savory balance to start your day? Granola Lab’s got the fix for you: “better breakfast through (quasi-)science!” Mixed in small batches in their Brooklyn laboratory, flavors include fun mixes like Cranberry-Cashew Compound (cranberries, cashews, & cloves) and Get Gingersnapping (spicy ginger, molasses, & sultana raisins).



YWCA Upstairs Gallery

Parantha Alley is what happens when multi-generational South Asian Americans get their rolling pins together and re-invent the parantha, a whole wheat roti with spicy filling. No knead to wait––check them out today!



Open City Fellows Anelise Chen, Sukjong Hong, and Rishi Nath

11AM – 12PM | YWCA Community Room

We commissioned photographer Nabil Rahman, the mind behind Pineapple And Milk, to go on on guided walking tours with our Open City Fellows to create a video art interpretation of the riveting stories they wrote for Open City, our online magazine dedicated to telling the subterranean and rarely told stories of what it means to be Asian American in New York. Covering five Asian American neighborhoods and cited by The Wall Street Journal, NPR Marketplace, and MSNBC, our Open City Fellows have told the stories of halal butchers and undocumented immigrants, dumpling-makers and Chinese punk bands, Queens-based graffiti artists and the immigrant communities devastated by Hurricane Sandy. Open City Fellows Anelise Chen (Chinatown/Sunset Park), Rishi Nath (Richmond Hill) and Sukjong Hong (Flushing) read from and discuss their year of writing creative nonfiction about New York.


Michelle Chan Brown, Cathy Linh Che, Evan Chen, Vanessa Huang, Cynthia Arrieu-King, Jee Leong Koh, Sally Wen Mao, Alison Park, Purvi Shah, R.A. Villanueva

11AM – 12PM | Roulette Ballroom

Since 2004, Kundiman–an Asian American poetry nonprofit named after a genre of Filipino love song–has held poetry retreats for poets of Asian American descent. This special marathon reading presents some of the best emerging Asian American poets. Featuring Michelle Chan Brown (Double Agent), Evan Chen, Vanessa Huang, Cynthia Arrieu-King (Manifest), Jee Leong Koh (Seven Studies for a Self Portrait), Sally Wen Mao (Mad Honey Symposium), Alison Park, Purvi Shah (Terrain Tracks), R.A. Villanueva (Reliquaria), and Cathy Linh Che.


Lorraine Adams, Ayad Akhtar, Sohail Daulatzai, Suheir Hammad

12PM – 1PM | Roulette Ballroom

Radical, pious? Defensive, confrontational? Halal, haraam?—How to be Muslim in America? This event examines contemporary Muslim American identity through different literary forms (theater, academic inquiry, hip hop) and class positions (black radicalism, assimilating lawyer). Ayad Akhtar won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Disgraced, which played at Lincoln Center. The play follows Amir, an upwardly mobile South Asian corporate lawyer who finds himself hosting a racially tense dinner party in the Upper East Side. UC Irvine Professor Sohail Daulatzai’s Black Star, Crescent Moon stunningly re-presents the cultural politics of Black internationalism, re-imagining the shared history between Black Muslims, Black radicals, and the Muslim Third World. Legendary Palestinian American poet Suheir Hammad, the author of breaking poems–winner of the American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award–will read from sections of Sohail’s book. Moderated by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lorraine Adams, the author of Harbor, a novel about an undocumented Algerian immigrant who ends up being surveilled as a potential terrorist.


Eugene Lim, Sergio De La Pava, Ira Silverberg, Miguel Syjuco

12PM – 1PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

Three writers read metafictional, adventurous books whose prose is as experimental and fractured as their main characters’ identities. Brooklyn Public Defender Sergio de la Pava originally published his “unapologetically maximalist” novel A Naked Singularity (Slate), a novel seemingly too ambitious and eclectic for mainstream publishing. The book was picked up by the University of Chicago, won a PEN Literary Award, and earned comparisons to Gaddis, David Foster Wallace, and Melville. The 678-page hysterical tome follows a public defender who’s the child of Colombian immigrants, as he takes readers through a tour of crime and courts, immigrant families and urban blight. What would happen if you threw 150 years of the Philippines into the blender with Oscar Wao and Tristram Shandy? Possibly something like Miguel Syjuco’s Man Asian Award-winning novel Illustrado, which combines poetry, reviews, interviews, polemics, unreliable narration, and a main character whose name is—surprise, surprise—Miguel Syjuco. Eugene Lim’s layered, pixelated novel The Strangers collects a “literary cabinet of curiosities,” in the words of The Paris Review, including a young man vandalizing the posters of a paranoid nation, the search for the perfect T-shirt, and the missing person’s bureau of a giant cruise ship. Moderated by Ira Silverberg, former Editor-in-Chief of Grove Atlantic and NEA Literature Director.

How to Write a Graphic Novel

Marjorie Liu

1PM – 2PM | YWCA Community Room

Drop by for a special workshop on what comics are and how you can make them–taught by one of the writers of the X-Men. Marvel Comics writer Marjorie Liu will guide you through how to write a comic book script. The author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels, Marjorie has written a number of high-profile comics, including Dark Wolverine, Black Widow, and Astonishing X-Men, for which she set history by writing superhero comics’ first gay wedding. Excelsior!

