Articles in the Everything Category
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Unsettling the Nation from the Land: A Conversation with Manu Karuka

By Vivek Bald | May 16, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Empire’s Tracks talks anti-imperialist immigrant movements, the alternate history of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the rumor of U.S. sovereignty.

Sengarone Peter Vetsmany: Two Poems

By Sengarone Peter Vetsmany | May 14, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Now, I’m lost in the woods thinking of Noy. / Is she still in Seattle? Does she has her pastry shop? / In Minnesota, I gather what is gone, capturing a spirit.

The Promise of This Union: On the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike

By Paisley Rekdal | May 13, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

On the 150th anniversary of the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, Paisley Rekdal revisits the legacy of the Chinese railroad workers who reshaped the American West.

Memory and the Elusive Archive

By Sokunthary Svay | May 10, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

After her death, the class continued to meet every week until the end of the semester. What else could we do?

These Fragments of a Broken Geography

By Sadia Shepard | May 10, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

As I celebrate Meena Alexander’s life, and revisit her books, I’m acutely aware of my mistaken impression that there would be so much more time in the future to get to know one another better.

Entangled Alphabets

By Rajini Srikanth | May 9, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Malayalam, English, Arabic, French: Meena Alexander inhabited all these languages, reminding her of the many homes she had lived in and experienced.

Routine Made Everything Possible: An Interview with Ling Ma

By Jen Lue | May 9, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Severance talks apocalyptic immigrant narratives, co-opting consumerism, and the disease of remembering.

Meena Alexander, a Consummate Woman of Letters

By Patricia Spears Jones | May 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I read and re-read Atmospheric Embroidery so that I could ask her something that would be of interest. But I did not get to ask those questions. Her answers are in the poems.

I Hold Dear the Sound of Meena’s Laughter

By Jessica Hagedorn | May 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The opening lines of Manhattan Music are, of course, like a poem: “A summer ago I thought I would lose my mind. Riding the subway. Up and down. Down and up…”

A Picture of Meena Alexander, the Teacher

By Swati Khurana | May 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

As I looked at her notes from my papers in her class and her emails to me, I realized she had so much belief in my work. She was a teacher who had so much belief in her students.

Meena Alexander’s Kerala

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil | May 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Meena was the very first poet I discovered who named places and sounds and smells and sights from Kerala, the emerald green, southern-most coast of India.

To Be Close Again to Meena and to Learn More from Her Poetry, I Compose a Cento

By Kimiko Hahn | May 7, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I came into this world in an Allahabad hospital / In the absence of reliable ghosts I made aria / I watch your hands at the keyboard / Memory is all you have.

The Fragments Will Save You: Remembering Meena

By Sangamithra Iyer | May 6, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Meena Alexander taught us that our stories required narratives that were true to the ruptures of our lives.

The Dark Soil of Self

By Ritty Lukose | May 3, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In mining the contours of being elsewhere, Meena Alexander widened the narrow passage between her birth and her death.

The Terrifying Condition of the Human Heart

By Kazim Ali | May 2, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Meena Alexander’s work shimmered with beauty but always—always—the tension of violence quivered just beneath

Meena Alexander: On Intrusion, Dissolution, and Elsewhere

By Megan Fernandes | May 1, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

If I dissolve when the push of the world comes in on me, I know now it is a form of longing, or rather, a longing for form

Meena’s Words Are Inscribed in Us: A Collected Tribute

By Manan Ahmed | May 1, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Essays and remembrances for the late poet, scholar, and essayist Meena Alexander (1951-2018)

consumption (in contemporary)

By Andy Choi | April 30, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

i had a twin who was 95% water. a twin who latched its mouth onto my heart and drank me dry.

Van Runcit Putih | Neighborhood Sundry Van

By Zedeck Siew and Sharon Chin | April 26, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Sakit lelah aku tidak lain dan tidak bukan harga hidup senang aku kini || My asthma is the cost of the middle-class life I live now

បង្កងទឹកសាប និងឈ្មោះប្លែកៗ | Freshwater Lobster and the Trouble with Names

By Phina So | April 25, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

៦០០០០រៀល! មើលទៅបង! បង្កងធំៗណាស់! || 60,000 KHR. Big ones! Look at them, sister!

Những tin tức về một ngôi làng | Chronicles of A Village

By Nguyễn Thanh Hiện and Nguyễn Hoàng Quyên | April 24, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

một cây vải đổi lấy mười vuông thóc || one bolt of fabric for ten vuông of unhusked rice

Non-Invasive

By Cameron Quan Louie | April 23, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Instinctively, one / wants to be the native plant in its ancestral loam, / one wants a resistance to the sun, to shun full rainfall / for a flash of morning dew, or at very least, grow / some throwaway limbs.

April Bookmarks: 25 New Books by Asian Writers

By Sharon Lee | April 22, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop
Tags:

Immigrant courtroom dramas, Chinese dystopic climate fiction, the indigenous literature of Micronesia, and Asian American cyborg poetics.

Kaemon accho? Shob thik?

