Lorraine Adams

Lorraine Adams is a novelist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. Her first novel Harbor (Knopf, 2004) centered on North African Muslim stowaways. Her second novel, The Room and the Chair (Knopf, 2010) took her to Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to dissect the global war on terror. She is currently writing her third novel, which is set in Lahore, Pakistan and centers on Muslim family life. In addition to being a Guggenheim fellow, Adams graduated from Princeton University and received a master's degree from Columbia University in literature. As an investigative reporter for The Washington Post for eleven years, her work gravitated to issues of social justice and the marginalized. She lives in New York City with her husband, the novelist Richard Price.

Ayad Akhtar

Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of American Dervish, published in two dozen languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto's Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play Disgraced played at New York's Lincoln Center Theater in 2012, and premiered at the Bush Theater in London in May 2013. Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the Jeff Equity Award for Best New Work, and an OBIE. His play The Invisible Hand was nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award, and won Best New Work 2013 from the St Louis Theater Critics Circle. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for The War Within. He has received commissions from Lincoln Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.

Sinan Antoon

Sinan Antoon (Baghdad, 1967) has published two collections of poems in Arabic and one in English (The Baghdad Blues) and three novels: I`jaam: An Iraqi Rhapsody (2007, City Lights Books), The Corpse Washer (Yale University Press, 2013) and Ya Maryam (al-Jamal, 2012), which was shortlisted for the Arabic Booker. He has translated the works of Darwish, Saadi Youssef and others from Arabic. He is associate professor at NYU.

Hossannah Asuncion

Hossannah Asuncion grew up near the 710 freeway in Los Angeles and currently lives near an A/C stop in Brooklyn. Her work has been published by The Poetry Society of America, Tuesday; An Art Project, The Collagist, Anti- and other fine places.

Tash Aw

Tash Aw was born in Taipei, in the Republic of China, and brought up in Malaysia. He moved to England in his teens and now lives in London. He is the author of The Harmony Silk Factory, which was the winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and of Map of the Invisible World.

Felipe Baeza

Felipe Baeza is an activist and artist who currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of 7 he immigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico, along with his sister to be reunited with his parents in Chicago. In 2009 Baeza graduated from the Cooper Union with a BFA in studio art. His art primarily focuses on the injustices that affect the LGBTQ and Immigrant communities.

Baeza has also been at the forefront of the immigrant youth movement. In 2011, he participated in a sit-in, risking deportation, protesting anti-immigrant legislation HB-87 in Georgia. Finally, Baeza’s commitment to National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) allows him to build community for people directly affected by the flaws in the current immigration system.

Gaiutra Bahadur

Gaiutra Bahadur is an award-winning journalist and book critic. Her work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Nation and Ms., among other publications. A former daily newspaper reporter, Gaiutra has spent much of her career telling the stories of immigrants and asylum seekers; she has reported from Baghdad, Iraqi refugee outposts in Syria and Jordan, and the U.S.-Mexico border. She was born in Guyana and immigrated to the U.S. as a child. Coolie Woman (The University of Chicago Press, 2013) is her first book.

Vivek Bald

Vivek Bald is a writer, scholar, and documentary filmmaker. He is the author of Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America (Harvard University Press, 2013) and a co-editor of the collection The Sun Never Sets: South Asian Migrants in an Age of U.S. Power (New York University Press, 2013). His films include Taxi-vala/Auto-biography (1994), Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music (2003), and In Search of Bengali Harlem (in production). He is an Associate Professor in Comparative Media Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a member of MIT's Open Documentary Lab.

Catherine Barnett

Catherine Barnett has received the 2012 James Laughlin Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Writers' Award, the Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers, and a Pushcart. The author of The Game of Boxes (Graywolf Press, 2012) and Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004), she is Visiting Profess at Hunter College and regularly teaches at the New School and NYU. She is the poet-in-residence at the Children's Museum of Manhattan, where she runs writing workshops for young mothers in the shelter system. She also works as an independent editor.

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of twelve books of poetry, most recently, Hello, the Roses (New Directions Press) and The Lit Cloud, a collaboration with Kiki Smith. She lives in northern New Mexico and New York City.

Tamiko Beyer

Tamiko Beyer is the author of We Come Elemental (Alice James Books), winner of the 2011 Kinereth Gensler Award, and bough breaks (Meritage Press). Her poems have recently appeared in The Volta, Octopus, Quarterly West, and elsewhere. She is the Associate Communications Director at Corporate Accountability International and lives in Cambridge, MA. Find her online at tamikobeyer.com.

Michelle Chan Brown

Michelle Chan Brown’s Double Agent was the winner of the 2012 Kore First Book Award, judged by Bhanu Kapil. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, The Missouri Review, Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, Witness and many others. A chapbook, The Clever Decoys, is available from LATR Editions. A Kundiman fellow, Michelle has received scholarships and fellowships from the University of Michigan, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Vermont Studio Center and the Wesleyan Writers’ Conference. A former writer-in-residence at Pomfret School, she lives with DC, where she teaches, writes, and edits Drunken Boat.

