Festival Guests

Meena Alexander

MEENA ALEXANDER, poet, novelist, scholar, and essayist, is winner of multiple awards and fellowships, including those from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Fulbright Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Arts Council of England. Her six volumes of poetry include the collection, Illiterate Heart (Triquarterly, 2002), which won the PEN Open Book Award. Her autobiography, Fault Lines, chosen as one of Publishers WeeklyÕs Best Books of 1993, and is now regarded as a post-colonial classic. She is Distinguished Professor of English at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, CUNY.

Gina Apostol

GINA APOSTOL was born in Manila and lives in New York. She went to college at the University of the Philippines and earned her M.A. in Writing from the Johns Hopkins University. Her first novel, Bibliolepsy, won the 1998 Philippine National Book Award for Fiction. She just completed her third novel, The Revolution According to Raymundo Mata, a comic historical novel-in-footnotes about the Philippine war for independence against Spain and America in 1896.

Henry Chang

HENRY CHANG is a native son of Chinatown and a lifetime New Yorker. He writes from the world of the urban Chinese immigrant demimonde, and his work has appeared in Murdaland2, On A Bed of Rice, and the Nuyor Asian Anthology. His acclaimed 'Chinatown Trilogy' of CHINATOWN BEAT, YEAR OF THE DOG, and RED JADE is the hard-boiled reflection of life-long experiences in the Chinese community, and the books have received praise from the New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, and the Boston Globe, among others. Henry Chang's website is Chinatowntrilogy.com . The author has appeared on 'Asian America' WNYC TV and on Asia Pacific Forum radio WBAI. He is a graduate of CCNY and resides in the Chinatown area.

Samantha Chanse

SAMANTHA CHANSE is a writer&performer, educator, and arts organizer. The recipient of an Individual Artist Commission from the SF Arts Commission and an Emerging Artists Residency from Tofte Lake Center, her work has been presented with FringeNYC, Bowery Poetry Club, The Marsh, and others. She co-founded salon series Laundry Party and served as artistic director of SF-based arts nonprofit Kearny Street Workshop. A member playwright of Ma-Yi Writers Lab, she is currently pursuing a MFA in playwriting while teaching undergraduate writing at Columbia University. Her first solo play, Lydia's Funeral Video, will be published by Kaya Press in 2011. www.samanthachanse.com.

Susan Choi

SUSAN CHOI was born in South Bend, Indiana, and raised there and in Houston, Texas. She studied literature at Yale and writing at Cornell, and worked for several years as a fact-checker for The New Yorker.

Her first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. 
With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker, and her non-fiction has appeared in publications including Vogue, Tin House, Allure, O and The New York Times and in anthologies including Money Changes Everything and Brooklyn Was Mine. 
A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, she lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband, Pete Wells, and their sons Dexter and Elliot.

Das Racist

DAS RACIST is a Weed Edge/Hare Krishna Hardcore/art rap/freak folk music trio based in Brooklyn, New York, comprised of queens-born Himanshu Kumar Suri, San Francisco-born Victor Vazquez, and queens-born Ashok Kondabolu. Suri and Vazquez met at Sarah Lawrence Bard Pomona Wesleyan Art College in Massachusetts, where Victor was Himanshu's resident advisor in a "students of color for social justice" themed freshman year dormitory. The duo later added Kondabolu as a hype man and spiritual advisor. They’re praised by New York Magazine as “Sawing the legs out from under hip-hop as they celebrate it."

Thomas Sayers Ellis

THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS co-founded The Dark Room Collective in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1988. Since then, he has received fellowships and grants from The Fine Arts Work Center, the Ohio Arts Council, Yaddo, and The MacDowell Colony. His first, full collection, The Maverick Room received a Mrs. Giles Whiting Writers’ Award and the 2006 John C. Zacharis First Book Award. His most recent collection is Skin, Inc. He is an assistant professor of creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

Luis H. Francia

LUIS FRANCIA is a prize-winning writer. A resident of New York City, he teaches at New York University and Hunter College and is on the board of the Asian American Writers Workshop. He also teaches creative writing at City University of Hong Kong. Francia writes for numerous international journals and magazines and is the author of several books including a semi- autobiographical account of growing up in the Philippines, Eye of the Fish: A Personal Archipelago, which won the 2002 PEN Open Book and Asian American Writers Literary Awards. His latest book, History of the Philippines, includes various Philippine narratives, with an eye for the layers of colonial and post-colonial history that have created this diverse and fascinating population.