By Jonaki Ray | April 22, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Grandfather would have bought the Ilish—not wincing at the 1200 rupees per kilogram

ตลาดนัด | The Flea Markets

By Duanwad Pimwana and Mui Poopoksakul | April 19, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

รองเท้านักเรียนคู่นั้นยี่สิบบาทเองหรือ || These school uniform shoes are only twenty baht?

Explosion of Truth: An Interview with Angie Kim

By Mira T. Lee | April 18, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Miracle Creek on courtroom dramas, the unrealistic expectations placed on mothers, and writing an immigrant whodunnit

Tiangge

By Nikka Cornelio-Baker | April 17, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Mamsa! Sitenta’ng kilo! || Jack fish, seventy pesos a kilogram.

How to Make an Ariel

By Jai Hamid Bashir | April 16, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I practiced my Urdu in the bathroom with you / as I sat in the tub; only so long before an American / mermaid can stand without floating on into sea foam.

Shades of Black and Gray: A Portfolio of Prison Literature

By Daniel A. Gross | April 11, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In a new portfolio from A World Without Cages, eight incarcerated writers explore the underworld.

Returns to Form: An Interview with Susan Choi

By Yasmin Adele Majeed | April 10, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author talks her long career as a novelist, her obsession with adolescence, and the disruptive process of writing her latest novel, Trust Exercise.

Interview After the End of the World

By Lily Zhou | April 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I could become / a better citizen, but then who would be left to / speak for me?

Life Lines: A Poem by Connie Leung

By Connie Leung | April 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

if only we could learn / to stop // looking back / for each other.

On Asian Shame

By Franklin Lee | April 5, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I am buried by my own guilt and shame for a crime that impacted the victim, my family, and my community.

Residence of a Sleepless Dream

By Bartholomew Crawford | April 4, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I reside in purgatory awaiting judgment. A seven-level structure, seven stories of nothing.

Buddha in the Prison Yard

By Arthur Longworth | April 3, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The Buddha has been in this prison for as long as any of us can remember. He has always been here, watching over our Sangha meetings, sitting with us in practice.

Drop a Kite

By Fong Lee | April 3, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Sometimes you wonder if there really is a place called heaven nearby. You will ask yourself which would be better: Death? Or 38 years in prison?

Saturday Morning Cartoons: Baopu #15

By Jody Chan | April 2, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

three Novembers ago we found a comic that told us / if you want to say thank you, don’t say sorry. / I have held my breath ever since.

Letter to the Son I Never Met

By Dao Xiong | April 1, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Dao Xiong writes to Axxel Xiong from inside a Minnesota prison.

March Bookmarks: 23 New Books by Asian Writers

By Sharon Lee | March 29, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

South Korean female divers, Malay sorceresses, three generations of Palestinian women in Bay Ridge, and poetry on the multiplicities of the self through queer and trans perspectives.

Chinese Laundry

By M. Monsuri | March 29, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In prison, most relationships are transactional. Rey, for some reason, shows love to everyone on the cellblock.

Inside: Two Poems by Louise Waakaa’igan

By Louise Waakaa'igan | March 28, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

each maple and golden locust / weighs heavy with coverings of Christian / white snow concealing / impurities of earthen made bark

Fast Food

By Kara Kai Wang | March 26, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

What do you like he tries again / and I think of landscape, the early fog / ridden hills of San Francisco when eucalyptus / unfurl like children waking to the light.

Fruits of the Future

By Ly Thuy Nguyen | March 21, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Not an assumption; not a name you learned to remember, not a fleshy shape or a face you already recognized

Does a face need a mask?

By Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Tiffany Tsao | March 20, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In English, you choose to be gender-neutral. In Indonesian, it’s a gift from the language.

Safe sex and Exile | Tình dục an toàn và Lưu vong

By Vũ Thành Sơn and Kaitlin Rees | March 19, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Bạn sẽ gọi quê hương bằng một đại từ nào? Tôi sẽ gọi đó là một ám ảnh | What pronoun would you use to call your birthsoil? I would call it a haunting

Discovering the Illusion: An Interview with T Kira Madden

By Pik-Shuen Fung | March 18, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“Magic and writing, it’s all misdirection, defamiliarization, and at its best, the ahhhhh moment of surprise.”

Echoes of I [ ] 我: On translating the space between subjects

By Mu Dan and Emily Goedde | March 15, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A changing consciousness within Mu Dan’s poetry stirs a listening in his translator

Some Quiet Conversation

By Dominic Sy | March 14, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

By what divine aberration did our souls divide into two, unaware of the splitting?

Everyone is here but the one who matters

By Li Qingzhao and Jenn Marie Nunes | March 13, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

夜來沉醉卸妝遲 || With night you sink drunk slow to undo/ your hair

Heart’s Exile, Day Forty-Seven | 심장의 유배, 마흔이레

By Kim Hyesoon and Don Mee Choi | March 12, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Can I call my death “I”?