Life During Wartime

Sinan Antoon, Amitava Kumar, Said Sayrafiezadeh, Madiha Tahir

1PM – 2PM | Roulette Ballroom

Three writers capture the phantasmagoric side of the New Imperial Normal. Madiha Tahir speaks about her interviews with those Pakistani civilians directly wounded by drone attacks—the subjects of her forthcoming documentary Wounds of Waziristan. Jadaliyya co-founder Sinan Antoon reads from The Corpse Washer, his realistic and grotesque novel about a young man who washes corpses for a living. The novel “captures the experience of an Iraqi everyman who has lived through the war with Iran in the first half of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War over the Kuwaiti invasion, and then the 2003 war” (Three Percent). Said Sayrafiezadeh—named one of Flavorwire’s Top 100 Most Important Writers—reads from Brief Encounters with the Enemy, a short story collection that chronicles the lives of alienated blue-collar men, earning a crust in dystopian war-time cities. This discussion will be moderated by Amitava Kumar, an AAWW Board Member and author of The Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of his Arm a Tiny Bomb, a passionate account of the surveillance state created by the war on terror as well as the artists who have begun to document it.


Nahid Rachlin, Elizabeth Eslami, Maryam Mortaz, and Mehdi Okasi

1PM – 2PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

Okay fine, you’ve read Persepolis and you’ve found yourself mildly aroused by photos of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but did you know we’re in a sorta golden age of Iranian American Writing? Time to pick up Tremors: New Fiction by Iranian American Writers, a path-breaking new anthology that collect stories set in Iran and in the Iranian diaspora by almost thirty authors, including Nahid Rachlin (Persian Girls), Elizabeth Eslami (Bone Worship), Maryam Mortaz, and Mehdi Okasi, who will read from their work.


David Henry Hwang, Brian Leung, and Karen Shepard

2PM – 3PM | Roulette Ballroom

While we’re accustomed to thinking of Asian Americans as tech workers or model minorities, for most of American history, the Chinese immigrants who came to the United States did so as coolie laborers–essentially Asian slaves. They worked in mines, guano pits, and railroads. They were even lynched. Two authors discuss the often unknown Asian American 1800s. Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Chinglish) discusses his play The Dance and the Railroad, recently revived at the Signature Theater, which tells the story of the impoverished and struggling Chinese laborers who built the Transcontinental Railroad. A past winner of our Asian American Literary Award in Fiction, Brian Leung reads from his novel Take Me Home, a lyrical, heartfelt novel loosely based on the actual massacre of Chinese coal miners in 1885 Wyoming. In Karen Shepard’s new novel The Celestials?, a historical love story named after the antique slur for the Chinese, a local woman gives birth to a mixed-race baby after seventy-five Chinese immigrant workers arrive in North Adams, Massachusetts in 1870. The baby becomes a lightning rod for xenophobic fears in this heavily-researched novel that, in the words of Joshua Ferris, “works with the same primal heat as The Scarlet Letter and the same sympathetic scope as The Poisonwood Bible.”


Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Tamiko Beyer, Nicola López and Janine Oshiro

2PM – 3PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

Trevor Paglen once wrote: “The task of experimental geography is to seize the opportunities that present themselves in the spatial practices of culture.” Or as Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge writes in her new poetry collection Hello the Roses: “As shade trees grow and the orchid grows, space around reflects inspirative beauty.” This reading presents four writers whose work interprets landscapes through fragments and collages. Berssenbrugge–an experimental poet who has won multiple NEA, American Book Awards, and the AAWW Literary Awards–deploys labor-intensive appropriations of found texts to model the phenomenology of the New Mexico landscape. Born in Santa Fe, visual artist Nicola Lopez creates drawings, prints, and installation that represent the experience of contemporary signs of mobility, mapping, and constant communication–works that have been exhibited at the MoMA, LACMA, the Guggenheim and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ecologies become personal in Tamiko Beyer’s debut collection of eco-poetical poems, We Come Elemental; as poet Juliana Spahr writes, “Nitrogen, the plastics of the North Pacific Gyre, New Orleans, Saint Louis, lantern fish, muscles of the body, all of it is there, floating together in the body of the poem. “I want outside. / In the wrist is a bone like a boat. / I have been a long time out of water,” writes Hawaii-based poet Janine Oshiro. Oshiro is the author of Pier, the winner of the first Kundiman Poetry prize and the recipient of the latest Asian American Literary Award for Poetry.


Catherine Barnett, Cristina Lee, Diana Matar

3PM – 4PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

“To tell a story is always to invoke ghosts, to open a space through which something other returns,” wrote Julian Wolfrey in Victorian Hauntings, “so that all stories are, more or less, ghost stories.” Three artists talk about the disappeared, the missing, the haunted—whether because of the post-9/11 security state or the more metaphysical lacuna of death. Guggenheim Fellow Catherine Barnett reads elegiac poems from her collection Into Such Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced, in which she mourns the death of her two nieces. In Disappearance, photographer Diana Matar ruminates on the kidnapping of her father-in-law, Libyan opposition leader Jaballah Matar, and his likely incarceration by the Gaddafi regime. Cristina Lee will discuss her work with the Visible Collective and connect her own family’s parallel history of internment during WWII with those communities hit by the post-9/11 security state.