Sarah Gambito

SARAH GAMBITO is the author of the poetry collections Delivered (Persea Books) and Matadora (Alice James Books). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, The Antioch Review, Denver Quarterly, The New Republic, Field, Quarterly West, Fence and other journals. She holds degrees from The University of Virginia and The Creative Writing Program at Brown University. Her honors include the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets and Writers and grants and fellowships from The New York Foundation for the Arts, Urban Artists Initiative and The MacDowell Colony. She is Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at Fordham University. Together with Joseph O. Legaspi, she co-founded Kundiman, a non-profit organization serving Asian American poets.

V.V. Ganeshananthan

V.V. GANESHANANTHAN, a fiction writer and journalist, is a graduate of Harvard College, the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and the new M.A. program at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, where she was a Bollinger Fellow specializing in arts and culture journalism. Her journalism and essays have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Sepia Mutiny, and The American Prospect, among others. A former vice president of the South Asian Journalists Association, she currently serves on the board of The Asian American Writers' Workshop and on the graduate board of The Harvard Crimson. Her short fiction has appeared on Esquire.com, in Himal Southasian magazine, and in Granta. She is a past recipient of Phillips Exeter Academy's Bennett Fellowship and residency, and has taught at Skidmore College. She is now the Zell Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. Random House published her first novel, Love Marriage, in April 2008. Washington Post Book World named the book one of its Best of 2008. It was also longlisted for the Orange Prize.

Fred Ho

For more than 30 years, FRED HO has been a radical musician, composer, scholar and REVOLUTIONARY activist. Ho was the first Asian American to receive the Duke Ellington Distinguished Artist Lifetime Achievement Award. His music fuses Asian and African traditions, and he is known for his critical take on the term "Asian American Jazz."

Rob Hollander

Although ROB HOLLANDER's Ph.D. is in linguistics, he has long been an activist in the Lower East Side, focusing on community and neighborhood preservation, anti-gentrification and anti-displacement, as well as public higher education. Rob is also co-founder, with founder Eric Ferrara, of the Lower East Side History Project which seeks to support local communities with research, education, presentations, exhibits and historical tours of the East Village, the Bowery, the Lower East Side and Chinatown. LESHP currently has an historical exhibit hanging, which Rob curated, ON THE BOWERY at Whole Foods, Houston Street at the Bowery. He is actively engaged in the Chinatown Working Group, protecting the future of Manhattan's Chinatown.

Young-ha Kim

YOUNG-HA KIM'S I Have the Right to Destroy Myself won Korea's Munhak-dongne prize and was a Border's Original Voices pick upon publication in the United States. He has earned a reputation as the most talented and prolific Korean writer of his generation, publishing five novels and three collections of short stories since 1996. In Empire of Light, his fourth novel, he raises the question of human identity in a democratic and consumerist Korean society by presenting a North Korean spy and his family in Seoul in the manner of a crime fiction combined with a truncated family saga and naturalist depiction of everyday life. It has been translated seven languages including English(US title: Your Republic Is Calling You).

Myung-mi Kim

MYUNG-MI KIM is a Professor of English and a core faculty member of the Poetics Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Kim has also served as Distinguished Visiting Poet at St. Mary's College, Moraga, California, and as Visiting Professor at Oberlin College. Kim was awarded The Multicultural Publisher's Exchange Award of Merit for Under Flag (Kelsey Street Press, 1991). She also received a fellowship at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, awards from the Fund for Poetry, a Daesan Foundation Translation Grant, and the State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activity. Myung Mi Kim is the author of Penury (Omnidawn, 2009), Commons. (University of California Press, 2002), DURA. (Sun & Moon, 1999), The Bounty. (Chax Press, 1996, 2000), and Under Fl.ag (Kelsey Street Press, 1991, 1998, and 2008). The anthologies in which her work has appeared include American Poets in the 21st century: The New American Poetics, Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women, Premonitions: Kaya Anthology of New Asian North American Poetry, Making More Waves: New Writing by Asian American Women. and other collections. And, Kim's collaborations include Spelt, with the poet Susan Gevirtz. A collaboration with the poet, visual artist, and translator, Norma Cole, appeared in big bridge #12.. The composer John Zorn commissioned her to write a bilingual Korean/English text which can be heard on Zorn's New Traditions in East Asian Bar Bands. Most recently, she completed a commission from the Friends of the University Libraries, State University of New York at Buffalo, for their annual broadside.