The First and Second I & Missing Person | Dua Aku & Orang Hilang

By Cyntha Hariadi and Norman Erikson Pasaribu | March 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

was it a gentle human hand, or black-furred / long-clawed

The Implicit I: Contesting Ambiguity in Korean Literature

By Sora Kim-Russell | March 7, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How the blurring of a relationship may point to a more fertile ground lying between the lines, in which multiple desires can co-exist.

The Pronoun

By Transpacific Literary Project | March 6, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

An introduction to the folio, featuring 누가, 네, nhân vật, con, chanh, …, 그 (kû), 님 (nim), 형 (hyeong), tôi, em, chúng ta, một ám ảnh, I, [ ], [who?], 我 (wo), kau, aku, dia, ia, you, and a selfsame similarity

Esmé Weijun Wang: Writing Vulnerability

By Rowan Hisayo Buchanan | March 4, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of The Collected Schizophrenias speaks to the challenge of telling truths when writing about a disorder that lies over and over again

On a Desert Highway: Two Poems by Ed Bok Lee

By Ed Bok Lee | February 28, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The shaman wore long white sleeves rippling & / Minuscule in the bone-dry distance. / I jerked & righted the wheel / Plying invisible waves of hot sea

February Bookmarks: 23 New Books by Asian Writers

By Sharon Lee | February 28, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

New Chinese science fiction, the poetry of Vietnamese displacement, Asian American mental health and racial melancholia, and a newly translated Korean fairytale classic.

There is No Me Inside Me: Four Poems by Kim Yideum

By Kim Yideum | February 26, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I write myself into the fiction / whether you see me or not.

Kim Yideum: On Kisaeng, Poetry, and Korean Feminism

By Jake Levine and Soeun Seo | February 21, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The Korean feminist poet talks undermining patriarchy, the Korean literary world’s #MeToo, and why the material is more honest than matters of the soul

Fighting for Asylum Seekers Who Look Like Me

By Kanwalroop Kaur Singh | February 20, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A Sikh American law student writes about working with detained Sikh migrants.

Table

By You Li | February 19, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

If you lie / on the table, you subject the table to a terrible guilt. / It is no longer a table people can eat on. If you stand / next to the table, the table senses its mortality.

A Spider

By Souvankham Thammavongsa | February 12, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Over and over / from some small / dark pit, / it spun out / a whole world / for itself

Out With Mom

By Rebecca Pinwei Tseng | February 5, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I am careful with my words unless they are not in English, / am I not? (不好意識打擾各位可是我不想再禮貌了。) / My mother is careful with her words only when they are in English.

Surur Teaches Me How to Say Ahha (احا)

By Hazem Fahmy | January 29, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Here, the mangled text that will / become a poem — loose language — / blueprint for a reckoning.

January Bookmarks: 20 New Books by Asian Writers

By AAWW | January 23, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Queer Palestinian poetry, assassins of Seoul crime fiction, a history of post-1949 Chinese exile, fantastical Afghani-American fables, and the poetics of Filipino American food.

The Magician’s Daughter: Two Poems by Shuang Ang

By Shuang Ang | January 22, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

My father was always the magician, / not I. One swift pull and / the silk streamers would spill / from his mouth, flooding the floor.

Giving Up the Gaze: A Conversation with Sally Wen Mao

By Jenny Xie | January 16, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“To occupy this space, this body, is disorienting and at times disturbing, because you are never quite sure whose gaze truly sees you beyond the projections and assumptions and desires.”

The Diary of Afong Moy

By Sally Wen Mao | January 16, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Banknotes / dropped, jawbones dropped, and it was truly / unnerving, to watch the white people / stare at me, mouths / twitching in awe or pity, / or both.

Introducing the 2019 AAWW Margins Fellows

By AAWW | January 15, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

These four writers will spend the next year queering nature writing, reflecting on the struggle between intellectual- and animal-self, experimenting with the boundaries of lyric to find a home in the body, and telling a family’s story of a century of urban upheaval in Brooklyn

Midas

By Kristin Chang | January 15, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

My father the frycook, his father / the same. Their hands so oiled / everything they touched / flamed. Like Midas if Midas / loved fire not gold.

Ghazal Asking My Father the Questions

By Hajjar Baban | January 8, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Did you take my mother’s hand or ghost / the altar in her bedroom first?

Love in a Time of Dystopia: A Conversation with Thea Lim

By Manisha Claire | January 2, 2019 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of An Ocean of Minutes talks the terror of time travel, immigrant fiction, and capturing grief in writing.

What No One Else Sees: A Portfolio of Incarceration Literature

By Daniel A. Gross | December 22, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In five works from our initiative A World Without Cages, writers witness life inside.

Autumn in Prison

By Connie Leung | December 20, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

but your leaves are changing in here / as all the fallen do

I Never Learn My Lesson: An Interview with Bonnie Chau

By Jen Lue | December 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“When I was initially describing this book I was like, ‘It’s about young women failing. Just failing, a lot, at life.’ That was my elevator pitch.”