Anne Ishii, Rahul Mehta, Thad Rutkowski, Monica Youn

3PM – 4PM | Roulette Ballroom

Four writers discover love—with an edgy and cross-cultural twist. AAWW Board member Anne Ishii discusses her work on the new Picturebox comics collection, The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga, a landmark collection of gay Japanese BDSM comics. Rahul Mehta reads from his debut short story collection Quarantine, the winner of the Asian American Literary Award. The book’s a buoyantly humorous and sexy portrait of openly gay Desi men seeking to manage both their relationships and the sometimes disapproving attitudes of their families. The child of a Polish socialist and a Chinese mother, Thad Rutkowski reads moments of edgy and cross-cultural love from his Asian American Literary Award-nominated collection Haywire, a wistful and whimsical book that led Ed Lin to call him “the original language gangster.” Moderated by poet Monica Youn, whose National Book Award-nominated collection Ignatz transmuted scenes of cold eroticism into the figures of George Herriman’s comic strip Krazy Kat.


Tash Aw, Youmna Chlala, Manil Suri, Jess Row

4PM – 5PM | Roulette Ballroom

In the age of 21st-century globalized metropolises of Asia, “the city” has come to mean not just a space but a temporality—an almost unreal, science-fictional vision of utopia or apocalypse. Tash Aw’s Booker Prize longlisted novel Five Star Billionaire chronicles one of the most populated cities on earth, Shanghai—where “New China” is a euphemism for constant impermanence. “Every village, every city, everything is changing,” one character says. “It’s as if we are possessed by a spirit—like in a strange horror film.” Taipei-born, Malaysia-raised and England-educated, Tash Aw is one of the the most prominent writers in Southeast Asia. In Manil Suri’s The City of Devi, Sarita struggles to find her husband in dystopian Mumbai just a few days before nuclear holocaust. The Washington Post calls it “The best sex comedy of the year about nuclear war between India and Pakistan.” In Jess Row’s debut story collection, The Train to Low Wu, he documents that alienating and magical metropolis, Hong Kong—the “city that can be like a mirage, hovering above the ground: skyscrapers built on mountainsides, islands swallowed in fog for days.” Moderated by Pratt Institute associate professor Youmna Chlala, an artist and writer whose video installations of Beirut and Cairo have recently been shown at Art In General and the Rotterdam Film Festival.


Jon Pineda, Rinku Sen and Others

4PM – 5PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

Did you know that a little-known law requires the government to imprison 34,000 immigrants everyday? Or that the Obama deportation is on track to have deported more than two million immigrants—more than the total deportations before 1997? Join us for an eye-opening discussion about the limits of the post-9/11 anti-immigration state and how its array of police interventions and prisons have affected communities of color. The author of The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization and publisher Rinku Sen discusses our broken immigration system, one that shames undocumented migrants as “illegal” and sends thousands of children to foster homes by shattering immigrant families. Jon Pineda reads from his novel Apology—in which an immigrant transient worker named Shoe is falsely implicated in a crime but ends up going to jail anyway. A deeply empathetic, lyrical novel about silence and guilt, Apology tells the story of the sacrifice of two immigrant families raising the next generation.

THE GRIND: Day Job Stories

Victoria Chang, Alexander Chee, Stephen Elliott, Elizabeth Kadetsky, Helen Wan and James Yeh

5PM – 6PM | Roulette Ballroom

It’s Saturday, which means you’re free from The Grind, also known as the Salt Mines, The Hustle, Punching-In, The 9-to-5. Novelist Alexander Chee emcees a lineup of writers talking about their worst office jobs: The Rumpus founder Stephen Elliott, novelist Elizabeth Kadetsky, and GIGANTIC   founder James Yeh. A former investment banker turned poet, Victoria Chang reads from The Boss (published in part on The Margins!), a poetry collection whose associative and unpunctuated poems reflect on issues of hierarchy and control, labor and power. Time Inc. counsel Helen Wan reads from The Partner Track: A Novel, in which a young Chinese American woman lawyer finds herself at odds with Big Law office culture.


Ava Chin, Ann Mah, Monique Truong

5PM – 6PM | Roulette Downstairs Gallery

Who wouldn’t want to move to Paris? That’s what Ann Man, the author of the novel Kitchen Chinese, thought when her husband was given a diplomatic assignment to Paris—until after they moved in and he was suddenly called away to a year-long post in Iraq. Her memoir, Mastering The Art of French Eating, tells a Julie and Julia-style story about how Ann carved out a life for herself in France, cooking one French dish at a time. She’ll be joined by Monique Truong, a former food columnist for the New York Times’ T Magazine and the author of Bitter in the Mouth, a southern novel in which the protagonist possesses synaesthesia—the ability to taste words. Her first novel, The Book of Salt—which won awards from the NYPL, AAWW, and PEN—told the story of Gertrude Stein’s kitchen from the point of view of her Southeast Asian chefs. Ava Chin, whose memoir, Eating Wildly, is forthcoming in 2014, discussed urban foraging, the subject of her column for The New York Times City Room blog.