Hari Kondabolu

HARI KONDABOLU, according to the Seattle Times is “a young man reaching for the hand-scalding torch of confrontational comics like Lenny Bruce and Richard Pryor.” Hari has performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and John Oliver’s New York Standup Show and the 2007 HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He just filmed his Comedy Central Presents half-hour television special, which will air on the network in 2011. He is also currently a featured video blogger for www.worldcompass.org, which is a joint initiative from WGBH Boston, PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. A former immigrant rights organizer in Seattle, Hari also earned a Masters in Human Rights from the London School of Economics in 2008. His website is www.harithecomic.com.

Amitava Kumar

AMITAVA KUMAR grew up in Patna, famous for its corruption, crushing poverty and delicious mangoes. He is the author of Husband of a Fanatic (The New Press, 2005), an "Editors' Choice" book at the New York Times. He is also the author of Bombay-London-New York (Routledge, 2002), and Passport Photos (University of California Press, 2000). His novel, Home Products (Picador-India, 2007) was a finalist for India's premier literary award, Vodafone Crossword Prize. Kumar's forthcoming book, A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm a Tiny Bomb, is a writer’s report on the global war on terror. Currently, he is Professor of English at Vassar College.

Tan Lin

TAN LIN, professor of English and creative writing at New Jersey City University and author of the books Lotion Bullwhip Giraffe, BlipSoak01 and Heath (Plagiarism/Outsource). His latest book, Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking, uses its form to escape the notions, conventions and structures of the traditional reading experience.

Tao Lin

TAO LIN's second novel RICHARD YATES was published September 07 2010 by Melville House. His previous books are the poetry-collection YOU ARE A LITTLE BIT HAPPIER THAN I AM (2006), which is regularly a bestseller (#2, #2, #1); the story-collection BED (2007); the novel EEEEE EEE EEEE (2007); the poetry-collection COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (2008), which has been assigned in college-level psychology courses; the novella SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL (2009), which was available at Urban Outfitters. Tao's books have been translated and published (or are forthcoming) in Japan, Germany, France, Norway, Spain, Serbia, South Korea, China, Taiwan. Two of his books, SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL & EEEEE EEE EEEE, were optioned for film in early 2010. His writing has been published in/on Gawker, Noon, Vice, Esquire, Poetry Foundation, The Stranger, Mississippi Review, and bear parade, who in 2006 published e- books of his poetry, stories, and collaboration with Ellen Kennedy entitled hikikomori. Tao's financial situation was featured in/on The Guardian, a New York Times blog, Gawker, The Telegraph. Tao edits the literary press Muumuu House, which was featured in the March 2009 Nylon.

Jerry Ma

JERRY MA is the art director of the groundbreaking Asian American superhero comics anthology SECRET IDENTITIES (www.secretidentities.org) and its forthcoming sequel, SECRET IDENTITIES: SHATTERED. An acclaimed voice in indie comics, he was one of the first creators on Digital Webbing Presents, where his graphic short story “Burn” evolved into an acclaimed self-published title, leading Jerry to launch the indie comics studio Epic Proportions along with his brothers and a few talented friends. To support his passion, Jerry has used his graphic skills to design clothes, illustrate magazines, and design characters for cartoons—but with “Secret Identities,” Jerry has finally come full circle to his first love, comics.

Karan Mahajan

KARAN MAHAJAN was born in 1984 and grew up in New Delhi, India. He is the author the novel Family Planning, which has been published in ten countries and is a finalist for the 2010 Dylan Thomas Prize. A winner of the Joseph Henry Jackson Award, he has received fellowships from the Camargo Foundation, the Corporation of Yaddo, the Ucross Foundation, and the Elizabeth George Foundation. His writing has appeared in The Believer, NPR's All Things Considered, Granta.com, and Bookforum. He lives in Brooklyn and is working on his second novel.

Cate Marvin

CATE MARVIN’s first book of poems, World’s Tallest Disaster, was chosen by Robert Pinksy for the 2000 Kathryn A. Morton Prize and published by Sarabande Books in 2001. In 2002, she received the Kate Tufts Discovery Prize. She is co-editor with poet Michael Dumanis of the anthology Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century (Sarabande Books, 2006). Her second book of poems, Fragment of the Head of a Queen, for which she received a Whiting Award, was published by Sarabande in 2007. She teaches poetry writing at Columbia University’s MFA Program and Lesley University’s Low-Residency M.F.A. Program; she is presently an associate professor in creative writing in the College of Staten Island, City University of New York and co-director of VIDA: Women in Literary Arts.