The Republic of Mercy: Two Poems by Sharon Wang

By Sharon Wang | December 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Always / propelling the thing forward, not leaving us to rest. / Below: the infinite world, // all its ligaments, all its creatures.

Canary Robin and the Place Without Cages

By CM Campbell | December 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How might a children’s book explain prison abolition?

AAWW Staff Picks: Best of 2018

By AAWW | December 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The AAWW staff, interns, and fellows select their favorite books, music, film, and art from 2018.

[Call for Submissions] TRANS:ACT with the Transpacific Literary Project

By Transpacific Literary Project | December 14, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A marketplace writing prompt to explore the languages of exchange **Submit by February 18, 2019 (new deadline)**

The Prison Diary of Elizabeth Hawes

By Elizabeth Hawes | December 14, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I often ask myself what I am learning or bearing witness to by being here. What is in front of me and why. I frequently have no answers to my questions.

Dreaming of Fresh Fish in ICE Custody

By Kevin Chun Hoi Lo | December 13, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

In 2017, we stop a deportation flight to Cambodia with thirty fathers, brothers, and sons on board. A few months later, many of them are deported anyway.

The Border Against Belonging

By Asa Drake | December 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

From the border cities of Juárez and El Paso to America’s courtrooms, Sasha Pimentel’s For Want of Water is not a collection to chart a way home. It’s a way to claim one.

Security

By Leigh Sugar | December 11, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

what I don’t get is why / you choose to come here

Eight Encounters with Incarceration in the AAWW Archives

By Wen Zhuang | December 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

To launch our initiative A World Without Cages, we consider the literature of incarceration with writers like Brandon Shimoda, Nina Sharma, and Zaina Alsous.

In the Hardware Factory

By Zheng Xiaoqiong and Eleanor Goodman | December 7, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

as I bear loneliness in the shrieks of iron, it carved / my residence registration on a hole-punch

Rituals of Style: An Interview with Yumi Sakugawa

By Jean Chen Ho | December 6, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The illustrator and comic artist talks the spiritual side of fashion, pho dresses, Claudia Kishi as an Asian American style icon, and her new book, Fashion Forecasts.

Remembering the Anonymous

By Xie Xiangnan and Bing Ma and Eleanor Goodman | December 6, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

This is a rectangular dream / which inevitably brings forth a rectangular waiting / a floating country can’t pillow a broken dream / and I’ve never dared say goodnight

A Window

By Bernard Capinpin | December 4, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The / day you died, the windows of our house were / open to let the breeze in. You said that it was / nothing.

Hwang Jungeun & the Intimacies of the Unseen

By Hwang Jungeun | November 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

It wasn’t the kind of place you’d notice as a casual passer-by, but one you could only find if you were looking for it.

The End of a Love Affair (Honest and Truly!): An Excerpt from Blame This on the Boogie

By Rina Ayuyang | November 28, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A fitting end to my crazy stalker-ish experience with Dancing with the Stars

Song Kyung-dong: Overcoming the Nation

By Song Kyung-dong | November 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Tonight, too, there are turning lines…/ I say I do not know, do not know.

November & December Bookmarks: 24 New Books by Asian Writers

By Johanna Dong | November 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The art of queer diaspora, surreal stories of contemporary China, journeys into the history of the Philippine-American War, and the story of the subcontinent through bodies of water.

shock-awareness

By Phan Bá Thọ | November 20, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

love you because i / hate your lovers loving your peripheral love

Two Poems by Sawako Nakayasu

By Sawako Nakayasu | November 16, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Taking advantage of opacity, Girl E goes for it and punches indiscriminately.

Seven White Rabbit Candies is Equivalent to One Cup of Milk

By Karen Gu | November 15, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

As soon as they touch your saliva, the filaments dissolve. Their structure can’t sustain the contact. The sweetness is the taste of collapse.

Folds and Staples: When DIY Publishing Makes a Community

By AAWW | November 14, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Nine artists talk zine fests, artistic influences, and the growing world of queer Asian zine makers.

“L’Heure Vert”

By Monica Ferrell | November 13, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Near the bottom of your hollow mouth, / Your cut tongue gathers lizard scales / Like a sunken bucket in an algal well.

Letter from an Absence I Begin With

By Zaina Alsous | November 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The majority of Palestinians live outside of the occupied territories, awake within a paradox: If it is a demand of land that tethers us, what do we make of those millions of us without a memory of the land to cling to?

Careful, Mama Says

By Esumi Fujimoto | November 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A two-minute stare-down with their father’s deathbed occurs. As though the thing will explain itself.

Hybrid Inheritances: A Conversation with Dao Strom

By David Palumbo-Liu | November 8, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

David Palumbo-Liu talks with Dao Strom about the mythologies of Vietnam, folk music’s political history, and making space for empathy in writing.

Playing with white dust from Mongolia, always unfinished

By Tse Hao Guang (謝皓光) | November 5, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

into such sen / sitivity of it / such sense / could not say

Origin Story

By Alice Stephens | November 2, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

She kissed a fingertip and touched it to the frayed edge of a small sketch of her face. It was all she had left of him, a drawing that he had made of her.