Hidden Immigration Stories

Gaiutra Bahadur, Vivek Bald, Carolina Gonzalez, and Raquel Cepeda

6PM – 7PM | Roulette Ballroom

The United States is often called “a country of immigrants,” but such platitudes often obscure the hidden multi-racial histories of immigration in the US. Writer Carolina Gonzalez–Senior Producer of NPR’s Latino USA, which will air segments of this panel–moderates an eye-opening conversation about the subterranean history of the United States. Vivek Bald reads from Bengali Harlem, his historical account that weaves together a century of archival research to talk about the South Asian sailors who landed in Harlem in the early 20th Century and married into the Black and Latino community. Gaiutra Bahadur, author of Coolie Woman: The Odyssey of Indenture, tells the story of two Indo-Guyanese diasporas: first, the tale of two diasporas: first, the first mass-migration from India of more than 1.2 million indentured laborers, beginning nearly two centuries ago to Guyana and more than a dozen other sugar-growing colonies worldwide; and second, the more recent migration of ethnically Indian migrants from the Caribbean to New York in the last 50 years. Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina, a vibrant, lyrical memoir about her estranged relationship with her family and her quest to search for her roots via DNA testing that revealed her complex multi-racial ethnicity.


Justin Torres, Yang-Sze Choo, Porochista Khakpour, Wah-Ming Chang

6PM – 7PM | Roulette Gallery

A thrilling line-up of emerging writers reads coming of age stories with a more surreal edge. In Yang-Sze Choo’s The Ghost Bride, a young woman is approached to become the bride of a dead man’s ghost. Set in colonial Malaysia and the Chinese afterlife, this debut novel has been praised for its wild depiction of the “sumptuous world of Chinese émigré culture and the love story that flows under it all–the kind so full of longing, the pages practically sigh as you turn each one.” (Book of the Week – NAAACP Image Award winner Justin Torres reads from We The Animals, a groundbreaking debut novel written in the first person plural from the point of view of “the communal howl of three younger brothers” (The New Yorker). Author of Sons And Other Flammable Objects and frequent contributor to the New York Times, Porochista Khakpour re-imagines Persian mythology in her forthcoming second novel The Last Illusion, about a feral boy raised by a bird. Moderated by Melville House Managing Editor Wah-Ming Chang.


Felipe Baeza, Alexander Chee, Roya Hakakian, Jennifer Hayashida, Alison Kuo, Brian Leung, Rahul Mehta, Janine Oshiro

8PM – Midnight | Roulette Ballroom

Welcome to the only literary awards ceremony with projections on the walls, live poster printing, an interactive food art installation, and personalized Tarot Card readings by one of the most promising novelists in New York, Alexander Chee. Get a free poster supporting migrant rights, screenprinted on the spot by undocuqueer artist Felipe Baeza. The space will also feature GIGANTIC  art editor Allison Kuo’s performance installation “Colorful Food,” a faux-carnival booth and free-standing snack machine that mixes the aesthetics of the vending machine, fortune-teller, and grade-school science fair project. Come for a dance and a drink, stay for the funky interactive art.
Before all this happens, we’ll host the 15th Asian American Literary Awards, where we recognize the best 2011 titles in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—as well as our surprise Member’s Choice winner! Poet Jennifer Hayashida presents the poetry award to Janine Oshiro for Pier, a fragmented and ethereal collection of landscape poems. Novelist Brian Leung presents the nonfiction award to Rahul Mehta, whose short story collection Quarantine charts the melancholic and cross-cultural conflicts of young LGBT Desi love. Roya Hakakian will receive the nonfiction award for her riveting book Assassins of the Turquoise Palace (a New York Times Notable Book), which recounts the assassination of eight Iranian and Kurdish opposition leaders in a Berlin restaurant—a killing that crucially shifted the relationship between Europe and Iran.

Lorraine Adams

Lorraine Adams is a novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Her first novel Harbor (Knopf, 2004) centered on North African Muslim stowaways. Her second novel, The Room and the Chair (Knopf, 2010) took her to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to dissect the global war on terror. She is currently writing her third novel, which is set in Lahore, Pakistan and centers on Muslim family life. In addition to being a Guggenheim fellow, Adams graduated from Princeton University and received a master’s degree from Columbia University in literature. As an investigative reporter for The Washington Post for eleven years, her work gravitated to issues of social justice and the marginalized. She lives in New York City with her husband, the novelist Richard Price.

Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of American Dervish, published in two dozen languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto’s Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play Disgraced played at New York’s Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, and premiered at the Bush Theater in London in May 2013. Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Jeff Equity Award for Best New Work, and an OBIE. His play The Invisible Hand was nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award, and won Best New Work 2013 from the St Louis Theater Critics Circle. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has received commissions from Lincoln Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.

Sinan Antoon

Sinan Antoon (Baghdad, 1967) has published two collections of poems in Arabic and one in English (The Baghdad Blues) and three novels: I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (2007, City Lights Books), The Corpse Washer (Yale University Press, 2013) and Ya Maryam (al-Jamal, 2012), which was shortlisted for the Arabic Booker. He has translated the works of Darwish, Saadi Youssef and others from Arabic. He is associate professor at NYU.

Hossannah Asuncion

Hossannah Asuncion grew up near the 710 freeway in Los Angeles and currently lives near an A/C stop in Brooklyn. Her work has been published by The Poetry Society of America, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Collagist, Anti- and other fine places.

Tash Aw

Tash Aw was born in Taipei, in the Republic of China, and brought up in Malaysia. He moved to England in his teens and now lives in London. He is the author of The Harmony Silk Factory, which was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Novel and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and of Map of the Invisible World.

Felipe Baeza

Felipe Baeza is an activist and artist who currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 7 he immigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico, along with his sister to be reunited with his parents in Chicago. In 2009 Baeza graduated from the Cooper Union with a BFA in studio art. His art primarily focuses on the injustices that affect the LGBTQ and Immigrant communities.
Baeza has also been at the forefront of the immigrant youth movement. In 2011, he participated in a sit-in, risking deportation, protesting anti-immigrant legislation HB-87 in Georgia. Finally, Baeza’s commitment to National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) allows him to build community for people directly affected by the flaws in the current immigration system.