Nami Mun

NAMI MUN is the author of the debut novel, Miles from Nowhere, which was shortlisted for the Orange Award and selected as an Editors¹ Choice and a Top Ten First Novel of 2009 by Booklist; Best Fiction of 2009 So Far by Amazon; and as an Indie Next Pick. Named Best New Novelist of 2009 by Chicago magazine, she is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a 2009 Whiting Award for fiction. She has worked as an Avon Lady, a street vendor, a photojournalist, a waitress, an activities coordinator for a nursing home, and a criminal defense investigator.

Manijeh Nasrabadi

MANIJEH NASRABADI is co-director of the Association of Iranian American Writers (iranianamericanwriters.org). She received her MFA in creative nonfiction from Hunter College, where she also taught creative writing workshops. She was a 2008 recipient of a Hedgebrook writing residency and 2005 Hertog Fellow. Currently, she’s a doctoral student in American Studies at New York University. Her essays and articles have appeared in About Face (Seal Press), Hyphen Magazine, Tehran Bureau and Callaloo.

Wena Poon

WENA POON, 36, is a novelist and short story writer. Her first UK-published novel Alex y Robert was made by the BBC into a ten-episode Radio 4 series broadcast worldwide in September 2010. She is a two-time nominee for the Irish Frank O’Connor Award and the Singapore Literature Prize, for Lions In Winter in 2008 and The Proper Care of Foxes in 2010. In England this year, she won the Willesden Herald Short Story Prize and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize in Poetry. Last year, her sci-fi series The Biophilia Omnibus was voted Best Book Gift of the Year by CNN Singapore. She is a graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School and practices law in the United States.

Richard Price

RICHARD PRICE has written seven novels, including "Clockers" and "Freedomland." He also wrote the screenplays for, among other movies, "The Sea of Love," "Mad Dog and Glory," and "The Color of Money," for which he received an Oscar nomination. And he won the 2007 Edgar Award for television writing for his work on the HBO series "The Wire." But screenwriting, he has said, is something he does to pay the bills, and his first love is fiction. He is a chronicler of urban life in all its variety and many voices. Few American writers have had his kind of ear for speech and for the places we come from determine how we talk. He was born in 1949 and brought up in the Parkside projects in the Bronx; his father was a window-dresser. He graduated from Cornell, and did graduate work in creative writing at both Columbia and Stanford. His first book, "The Wanderers," was published when he was just 24.

Iraj Isaac Rahmim

IRAJ ISAAC RAHMIM's essays and fiction have been published in Antioch Review, Commentary, Commonweal, Gulf Coast, Reason, Rosebud and broadcast on Pacifica Radio. A five-time Notable Essayist in Best American Essays and a Pushcart nominee, he has been granted fellowships by Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, and the Texas Commission of the Arts. A Bread Loaf Scholar and twice winner of the Fugue Magazine non-fiction contest, Isaac has just finished a novel set in Dubai and is working on a book of memoirs. He holds a PhD in chemical engineering from Columbia University.

Bino A. Realuyo

BINO A. REALUYO is the author of The Umbrella Country, a novel, and The Gods We Worship Live Next Door, a poetry collection. His works have appeared in The Nation, The Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, and several anthologies. For the past fifteen years, he has worked as an Adult Educator and Community Organizer in underserved communities in New York City. He can be found on the web at http://binoarealuyo.com. He recently founded a social enterprise for low-skilled, low-wage immigrant workers, We Speak America, http://wespeakamerica.org.

Akhil Sharma

AKHIL SHARMA first novel, An Obedient Father, won the 2000 PEN/Hemingway Award and the 2001 Whiting Writers’ Award. He writes for The New Yorker and The Atlantic Monthly, among other publications. He was named among the best of young American novelists (2007) by Granta magazine.

Roger Shimomura

ROGER SHIMOMURA is an American artist and a retired professor at the University of Kansas. His works, showcased across the United States, address Asian American sociopolitical issues by the use of racist imagery. Shimomura was interned at the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho during World War II.

Sung J. Woo

SUNG J WOO's short stories and essays have appeared in The New York Times, McSweeney’s, and KoreAm Journal. His debut novel, Everything Asian (2009), has received praises from The Christian Science Monitor, Kirkus Reviews (starred review), the Chicago Sun-Times, and won the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (Youth category). His short story “Limits” was an Editor’s Choice winner in Carve Magazine’s 2008 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. A graduate of Cornell University with an MFA from New York University, he lives in Washington, New Jersey.

