This fall, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is celebrating the art of the essay. Featuring longtime poets and fiction writers with debut essay collections out this year, this conversation will take an intersectional look at Asian American identity, genre, gender, race, publishing, and the way the essay form allows writers to dance, dodge, spar, and move through time and nature to tell important stories. Featuring Cathy Park Hong, Aimee Nezhukumatathil, and Sejal Shah, and moderated by Piyali Bhattacharya.
This event will be live-streamed on Zoom, and CART captions will be available. 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.
Cathy Park Hong’s book of creative nonfiction, Minor Feelings, was published in Spring 2020 by One World/Random House (US) and Profile Books (UK). She is also the author of poetry collections Engine Empire, published in 2012 by W.W. Norton, Dance Dance Revolution, chosen by Adrienne Rich for the Barnard Women Poets Prize, and Translating Mo’um. Hong is the recipient of the Windham- Campbell Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. Her poems have been published in Poetry, A Public Space, Paris Review, McSweeney’s, Baffler, Yale Review, The Nation, and other journals. She is the poetry editor of the New Republic and is a professor at Rutgers-Newark University.
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of World of Wonders, an illustrated essay collection published by Milkweed Editions in September 2020, as well as of four books of poetry, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times Magazine, ESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and Creative Writing in the University of Mississippi’s MFA program.
Sejal Shah is the author of This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia Press, 2020), essays on race, place, and belonging. Her stories and essays have appeared in Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review Online, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 NYFA fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection and is at work on a memoir about mental health. She teaches in the Rainier Writing Workshop low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University and lives in Rochester, New York.
Piyali Bhattacharya is a writer, editor, and professor of Creative Writing. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Ploughshares, Literary Hub, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic and elsewhere. She is editor of the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion (Aunt Lute Books, 2016). The book was awarded gold medals from the Independent Publisher Book Award and the Next Generation Indie Book Award, in addition to receiving a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and being named an “Asian American Literary Achievement of 2016” by NBC. Piyali is Artist-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania’s Creative Writing Program. She was born in New York City, and lives in Philadelphia and New Delhi.