Gaiutra Bahadur

Gaiutra Bahadur is an award-winning journalist and book critic. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Nation and Ms., among other publications. A former daily newspaper reporter, Gaiutra has spent much of her career telling the stories of immigrants and asylum seekers; she has reported from Baghdad, Iraqi refugee outposts in Syria and Jordan, and the U.S.-Mexico border. She was born in Guyana and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. Coolie Woman (The University of Chicago Press, 2013) is her first book.

Vivek Bald

Vivek Bald is a writer, scholar, and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013) and a co-editor of the collection The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (New York University Press, 2013). His films include Taxi-vala/Auto-biography (1994), Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (2003), and In Search of Bengali Harlem (in production). He is an Associate Professor in Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT’s Open Documentary Lab.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently, Hello, the Roses (New Directions Press) and The Lit Cloud, a collaboration with Kiki Smith. She lives in northern New Mexico and New York City.

Tamiko Beyer

Tamiko Beyer is the author of We Come Elemental (Alice James Books), winner of the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award, and bough breaks (Meritage Press). Her poems have recently appeared in The Volta, Octopus, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She is the Associate Communications Director at Corporate Accountability International and lives in Cambridge, MA. Find her online at

Michelle Chan Brown

Michelle Chan Brown’s Double Agent was the winner of the 2012 Kore First Book Award, judged by Bhanu Kapil. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, The Missouri Review, Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, Witness and many others. A chapbook, The Clever Decoys, is available from LATR Editions. A Kundiman fellow, Michelle has received scholarships and fellowships from the University of Michigan, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center and the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference. A former writer-in-residence at Pomfret School, she lives with DC, where she teaches, writes, and edits Drunken Boat.

Raquel Cepeda

Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, award-winning journalist, cultural activist, and documentary filmmaker Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. Equal parts memoir about Cepeda’s coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, and detective story chronicling her year-long journey to discover the truth about her ancestry, the book also looks at what it means to be Latina today. Cepeda directed and produced the film Bling: A Planet Rock, a feature length documentary about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds, and edited the critically acclaimed anthology And It Don’t Stop: The Best Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins and Latino Book Award. Named one of El Diario|La Prensa’s Distinguished Women of 2013, Cepeda has appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Huffington Post Live, Al Jazeera English, CNN, and other outlets talking about genetic genealogy, Latino-American identity, and immigration.

Cathy Linh Che

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), the winner of the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from Poets & Writers, Poets House, and LMCC’s Workspace Residency.

Youmna Chlala

Youmna Chlala is a writer and an artist born in Beirut & based in New York. Her work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through prose, poetry, drawing, video and performance. She is the Founding Editor of Eleven Eleven {1111} Journal of Literature and Art and the recipient of a Joseph Henry Jackson Award for her manuscript, The Paper Camera. Her writing appears in the forthcoming book Urban Hopes Made in China by Steven Holl and in publications such as Guernica, Bespoke, CURA, MIT Journal for Middle Eastern Studies, Horseless Press Review and XCP: Journal of Cross Cultural Poetics. She has exhibited widely including the ICA in London, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Camera Austria, CultuurCentrum Bruges, and Art In General in New York. She is an Associate Professor in the Humanities & Media Studies Department at the Pratt Institute.

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang’s third book of poems, The Boss, was published by McSweeney’s Poetry Series in July 2013. Her other books are Salivinia Molesta and Circle. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, VQR, and many other places. She lives in Southern California with and works in business. Visit her at: or on Twitter: @VChangPoet.

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee, recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, is the author of novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, due out in 2014.

Anelise Chen

Anelise Chen covered Sunset Park as Open City’s Creative Nonfiction Fellow in 2012. She earned her MFA in fiction at NYU. Born in Taipei and raised in Los Angeles, she lives in Manhattan’s Chinatown.

Evan Chen

Evan Robert Chen is a doctoral student in creative writing at SUNY Albany, where he has taught courses in poetry and film. You can listen to his poems and drones at

Ava Chin

Ava Chin writes the Urban Forager column for The New York Times. She has written for the LA Times Magazine, Saveur, the Village Voice, and Spin. An associate professor at CUNY, she is the editor of the anthology Split and author of the forthcoming memoir Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster, May 2014).

Yang-Sze Choo

Malaysian writer Yangsze Choo’s debut novel, The Ghost Bride (Morrow, August 2013) is an Book of the Week, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and an Indie Next List Pick. Set in 1890s colonial Malaya and the elaborate Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities and burned paper offerings, it’s about a young woman who finds herself betrothed to a dead man. Yangsze eats and reads too much and can often be found doing both at her blog (

Sohail Daulatzai

Sohail Daulatzai is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America and also Born to Use Mics, a literary remix of Nas’s album Illmatic. His writing has appeared in Counterpunch, Al Jazeera, The Nation and as the liner notes for the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut album, the liner notes for the DVD release of Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, and the centerpiece in the museum catalog Movement: Hip-Hop in L.A., 1980’s – Now. Sohail is currently working on a graphic novel and is curating a gallery exhibit for the L.A./Islam Arts initiative entitled “Return of the Mecca” on the history of Muslims in hip-hop. He teaches at the University of California, Irvine, and more of his writing can be found at

Sergio De La Pava

(c) Chris Close
Sergio De La Pava is the author of the novels A Naked Singularity and Personae.