Tim Wu

TIM WU is an author, policy advocate and author of The Master Switch. He is a professor at Columbia Law School, the chairman of media reform organization Free Press. Wu was recognized in 2006 as one of 50 leaders in science and technology by Scientific American magazine, and in 2007 Wu was listed as one of Harvard's 100 most influential graduates by 02138 magazine. Tim Wu's best known work is the development of Net Neutrality theory, but he has also written about copyright, international trade, and the study of law-breaking. He previously worked for Riverstone Networks in the telecommunications industry in Silicon Valley, and was a law clerk for Judge Richard Posner and Justice Stephen Breyer. He graduated from McGill University (B.Sc.), and Harvard Law School. Wu has written for the New Yorker, the Washington Post, Forbes, Slate magazine, and others. He can sometimes be found at Waterfront Bicycles, and he once worked at Hoo's Dumplings.

Jeff Yang

JEFF YANG is the editor in chief of the groundbreaking Asian American superhero comics anthology SECRET IDENTITIES (www.secretidentities.org) and its forthcoming sequel, SECRET IDENTITIES: SHATTERED. He founded and was editor and publisher of the pioneering Asian American periodical aMagazine and has been a columnist and featured contributor for a wide range of publications, including the Village Voice, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, where he currently writes the biweekly column "Asian Pop." He has written three books—"Eastern Standard Time" (Houghton Mifflin); "I Am Jackie Chan: My Life in Action" (Ballantine, the action icon's official autobiography); and "Once Upon a Time in China” (Atria/Pocket Books)—and can frequently be heard as a special contributor on NPR's TELL ME MORE and PRI's THE TAKEAWAY.

Monica Youn

MONICA YOUN directs the Brennan Center's campaign finance reform project, as well as working on other means of achieving and protecting broader participation in the political process. She was previously in private practice, and also served as law clerk to Judge John T. Noonan, Jr. in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Ms. Youn received her J.D. from Yale Law School, her M. Phil from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and her B.A. from Princeton University. She has litigated campaign finance and election law issues in state and federal courts throughout the nation, and she has testified before Congress and published scholarly articles on campaign finance issues. Her political commentary has been published in Roll Call, Slate, and The L.A. Times, among other publications, and she has appeared on MSNBC's Hardball, PBS NewsHour, Democracy Now! and Bill Moyers Journal. Her work at the Brennan Center has been recognized by the New Leaders Council, which named her one of their "40 Under 40" nationwide leaders for 2010 and awarded her the Dipaola Foundation Democracy Rejuvenation Award.


Alexander Chee

ALEXANDER CHEE was born in Rhode Island, and raised in South Korea, Guam and Maine. He is a recipient of the 2003 Whiting Writers’ Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in Fiction and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the VCCA. His first novel, Edinburgh (Picador, 2002), is a winner of the Michener Copernicus Prize, the AAWW Lit Award and the Lambda Editor’s Choice Prize, and was a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Booksense 76 selection. In 2003, Out Magazine honored him as one of their 100 Most Influential People of the Year. His essays and stories have appeared in Granta.com, Out, The Man I Might Become, Loss Within Loss, Men On Men 2000, His 3 and Boys Like Us. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and has taught fiction writing at the New School University and Wesleyan. He is currently the Visiting Writer at Amherst College and lives in Western Massachusetts. His second novel, The Queen of the Night, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Sesshu Foster

Prose poet SESSHU FOSTER's first publication was, fittingly enough, in a Little Tokyo activist newspaper called Gidra--the name of the famous Japanese monster. This combination between urbanism and fantasy marks his work, whether in his creation of a gritty universe ruled by indigenous Azteks in his novel Atomik Aztek, or his poems in City Terrace Field Manual, a fierce collage of the L.A. multi-racial experience. His latest book, World Ball Notebook, blends the fantastic and the mundane with 118 "Games" that include prose poems, checklists, shopping lists and overheard conversations. Growing up between the Chicano barrio and Little Tokyo in East L.A., Sesshu has created "the poetic soundtrack of a people and a place, in the words of Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. author Luis Rodriguez. "Sesshu Foster is dangerous, ese! The way a poet should be."

Hua Hsu

HUA HSU teaches in the English Department at Vassar College. His work has appeared in the Atlantic (for whom he blogs), the New York Times, Bookforum, Slate, the Village Voice, the Believer and The Wire (for whom he writes a bi-monthly column). He was also on the editorial board of the recently published New Literary History of America. For the 2009-2010 school year, he will be a visiting assistant professor in the English Department at Harvard.

