2020 Margins Fellows and Mentors Reading
Sarah Thankam Mathews, Joseph Lee, Emily Lee Luan, Emperatriz Ung, Carmen Maria Machado, Susan Choi, Mitchell S. Jackson, Wendy Xu
2020 Margins Fellows and Mentors Reading


The Margins Fellowship was first established in 2014, as part of AAWW’s 30-year tradition of supporting emerging writers of color. A home for the next generation of Asian diasporic literature, the Margins Fellowship supports four emerging writers each year through an innovative mix of mentorship, financial support, residency, publication, career guidance, and community.

Come celebrate the 2020 Margins cohort with our Fellows—Joseph Lee, Emily Lee Luan, Sarah Thankam Mathews, and Emperatriz Ung—and their mentors, Susan Choi, Mitchell S. Jackson, Carmen Maria Machado, and Wendy Xu.

*This event was pre-recorded, but will be streamed live on Zoom, where our 2020 Fellows will join us in the chat. CART captions will be provided. The first 100 RSVPs will receive access to the Zoom link via email. The event will also be live streamed on the Asian American Writers’ Workshop YouTube page for the greater public.*

Joseph Lee is a nonfiction writer and teacher. He is a member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) on Martha’s Vineyard. Joseph lives in Queens and is a graduate of the MFA program in nonfiction at Columbia University. He has written for publications including Tin House, Catapult, and The Guardian.

Emily Lee Luan is a Taiwanese American poet and essayist. She is the author of I Watch the Boughs (2021), selected by Gabrielle Calvocoressi for a Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Poetry (2021), Best New Poets (2019), The Offing, The Adroit Journal, and elsewhere, and she holds an MFA in Poetry from Rutgers University-Newark.

Sarah Thankam Mathews was born in India, grew up in Oman, and immigrated to the United States at seventeen. She has had fiction published in Best American Short Stories 2020 and was recently a Margins Fellow at the Asian American Writers Workshop. Her debut novel ALL THIS COULD BE DIFFERENT is forthcoming from Viking in 2022.

Emperatriz Ung is a Chinese-Colombian game designer, writer, & educator from the American Southwest. When she’s not making games, she’s at work on her memoir. You can find her on Twitter at @mprtrzng.

Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction. Her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her third novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. In 2010 she was named the inaugural recipient of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award. Her fourth novel, My Education, received a 2014 Lammy Award. Her fifth novel, Trust Exercise, won the 2019 National Book Award for Fiction. Her first book for children, Camp Tiger, was also published in 2019. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she teaches fiction writing at Yale and lives in Brooklyn.

Mitchell S. Jackson’s debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise. Jackson’s honors include the Whiting Award, the Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence, and the Creative Capital Award, as well as honors from the Cullman Center of the New York Public Library, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, and TED. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Time, The New Yorker, Harpers, The Paris Review, The Guardian, Harper’s Bazaar, and elsewhere. Jackson’s memoir-in-essays Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was named a best book of the year by fifteen publications. His next novel—John of Watts—will be published by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. Jackson covers race and culture as the first Black columnist for Esquire Magazine and teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago.

Carmen Maria Machado is the author of the bestselling memoir In the Dream House and the award-winning short story collection Her Body and Other Parties. She has been a finalist for the National Book Award and the winner of the Bard Fiction Prize, the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ Nonfiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literature Prize, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize. In 2018, the New York Times listed Her Body and Other Parties as a member of “The New Vanguard,” one of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.” Her essays, fiction, and criticism have appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Granta, Vogue, This American Life, Harper’s Bazaar, Tin House, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, The Believer, Guernica, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the Guggenheim Foundation, Yaddo, Hedgebrook, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. She lives in Philadelphia and is the Abrams Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania.

Wendy Xu is most recently the author of Phrasis, named one of the 10 Best Poetry Books of 2017 by The New York Times Book Review, and the forthcoming collection The Past (Sept 2021, Wesleyan). Her work has appeared in The Best American Poetry, Granta, Poetry, Tin House, The New Republic, and widely elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, and is assistant professor of writing at The New School.

2020 Margins Fellows and Mentors Reading

Sarah Thankam Mathews, Joseph Lee, Emily Lee Luan, Emperatriz Ung, Carmen Maria Machado, Susan Choi, Mitchell S. Jackson, Wendy Xu
Friday, March 26, 2021
7:00 PM

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