Stephen Elliott

Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, the director of two feature films, and the founder of the online magazine The Rumpus.

Elizabeth Eslami

Elizabeth Eslami is the author of Hibernate, winner of the 2013 Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, and the novel Bone Worship (Pegasus, 2010). Her writing has appeared most recently in Michigan Quarterly Review and The Sun. She serves as senior prose editor of Tupelo Quarterly and teaches in the MFA Program at Manhattanville College.

Carolina Gonzalez

Carolina Gonzalez is an award-winning journalist and scholar with over two decades of experience in print and radio. She served as an editorial writer at the New York Daily News, and has covered education, immigration, politics, music and Latino culture in various alternative and mainstream media outlets. The guidebook she co-authored with Seth Kugel, Nueva York: the Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs, was published in 2006 by St. Martin’s Press. She was raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Queens, New York and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Sonia Guinansaca is a poet and activist born in Ecuador and raised in Harlem, NY. She has been involved in the immigrant rights movement through: direct actions, civil disobedience , campaigns to end deportations of undocumented people, culture organizing, and organizing undocumented youth in NY. Sonia has been out publicly as an undocumented immigrant since 2007. In 2008, she joined the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), the first undocumented youth led, membership led, organization that empowers immigrant youth to drop the fear and challenge the broken immigration system. Sonia now serves as a Board member of NYSYLC. In 2011, she launched the Dreaming In Ink creative writing workshop for undocumented youth and performance spaces known as UndocuMic’s. Currently, Sonia is finishing up her studies at Hunter College, double majoring in Africana Puerto Rican Latino Studies, and Women & Gender Studies. She recently joined CultureStrike as coordinator of the UndocuWriting Project.

Roya Hakakian

Roya Hakakian is the author of two collections of poetry in Persian, and is listed among the leading new voices in Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her memoir of growing up a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran, Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran (Crown) was one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Book of the Year, Elle Magazine’s Best Nonfiction Book of 2004, and Best Memoir by the Connecticut Center for the Book. Roya is also a recipient of the 2008 Guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction. Her most recent book, the Assassins of the Turquoise Palace (Grove/Atlantic) was a Notable Book of 2011by the New York Times Book Review in September and made Newsweek’s Top Ten Not-to-be-missed books of 2011 and was among Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fictions of 2011.

Jennifer Hayashida

Poet and translator Jennifer Hayashida was born in Oakland, CA, and grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm and San Francisco. She received her B.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and has an M.F.A. in poetry from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She was a 2009 Poetry Fellow through the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in 2008-2009 she was Writer-in-Residence through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program. She is the recipient of a PEN Translation Fund Grant, a Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. She is the translator of Fredrik Nyberg’s A Different Practice (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007), and Eva Sjödin’s Inner China (Litmus Press, 2005). Recent work was published in Salt Hill, Chicago Review, and Harp & Altar, with forthcoming book-length translations being published in 2013 by Black Square Editions. Fields of interest include representations of the welfare state and immigrant experience; cross-genre literature and film; translation; Asian American community activism.

Sukjong Hong

Sukjong Hong is a writer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Currently she is a Create Change fellow with the Laundromat Project, and working on oral history projects to highlight the stories of Asian-American communities. She was a 2012-2013 Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellow with the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. You can find her writing at Open City Magazine, Triple Canopy magazine, Racialicious, Hyphen Magazine, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The Feminist Wire. Twitter: @hongriver

Vanessa Huang

Poet, Artist, and Cultural Organizer Vanessa Huang weaves poemsongs with moments of creative aliveness and transformative encounter, color, and texture in call and response with kindred spirits who dream and make worlds where each and all of us are free. A finalist for Poets & Writers’ 2010 California Writers Exchange Award, Vanessa’s poetry and practice inherit teachings from the prison abolition, migrant justice, gender liberation, transformative justice, disability justice, and reproductive justice movements.

David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang’s work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Golden Child, Yellow Face and Fob, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He is also a screenwriter and America’s most-produced living opera librettist. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He’s currently the Residency One playwright at NYC’s Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays, including his newest work, Kung Fu, which will premiere in February 2014.

Anne Ishii

Anne Ishii is a writer based in New York City. She is the producer of The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga, and runs MASSIVE MERCH: Gay Manga Paraphernalia. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Paperhouses: Architecture in Open Source, and her editorials can be found in Slate, DAME, Guernica, as well as at the AAWW blog The Margins. Follow her at

Elizabeth Kadetsky

Elizabeth Kadetsky’s short stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices and Best American Short Stories notable stories, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Guernica, Santa Monica Review, Antioch Review, Post Road, Agni and elsewhere. She has been a fellow at MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the St. James Centre for Creativity in Malta. She began studying yoga in college, and went on to live in India as a Fulbright scholar in creative writing while studying with the yogi BKS Iyengar. Her experiences became the subject of her first memoir, published with Little Brown in 2004 and scheduled for reprint with Dzanc Books. She is assistant professor of fiction and nonfiction at Penn State.

Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the critically acclaimed Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007) and the forthcoming The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Her writing is appearing or has appeared in Harper’s, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, Slate, Salon, and many other publications around the world. She lives in New York City, where she currently teaches at Columbia and Fordham.

