The Asian American Writers’ Workshop is proud to announce a new program that empowers writers of color to witness and write about mass incarceration.
The Witness Program began in the spring of 2019 and supports four creative writers, as part of our ongoing initiative A World Without Cages. Each participant will receive a stipend of $750, visit several sites of American incarceration and detention, meet with individuals who are directly affected, and take part in a pen-pal correspondence with an incarcerated writer. Their creative work will appear on The Margins, our online magazine of culture and ideas.
Through our literary programs, we aim to nurture writers, activists, and intellectuals so they can dream a new American mythology beyond segregation, immigrant exclusion, and Islamophobia. We’re thrilled that four accomplished writers with a deep commitment to social justice—Sarah Wang, CM Campbell, Roshan Abraham, and Christina Olivares—have joined us in this effort.
Sarah Wang is a writer in New York. She has written for BOMB, n+1, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Joyland, Catapult, Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Conjunctions, Stonecutter Journal, semiotext(e)’s Animal Shelter, The Shanghai Literary Review, Performa Magazine, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, and The Last Newspaper at the New Museum, among other publications. She won a Nelson Algren runner-up prize for fiction in 2016 and is currently a fellow at the Center for Fiction.
Roshan Abraham is a journalist, essayist and poet with bylines at The Verge, Curbed, Village Voice, NY Daily News and City Limits. Roshan was a 2018 AAWW Open City Fellow. From 2016-2018 he curated the Final Fantasy Reading Series in Crown Heights.
Christina Olivares is the author of the full-length No Map of the Earth Includes Stars (2015), winner of the 2014 Marsh Hawk Press Book Prize, and of the chaplet Interrupt (2015), published by Belladonna* Collaborative. Her second full-length book, HIJX, is forthcoming from YesYes Books. Latinx and queer from the Bronx in New York City, Olivares earned an MFA from Brooklyn College in Poetry and a BA from Amherst College in Interdisciplinary Studies (Education). She is the recipient of a 2018 BRIO Award in Nonfiction, a 2015-2016 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Residency, and two Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grants (2014 and 2010). She was recently a visiting faculty member in the Rutgers-Newark poetry MFA program and works as a high school educator.
CM Campbell received his BA in Fine Art with a studio emphasis at San Francisco State University, and his MFA in Comics at California College of the Arts. He grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and lives in Ridgewood, New York.