The Age of Plastic

By Craig Santos Perez | November 1, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Ultrasound waves / pulse between fluid, tissue, and bone一 / the embryo echoes.

Poor Unfortunate Fools

By Silvia Park | November 1, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Astra unwrapped her long spindly fingers and weighed his member with a chilling fascination.

Mongrel Forms: A Conversation With Deepak Unnikrishnan

By Lisa Chen | October 31, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“When people ask me how much of the book is autobiographical, I often tell them, ‘Well, you know the story where the man turns into a suitcase? That’s my uncle.'”

Photograph Curling

By Aldrin Valdez | October 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

She’s here to see us off. / Her voice is the softest ligature, unthreading. / Why are you saying goodbye to everyone except for me who raised you?

Fish Paste

By Nay Saysourinho | October 26, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I will outrun the smell of wet decay, your Mekong river in a Gatorade bottle.

Water

By Divya Victor | October 25, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

After a sperm whale sucks in a squid, it will vomit out its beak.

Opening the Folio: Plastic

By Transpacific Literary Project | October 25, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

An introduction to the Transpacific Literary Project’s pieces of Plastic through a weaving of voices and questions to come

Hope and Destruction: A Conversation with Akil Kumarasamy

By Zena Agha | October 24, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Half Gods talks self-orientalism, writing in the diaspora, and the art of the short story.

Apple: Two Poems by Ayesha Raees

By Ayesha Raees | October 23, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

There was a longing / in the carvings of the / knife my mother held / against the fruit. She / peels with quiet / permission.

October Bookmarks: 30 New Books by Asian Writers

By Johanna Dong and Ernest Tjia | October 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Jeff Yang’s poetry of placelessness, Perumal Murugan’s controversial fiction, Anita Felicelli’s timeless Tamil short stories, and Nasser Hussain’s experimental sky writings.

Wild Girls Seek Justice Through Writing Poetry: A Conversation with Marilyn Chin

By Jane Wong | October 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Marilyn Chin talks bad girl haikus, pissing off your ancestors, and her new career-spanning collection, A Portrait of the Self as Nation.

The Radical Metaphor of If They Come For Us

By Yasmin Adele Majeed | October 15, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Fatimah Asghar’s insistence on joy is a refusal of the demand that marginalized writers flatten trauma for the white gaze

Generation

By Ahmed Bouanani, translated by Emma Ramadan | October 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

May our dead no longer speak to us / Our language now kneaded into other woes / with rancid stars a meager pittance / and false kingdoms rich in violent blows

What Could Have Been: A Conversation with Nicole Chung

By Mary-Kim Arnold | October 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

“There is something inherently powerful in adoptees speaking up and telling our own stories. And I will always believe that to be true.”

Object Permanence: Two Poems by Constance Chan

By Constance Chan | October 9, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I always thought I’d find you / throned in the moon-drenched water my wonder / woman your palms curled upward like lotus skins

Camp: An Asian American Reading List

By AAWW | October 3, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The conversations, stories, and works of literature and scholarship that inspired our most recent special issue “Camp.”

Chinatown Diptych: Two Poems by Jenny Xie

By Jenny Xie | October 2, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Who’s keeping count of what’s given against what’s stolen? / There’s nothing I can’t trace back to my coarse immigrant blood.

Shallows

By Maya McCoy | September 28, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The dreams only start after camp, after I take my first swim with Appah. I watch him with binoculars as he moves farther and farther out into the deep.

The Art of the Camp Ghost Story

By Nancy Huang | September 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The campus was haunted and we all knew it. That summer we flinched around every corner, put our hands out in front of us when we turned off the lights.

How I Wait for You to Return from Your Naturalization Ceremony

By Maddie Kim | September 25, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Tonight, when you return, you / will be an American and I will still be a girl who needs / a translator to read in my mother’s language, my mouth full / of so few shapes. I fall into the habits of my mother, it’s true.

Call for Submissions: A World Without Cages

By AAWW | September 21, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

We’re looking for creative work about life in jail, prison, and immigrant detention.

Crazy Rich Asians Gives in to Love

By Seunghwa Madeleine Han and Andrew Tan-Delli Cicchi | September 20, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

For a film that positions itself as a watershed in the Asian American rom-com canon, when tasked with illuminating romance’s political valences, Crazy Rich Asians pulls up short.

Haunted Women: A Conversation with Sharlene Teo

By Kimberley Lim | September 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Ponti talks female ghouls, writing away from the male gaze, and inhabiting trauma through storytelling.

Transpacific Literary Project: The Pronoun

By Transpacific Literary Project | September 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Send your translations & writing on “The Pronoun” to the Transpacific Literary Project by October 28, 2018

Immigrant’s Lament

By Phuong T. Vuong | September 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

This is my small sphere. / I’ll make good, stay folded in myself. I promise / to memorize the bramble and texture of garden walls.

A Cruelty Special to Our Species

By Emily Jungmin Yoon | September 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

She is girl. She is gravel. She is grabbed. She is grabbed like handfuls of gravel.