Jee Leong Koh

Jee Leong Koh is the author of four books of poems, including Seven Studies for a Self Portrait (Bench Press). His most recent collection, The Pillow Book, will be translated into Japanese and published by Awai Books in 2014. Born in Singapore, he now lives in New York, and blogs at Song of a Reformed Headhunter.

Amitava Kumar

Amitava Kumar’s A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm A Tiny Bomb was described by the New York Times as a “perceptive and soulful … meditation on the global war on terror and its cultural and human repercussions.” It was judged the ‘Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ at the Page Turner Literary Award. Kumar is Professor of English at Vassar College.

Alison Kuo

Alison Kuo is a Texas native with a BA from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and is currently an MFA candidate at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. She has exhibited her work at CANADA, Christopher Henry Gallery, and Art Jam in NYC, 1117 Garland, SOFA Gallery, Co-Lab, and Domy Books in Austin, and OHWOW in Miami. Kuo is the Art Editor at the literary magazine GIGANTIC, and she is often best known as the person behind the popular blog Accidental Chinese Hipsters. Her first solo show in NYC, Juicy, Juicy Special Request Deluxe, was at Superchief Gallery in 2013. She likes to cook in her spare time.

Brian Leung

Brian Leung is a Lambda Literary Award Mid-career Novelist recipient and the author of the short story collection, World Famous Love Acts, winner of the Mary McCarthy Award for short fiction and The Asian American Literary Award for Fiction. His novels are Lost Men and Take Me Home winner of the 2011 Willa Award for Historical Fiction.

Celeste Lim

Celeste Lim is a writer of middle-grade and YA fiction, but experimenting with other forms as well. She is completing graduate writing degrees at Manhattanville College and The New School.

Eugene Lim

Eugene Lim is the author of the novels Fog & Car and The Strangers. He runs Ellipsis Press, works as a librarian in a high school and lives in Queens, NY.

Marjorie Liu

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy; and is the current writer of Marvel’s Astonishing X-Men, which has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its “outstanding representation of the LGBT community.” She divides her time between Boston, Indiana, and Beijing, China.

Nicola López

Born in Santa Fe, NM, Nicola López lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches at Columbia University in New York City. Through her work in installation, drawing and printmaking, López describes and reconfigures our contemporary—primarily urban—landscape. Her focus on describing ‘place’ stems from an interest in urban planning, architecture and anthropology and it has been fueled by time spent working and traveling in different landscapes. López has received support for her work through a NYFA Fellowhsip in Drawing/Printmaking/Book Arts and a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, among others. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally: it been included in group exhibitions at museums including MoMA in NY, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in LA, the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City and the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO and featured in solo exhibitions at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. López’s site-specific work “Un-building Things” is currently on view the Balcony Lounge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.

Ann Mah

Ann Mah is a journalist and the author of the novel, Kitchen Chinese. Ann was awarded a James Beard Foundation culinary scholarship in 2005 and her articles about food, travel, fashion, style, and the arts have appeared in The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post, the International Herald Tribune, Washingtonian Magazine, and the South China Morning Post, among other publications. The wife of a U.S. diplomat, Mah currently splits her time between New York City and Paris. For more information, please visit

Rahul Mehta

Rahul Mehta is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning short story collection Quarantine. His fiction and essays have been published in the Kenyon Review, the Sun, New Stories from the South, the New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire India, and elsewhere. An Out Magazine “Out 100” honoree, Rahul is currently living in Philadelphia and finishing a novel.

Maryam Mortaz

Maryam Mortaz’ first collection of stories, Pushkin and Other Stories, was published in Persian, in Iran, in 2001. Since moving to the United States and switching to writing in English, her stories have appeared in such magazines as Bomb, Callaloo, New Review of Literature, as well as in the collection from the University of Arkansas Press, Tremors: New Writing from Iranian-American Writers. She lives in New York City and is a literary translator of Persian and a graduate student in Mental Health Therapy.

Rishi Nath

Rishi Nath writes about urban culture and electronic music in Black and Third World diasporas. A former AAWW Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellow, he is a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University for the 2013-2014 academic year. He teaches mathematics at the City University of New York in Jamaica, Queens and resides in nearby Richmond Hill, Queens.

Mark Nowak

Mark Nowak is the author of Coal Mountain Elementary and Shut Up Shut Down, a New York Times Editor’s Choice. He directs the MFA program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

Mehdi Tavana Okasi

Mehdi Tavana Okasi’s fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Guernica, Glimmer Train, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Best New American Voices 2009 among others. He was the 2011-12 Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives and works in Boston where he is completing his novel, May This Be Your Last Sorrow.

Alison Roh Park

Alison Roh Park is a Kundiman fellow, Pushcart nominated poet, and winner of the 2011 Poetry Society of America New York Chapbook Fellowship, 2012 Poets and Writers Magazine Amy Award and 2010 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. She currently teaches Asian American Studies at Hunter College and writes for

Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda was born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is the recipient of a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist fellowship, and the author of the memoir Sleep in Me, a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and a Library Journal “Best Books of 2010” selection. His poetry collections include The Translator’s Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose, and Birthmark, selected by Ralph Burns as winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series Open Competition. His newest manuscript was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Virginia with his family. Apology is his first novel.