Mitra Kalita

MITRA KALITA is the deputy global economics editor at the Wall Street Journal and the author of Suburban Sahibs: Three immigrant families and their passage from India to America. At the Journal, she anchors the weekly column, New Global Indian. Most recently, she helped launch Mint, a business newspaper in New Delhi, as a founding editor, columnist and member of the editorial leadership team. Before that, she was a reporter at the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press. She has covered a wide range of general assignment and business stories, including the impact of 9/11 on New York City's economy, on immigration and on South Asians and Arabs.She has spent much of her career writing about immigration, globalization and emerging economies, especially India. She is currently at work on two books, an economic memoir of India and a workplace manual. A native of Brooklyn, Mitra grew up in Massapequa, Long Island; Puerto Rico, and West Windsor, N.J. Mitra has a BA in history and journalism from Rutgers University and a master's degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She has received many awards and her work is included in an anthology of the "Best Business Stories." She is a past president of the South Asian Journalists Association. Mitra is married to Nitin Mukul, an artist. They have a 4-year-old daughter and live in Jackson Heights, Queens.

Don Lee

A third-generation Korean American, DON LEE spent the majority of his childhood in Tokyo and Seoul. Formerly the editor of the Ploughshares literary journal, Lee has received an O. Henry Award and a Pushcart Prize, and his stories have been published in The Kenyon Review, GQ, and New England Review. He is the author of the American Book Award-winning novel, Country of Origin (W.W. Norton, 2005) and the story collection Yellow (W.W. Norton, 2002), which won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Members' Choice Award from The Asian American Writers' Workshop. The Washington Post describes Wrack and Ruin saying, "brilliant farce conveys a sense of the characters' agony, and that is true here. But there are also moments of gentle joy, and the author's affection for this little corner of the world can be infectious." In November 2007, Don Lee received the inaugural Fred R. Brown Literary Award for emerging novelists from the University of Pittsburgh's creative writing program.

Marie Myung-Ok Lee

MARIE MYUNG-OK LEE is an award-winning author whose novel, Somebody's Daughter, was a Booklist Best Book of the Year and an Association of American University Presses "Best of the Best". Her short fiction has appeared in The Kenyon Review, The American Voice, TriQuarterly, Witness, Guernica, and won an O. Henry Awards honorable mention. She had served with the New York City Literacy Project, PEN's Readers and Writers, the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards. She is also a founder of the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York City and served as its board president for 10 years. Marie has taught creative writing at Yale University and currently teaches at Brown University, her alma mater.

Richard Jean So

RICHARD JEAN SO is assistant professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Chicago. He earned his PhD in comparative literature at Columbia University, and works on modern American, Asian American, and Chinese literatures. Previously, he taught at Williams College in the Comparative Literature Program, and is completing a book titled, Coolie Democracy: U.S-China Cultural Formation, 1925-1955.

Eileen R. Tabios

EILEEN R. TABIOS has released 14 print, four electronic and 1 CD poetry collections, an art essay collection, a poetry essay/interview anthology, and a short story book. In her poetry, she has crafted a body of work that is unique for melding ekphrasis with transcolonialism, and her poems have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Tagalog, Japanese, Paintings, Video, Drawings, Visual Poetry, Mixed Media Collages, Kali Martial Arts, Modern Dance and Sculpture. She’s also edited or co-edited five books of poetry, fiction and essays. Her poetry and editing projects have received numerous awards including the PEN/Oakland-Josephine Miles National Literary Award, The Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, the Gustavus Meyers Outstanding Book Award in the Advancement of Human Rights, ForeWord Magazine Anthology of the Year Award, Poet Magazine's Iva Mary Williams Poetry Award, Judds Hill's Annual Poetry Prize and the Philippine American Writers & Artists’ Catalagan Award; recognition from the Academy of American Poets, the Asian Pacific Association of Librarians and the PEN-Open Book Committee; as well as grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation, National Endowment of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Humanities, the California Council for the Humanities, and the New York City Downtown Cultural Council.

John Yau

JOHN YAU is a leading art critic, poet, essayist, and prose writer, the author most recently of Borrowed Love Poems (Penguin, 2002), The United States of Jasper Johns (Zoland Books, 1996), and My Symptoms (Black Sparrow Press, 1998). In addition to his work as a poet, Yau is the publisher of Black Square Editions and the art editor of The Brooklyn Rail. A teacher at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, Yau has received awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Academy of American Poets.