Immigrant Returns: A Summer on the Taiwanese Study Tour Love Boat

By Audrea Lim | September 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Borders and exclusion are the flip side of identity. They are all components of the question: “Who belongs?”

What’s on TV

By Angie Sijun Lou | September 14, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Mama runs inside to bang on the bathroom door and yell Chinese vocabulary words at me—yellow light, borrowed light, get in the car, open. I dip my head underwater so every word sounds like a vowel, oceanic and slow.

September Bookmarks: 22 New Books by Asian Writers

By Ernest Tjia and Wen Zhuang | September 13, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop
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Salman Rushdie’s newest, Marie Lu’s anticipated sequel, Khaled Hosseini’s illustrated short, and Emily Yoon’s sharp-edged poetry.

Camp: A Special Issue of The Margins

By AAWW | September 11, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop
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A collection of essays, poems, and stories by Asian American writers that trouble, expand, and redefine the space of the camp

Cherrystone, For Us

By Andrea Juele | September 11, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Fingers caked with wet / rice break backs and bellies, / pluck gills, / scrape eggs, tear limbs / Tita takes our legs– / cracks them / under a glass jar for us. / We suck shells ’til twilight.

Carrying the Fire in the Windy City

By Kenji Kuramitsu | September 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A personal history of race and the American outdoors, from Chicago’s Red Summer to Japanese American incarceration

When the Moon is Your Mother’s Lost Comb: Two Poems by Asa Drake

By Asa Drake | September 4, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Woman who puts up her hair comb holds / up the sky. There is the legend and probably a lie.

Our Wholeness, Our Togetherness: A Conversation with Aimee Nezhukumatathil & Ross Gay

By Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Ross Gay | August 29, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The poets talk creative collaboration, gardening, epistolary poetry, and the intimacy of sentences.

To Whom I Could Give This Pain: Three Poems by Lee Seong-Bok

By Lee Seong-Bok | August 28, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

From a crevice in a severed rock / birds with long beaks were tearing out earthworms. / My pain was without a wound / and in the bodies of the frayed, torn-out worms / there was no pain.

Literary Interventions: Women Translators on Women Writers They Dream of Translating

By AAWW | August 23, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Celebrate Women in Translation month by reading the work of under-translated women writers.

Still, Somehow: Two Poems by Hieu Minh Nguyen

By Hieu Minh Nguyen | August 21, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

because I love you, I will gut this distance / with nostalgia, because grief can taste of sugar if you run / your tongue along the right edge

This is Not the Dawn: Poetry of Partition

By AAWW | August 14, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Poets write back to the literature of Partition on its 71st anniversary

August Bookmarks: 21 New Books by Asian Writers

By Ashley Somwaru and Wen Zhuang | August 13, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Tadao Tsuge’s visionary punk manga, Fatimah Asghar’s Partition poetry, Ling Ma’s anti-capitalist zombie satire, and Etel Adnan’s apocalyptic aphorisms.

Counting Tokens: Special Issues and the Theatre of Delay

By Yanyi | August 9, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

On Poetry magazine’s trans and gender non-conforming poets issue and the costs of being included

Rainbow

By Eileen Chong | August 7, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Not all rainbow: here, tender orange, / there, rusted brown, the underside / gelatinous and white. Then the bones.

AAWW Staff Picks: Summer Reads

By AAWW | August 2, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Moroccan surrealist poetry, Dickensian Korean American fiction, Chinese mythology made new, memoirs of a post-Marcos Philippines, and more.

We Are Family: An Interview with Min Jin Lee

By Lillian Li | August 1, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Min Jin Lee talks with Lillian Li about researching and revising a novel, her relationship to her readership, and what’s next in line after Pachinko.

Apply: The Margins Fellowship 2019

By AAWW | August 1, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is now accepting applications for the 2019 Margins Fellowship.

Disorder: Two Poems by Adeeba Talukder

By Adeeba Talukder | July 31, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

There is uncertainty in your future, a woman on the street told me. I can see it. You will be very unhappy, very soon.

Search History

By Eugene Lim | July 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The dysthemic artificial intelligence scientist took a book of poetry off the shelf and sat on her couch. What was she ushering in and what was a grand program for which she was simply helpless agent?

Minoru

By Michael Prior | July 24, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The stallion: one win short / of the triple crown. My intonation: / one stress too many for an apology— / all the times I got it wrong. Minoru, / Minoru—both are gone.

In Search of Roots: An Excerpt from Paper Sons

By Dickson Lam | July 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

With only the moonlight, we could barely see what we’d tag. All around my tag were faded names, names we didn’t bother to read in the dark—our graffiti forebears. One day, we too would be unread.

narrowed lust

By Inam Kang | July 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

i say i’ll be / dressless, skinless, curated / and pickled. i say i’ll give it / all up for a chance to be warm.

Sugar on the Gash

By Divya Victor | July 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

We are our skins; we are our hides. But my skin, and the skin of others like me, has been torn. It is at the site of this gash that our identity coheres, that our identity is espied.