Nahid Rachlin

Nahid Rachlin attended Columbia University MFA on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and Stanford University MFA on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publication include a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin), four novels, including Forgeigner (W.W. Norton) and a short story collection (City Lights). Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, and one of them was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and aired on NPR’s around the country.

Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine is the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America’s 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. She is Assistant Director of the MFA program at Manhattanville College.

Jess Row

Jess Row is the author of two collections of short stories, The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. His fiction has won a PEN/O. Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Award, and has been selected three times for The Best American Short Stories. He was named a “Best Young American Novelist” by Granta in 2007. His first novel, Your Face in Mine, will be published by Riverhead in summer 2014. He teaches at the College of New Jersey, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the City University of Hong Kong.

Thad Rutkowski

Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of the novels Haywire, Tetched and Roughhouse. His writing has appeared in The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Fiction and Fiction International. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and the Writer’s Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York. He received a 2012 fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of Brief Encounters With the Enemy, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free, for which he received a Whiting Writers’ Award. It was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta and McSweeney’s, among other publications. He teaches creative writing at NYU where he won a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and the Publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines. Sen has helped cultivate groundbreaking stories on immigration including ARC’s Shattered Families report, which changed the immigration debate by releasing the first estimation of children who lose their parents in the collision of immigration, criminal justice and child welfare systems. She was the architect of ARC’s 2010 “Drop the I-Word” campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, and many more outlets dropping the i-word. A longtime leader in the racial justice movement, Sen is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for activists and journalists, including being named a Prime Movers Fellow and one of Ms. Magazine’s “21 Feminists to Watch.”

Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah furthers the art of transformation. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Excellence Award for Social Service for her work fighting violence against women. Recently, she directed Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and ReVision 9/11, a community-based poetry project responding to the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Her debut book, Terrain Tracks, garnered the Many Voices Project prize and was nominated for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award. She continues to inspire change through her work as a non-profit consultant, anti-violence advocate, and writer. You can find more of her work at,, or @PurviPoets.

Rajpattie Sheodat

Rajpattie Sheodat is an MFA student at Manhattanville College with an undergraduate degree in political science.

Karen Shepard

Karen Shepard is a Chinese-American born and raised in New York City. She is the author of four novels, An Empire of Women, The Bad Boy’s Wife, Don’t I Know You?, and The Celestials. Her short fiction has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, among others. Her nonfiction has appeared in More, Self, USA Today, and The Boston Globe, among others. She teaches writing and literature at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she lives with her husband, novelist Jim Shepard, and their three children.

Erika K. Stanley

Erika K. Stanley is a poet, a recent graduate from Manhattanville College’s MFA program and the former editor of The Manhattanville Review. She is a Parent Organizer for Excel Bridgeport, a non-profit focused on education advocacy in her hometown of Bridgeport, CT.

Manil Suri

Manil Suri is the author of the novels The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva and The City of Devi. His fiction has won several awards and been translated into twenty-seven languages. He was raised in Mumbai and currently resides in Maryland, where he is professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Miguel Syjuco

Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. His debut novel Ilustrado was a NY Times Notable Book of 2010, as well as the winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award, and the Filipino Readers’ Choice Award. It was also a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, the Prix Jan Michalski, the Prix Courrier International, the Premio Von Rezzori, and the Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada and Caribbean region. It will be translated into more than 15 languages. Syjuco is currently a member of the Academy of the Folio Prize, as well as the literary editor of the Manila Review. He has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Walrus, the Globe & Mail, the CBC, and many others. He currently lives in Cambridge, MA.

Justin Torres

Justin Torres is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He was the recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. Among many other things, he has worked as a farmhand, a dog walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller; he is now a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Monique Truong

Monique Truong, a Vietnamese American novelist and food essayist, is based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first novel, The Book of Salt, was a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Fiction Book, and the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, among other honors. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth, was published in 2010 and received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a best book of 2010 by Barnes & Noble and Hudson Booksellers. Most recently, she was a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, 2012 Visiting Writer at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and a 2013 Civitella Ranieri Fellow. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney.

R.A. Villanueva

R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the 2013 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He is also the winner of the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he lives in Brooklyn.

James Yeh

James Yeh (born in 1982 in Anderson, South Carolina) is a writer, editor, and occasional DJ. A founding editor of Gigantic, his fiction appears in NOON, VICE Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Fence, Tin House, and PEN America. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Columbia University, and in 2011, he was named a Center for Fiction New York City Emerging Writers Fellow.

Irving Yew

Irving Yew is a college student attending CUNY Hunter College. He has been making and studying origami for 5 years now and enjoys everything about the art of origami.

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of two books of poetry: Barter (2003) and Ignatz (2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have been widely published, including in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress and has been awarded residencies at Civitella Ranieri, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. She was a practicing lawyer for over a decade, most recently at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. She currently teaches poetry at Bennington College, Princeton University, and the Warren Wilson MFA for Writers.

Helen Wan

Helen Wan is Associate General Counsel at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, and the author of the just-released novel, The Partner Track (St. Martin’s Press). The Partner Track is the story of a young Asian American woman up for partner at a prestigious white-shoe law firm, and how diversity and “outsider” status complicate the journeys of young people of color ascending the corporate ladder. Helen’s essays and articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.


October 1, 2013 - Posted by | ART, BUSINESS, CULTURE, ENTREPRENEURS, FOOD AND WINE, LIFESTYLES, opportunity, We Recommend | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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