Severed Ties: An Interview with Dickson Lam

By Jean Chen Ho | July 11, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Dickson Lam talks about cultural memory, cross-generational trauma, and familial separation in his new memoir Paper Sons.

You Will Always Be Someone From Somewhere Else

By Dao Strom | July 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Mythologies have their way of explaining the basic human condition: that there will always be some where or thing you wish to get to or back to.

Wounded Elders: On Racial Identity and Reviewing

By Paisley Rekdal | July 5, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

What a review of Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky with Exit Wounds tells us about critics’ narrow perceptions of immigrant and war-affected identities

Swallow

By Geramee Hensley | June 26, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Ask if he knows, what the first champagne mango of the summer / tastes like, its golden juices flowing over some farmer’s / cigar paper skin.

From Plate to Page: An Interview with Lillian Li

By Crystal Hana Kim | June 20, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Lillian Li talks about immigrant sacrifice, humor, learning from Asian American literature, and her debut novel, Number One Chinese Restaurant.

Apo

By Cornell Pineda | June 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

A policeman found the boy minutes later. A shaman, / a monk, a priest, and a poet are still pouring over / his soul.

Where We Can Breathe Independently Together

By Kristina Huang | June 15, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

CUNY’s legacy, the limits and violence of Asian American success stories, and what’s at stake in the fight for accessible public education

Wild Geese Sorrow: The Chinese Wall Inscriptions at Angel Island

By Jeffrey Thomas Leong and David Wojahn | June 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Against the hills, a tall building with plank-walled rooms. / I, wishing for my wife and son like clouds far away, / My night is even longer under the bright moon.

Camp: Call for Submissions

By AAWW | June 7, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

We’re now accepting submissions to a new special issue of The Margins.

AAWW TV: 2017-2018 Margins Fellows & Mentors Reading

By AAWW | June 7, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Celebrate our third class of Margins fellows—Mariam Bazeed, Rami Karim, Kyle Lucia Wu, and Yanyi—and hear them read with mentors Alexander Chee, Kaitlyn Greenidge, and Rachel Zucker.

June Bookmarks: 20 New Books by Asian Writers

By Ashley Somwaru and Ernest Tjia | June 6, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

June brings the poetry of the Sri Lankan long durée, South Korean domestic thrillers, number one Chinese restaurants, and new myths of old Morocco.

Marianna’s Beauty Salon: Two Poems by Bushra Rehman

By Bushra Rehman | June 5, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The moon appears / the small clip of a nail a paring knife / a chalk mark / left to linger in the sky

Imagining Abolition: A Conversation with Jackie Wang

By Mark Tseng-Putterman | May 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Carceral Capitalism talks predictive policing, the limits of appeals to innocence, and the price of prisons.

My Mother Tells Me About Lolo

By Marianne Chan | May 29, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

We prayed for resurrections, / but the dead remain as memories that / seemed to shrink in the mind, / like an airplane appearing smaller / the further it gets from the ground.

A Beautiful Child

By Omar Sakr | May 22, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I should say kholo, my mother’s brother. / I should say umja, my father’s brother / so you know which branch of the tree to cut. Or / cherish.

Keeping Tabs: Refusing Death

By Ashley Somwaru | May 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Religious supremacy, colonial erasure’s legacies, and seventy years of Palestinian resistance to occupation.

Introducing the 2018-2019 AAWW Margins Fellows

By AAWW | May 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

These four writers will spend the next year writing fiction about Iraq beyond war, creative nonfiction on diasporic women’s silences around trauma, memoir about legacies of abuse and the Cultural Revolution, and poetry of displacement and loss.

Litany for the Long Moment

By Mary-Kim Arnold | May 15, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

If I can learn its grammar and alphabet / hold its vocabulary in my mouth / then perhaps I can know something of history—my history.

AAWW TV: Robot Coda

By AAWW | May 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Margaret Rhee, Ching-In Chen, Seo-Young Chu and Mimi Mondal explore the intersections of love, race, and technology in their writing.

Sitting the Month

By Kristin Chang | May 9, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

These are all birth stories, but I will not tell you mine.

Face | Off

By Su Hwang | May 8, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Pipedream: / I wondered what it would be like to strip away / slit eyes—sick of assimilation; the debilitating / task of tireless reinvention.

May Bookmarks: 20 New Books by Asian Writers

By Ernest Tjia and Yasmin Adele Majeed | May 7, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop
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May brings Bollywood love poems, Hawaiian gothic fiction, and the literary legacy of indentured labor in the Caribbean.

AAWW TV: Translation/Migration Mixtape

By AAWW | May 3, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Janice Lobo Sapigao, Raquel Salas Rivera and Adeeba Talukder remix translation through love letters, laws, and binary code.

Canceled Texts: An Interview with Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

By Rami Karim | May 2, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The artist and writer behind South/South talks experiments in social fiction, sharing the secrets of strangers, and writing fictional telegrams by Luis Buñuel.

A Woman May Not Be a Safe Place: Two Poems by Diana Khoi Nguyen

By Diana Khoi Nguyen | April 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

When I was born, my parents put me on a rug on the ground and stood / staring at me until the light outside dimmed and then there in the / darkening we three were quiet for a while

Sadakichi Hartmann, a “Missing Link” of American Poetry

By Floyd Cheung | April 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How the Japanese American poet, art critic, and performer helped shape Modernist poetry as he brought Japanese poetic forms into English

Keeping Tabs: Through the Grapevine

By AAWW | April 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Confronting whiteness, the ghazal as an elegy to queerness, and talking to Valeria Luiselli about American immigration policy.

AAWW TV: Abdellah Taïa and Meena Alexander

By AAWW | April 26, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Belladonna* Collaborative, Brooklyn Public Library and Asian American Writer’s Workshop are proud to co-present Abdellah Taïa in conversation with poet and scholar Meena Alexander.

A Little Bit Like Worship: An Interview with Elaine Castillo

By Yasmin Adele Majeed | April 25, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of America is Not the Heart talks commemorating the mundane in fiction, writing about working class queer women, and re-claiming the Bay Area in her novel.

The New Song of Myself: An Interview with Jennifer Crandall

By Liz Hildreth and Jennifer Crandall | April 24, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Journalist Jennifer Crandall is re-claiming Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” through the voices and stories of the South.

Elegy Ending in the Sound of a Sewing Machine: Two Poems by Cindy Tran

By Cindy Tran | April 24, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I could live like this, I thought, lie here / and have my own kind of drifting blue.

The Poet’s Education

By Jenny Boully | April 23, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

That was the first time I knew that there must have been others out there, just like me, who were sad and lonely and just wanted some kind of beauty in their lives and maybe for a boy to love them.

April Bookmarks: 24 New Books by Asian Writers

By Yasmin Adele Majeed | April 19, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

April brings post-Fukushima dystopias, memoirs of the writing life, post-modern meditations on alienation, mythic novels of the Iranian revolution, and more.

Are You This or That?: An Interview with YZ Chin

By Mira T. Lee | April 18, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Though I Get Home talks writing against censorship, non-traditional “immigrant stories,” and writing a novel to think through her life.

Ten Enduring Statements from Lost or Forgotten Films

By John Yau | April 17, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

We wonder if this is what heaven is like—an old movie theater with thick velvet curtains that part, as the lights dim and the naked cherubs peering down from the blue and gold ceiling vanish, like comets.

AAWW TV: The Body and Migration

By AAWW | April 12, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Vi Khi Nao, Brandon Shimoda and Celina Su grasp at a new vocabulary for grief, placelessness, and healing in their poetry.

Driving Lessons

By Michelle Tong | April 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I want to make / change and am ready / for new challenge. / I can stay between white white lines.

I Just Want to Write: An Interview with Wawa

By Tammy Lai-Ming Ho | April 10, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The Hong Kong poet talks the Umbrella movement, being an outsider and an insider in Hong Kong, and how she translates the world.

Empty Altars

By Johanna Dong | April 9, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Văn An had neglected ritual, not realizing that this was a land now full of ghosts left too long unmoored. That there might be consequences for forgetting to fear.

Ars Poetica in a Dream Language

By Anni Liu | April 3, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I dream my mother / unravels / hair out of my mouth / in English / she asks me / to speak Chinese / coils the hair / into a dark gloss / whorled / in her palm

Keeping Tabs: War Stories

By AAWW | March 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

50 years after My Lai, 15 years after Iraq, how much can history really teach us about how we make decisions today?

Indigenous Species

By Khairani Barokka | March 30, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Hard to tell from your / Silence where you’re taking me. / But I’m guessing / It’s loin-deep in the place / Where they’re collapsing / Entire cosmologies into pulp and paper.

AAWW TV: Go Home! Launch

By AAWW | March 29, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Karissa Chen, Wendy Xu, Gina Apostol, Chaya Babu, and Alexander Chee joined us at AAWW to celebrate Go Home!

Rewriting the Curry Book: A Conversation with Naben Ruthnum

By Rohan Kamicheril | March 29, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The author of Curry talks forced nostalgia, the commodification of curry, and playing with the tropes of South Asian literature.

Another Portrait of Dad

By Sesshu Foster | March 28, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

I saw him before he saw me, staring off at a distant point. When he fixed on my face as I crossed the yellow lawn, he recognized me and grinned.

recollect

By Lawrence Ypil | March 27, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

How do I tell you that I have done this before? / How to build a diorama of what I am not.

March Bookmarks: 18 New Books by Asian Writers

By Yasmin Adele Majeed | March 21, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

March is a month packed with Southern gothics, Partition diaries, postcards from the future, and books that re-map the universe.

Moments

By Ayesha Raees | March 20, 2018 | Asian American Writers' Workshop

The floor broke apart / the tasbeeh into ninety / nine beady reflections / and my mother is still / able to fake a surprise / when she can’t locate / them all.

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