Raquel Cepeda

Born in Harlem to Dominican parents, award-winning journalist, cultural activist, and documentary filmmaker Raquel Cepeda is the author of Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina. Equal parts memoir about Cepeda’s coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, and detective story chronicling her year-long journey to discover the truth about her ancestry, the book also looks at what it means to be Latina today. Cepeda directed and produced the film Bling: A Planet Rock, a feature length documentary about American hip-hop culture’s obsession with diamonds, and edited the critically acclaimed anthology And It Don’t Stop: The Best Hip-Hop Journalism of the Last 25 Years, winner of the PEN/Beyond Margins and Latino Book Award. Named one of El Diario|La Prensa’s Distinguished Women of 2013, Cepeda has appeared on Melissa Harris-Perry, Huffington Post Live, Al Jazeera English, CNN, and other outlets talking about genetic genealogy, Latino-American identity, and immigration.

Cathy Linh Che

Cathy Linh Che is the author of Split (Alice James, 2014), the winner of the 2012 Kundiman Poetry Prize. She is the recipient of fellowships from Poets & Writers, Poets House, and LMCC's Workspace Residency.

Youmna Chlala

Youmna Chlala is a writer and an artist born in Beirut & based in New York. Her work investigates the relationship between fate and architecture through prose, poetry, drawing, video and performance. She is the Founding Editor of Eleven Eleven {1111} Journal of Literature and Art and the recipient of a Joseph Henry Jackson Award for her manuscript, The Paper Camera. Her writing appears in the forthcoming book Urban Hopes Made in China by Steven Holl and in publications such as Guernica, Bespoke, CURA, MIT Journal for Middle Eastern Studies, Horseless Press Review and XCP: Journal of Cross Cultural Poetics. She has exhibited widely including the ICA in London, Rotterdam International Film Festival, Camera Austria, CultuurCentrum Bruges, and Art In General in New York. She is an Associate Professor in the Humanities & Media Studies Department at the Pratt Institute.

Victoria Chang

Victoria Chang's third book of poems, The Boss, was published by McSweeney's Poetry Series in July 2013. Her other books are Salivinia Molesta and Circle. Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, Poetry, American Poetry Review, Kenyon Review, The Nation, New Republic, VQR, and many other places. She lives in Southern California with and works in business. Visit her at: victoriachangpoet.com or on Twitter: @VChangPoet.

Alexander Chee

Alexander Chee, recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, is the author of novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night, due out in 2014.

Anelise Chen

Anelise Chen covered Sunset Park as Open City's Creative Nonfiction Fellow in 2012. She earned her MFA in fiction at NYU. Born in Taipei and raised in Los Angeles, she lives in Manhattan's Chinatown.

Evan Chen

Evan Robert Chen is a doctoral student in creative writing at SUNY Albany, where he has taught courses in poetry and film. You can listen to his poems and drones at marrymepoems.tumblr.com.

Ava Chin

Ava Chin writes the Urban Forager column for The New York Times. She has written for the LA Times Magazine, Saveur, the Village Voice, and Spin. An associate professor at CUNY, she is the editor of the anthology Split and author of the forthcoming memoir Eating Wildly: Foraging for Life, Love and the Perfect Meal (Simon & Schuster, May 2014).

Yang-Sze Choo

Malaysian writer Yangsze Choo’s debut novel, The Ghost Bride (Morrow, August 2013) is an Oprah.com Book of the Week, a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and an Indie Next List Pick. Set in 1890s colonial Malaya and the elaborate Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities and burned paper offerings, it’s about a young woman who finds herself betrothed to a dead man. Yangsze eats and reads too much and can often be found doing both at her blog (www.yschoo.com)

Sohail Daulatzai

Sohail Daulatzai is the author of Black Star, Crescent Moon: The Muslim International and Black Freedom beyond America and also Born to Use Mics, a literary remix of Nas’s album Illmatic. His writing has appeared in Counterpunch, Al Jazeera, The Nation and as the liner notes for the 20th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set of Rage Against the Machine’s self titled debut album, the liner notes for the DVD release of Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme, and the centerpiece in the museum catalog Movement: Hip-Hop in L.A., 1980’s – Now. Sohail is currently working on a graphic novel and is curating a gallery exhibit for the L.A./Islam Arts initiative entitled “Return of the Mecca” on the history of Muslims in hip-hop. He teaches at the University of California, Irvine, and more of his writing can be found at openedveins.com.

Sergio De La Pava

(c) Chris Close
Sergio De La Pava is the author of the novels A Naked Singularity and Personae.

Stephen Elliott

Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, the director of two feature films, and the founder of the online magazine The Rumpus.

Elizabeth Eslami

Elizabeth Eslami is the author of Hibernate, winner of the 2013 Ohio State University Prize in Short Fiction, and the novel Bone Worship (Pegasus, 2010). Her writing has appeared most recently in Michigan Quarterly Review and The Sun. She serves as senior prose editor of Tupelo Quarterly and teaches in the MFA Program at Manhattanville College.

Carolina Gonzalez

Carolina Gonzalez is an award-winning journalist and scholar with over two decades of experience in print and radio. She served as an editorial writer at the New York Daily News, and has covered education, immigration, politics, music and Latino culture in various alternative and mainstream media outlets. The guidebook she co-authored with Seth Kugel, Nueva York: the Complete Guide to Latino Life in the Five Boroughs, was published in 2006 by St. Martin’s Press. She was raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and Queens, New York and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


Sonia Guinansaca is a poet and activist born in Ecuador and raised in Harlem, NY. She has been involved in the immigrant rights movement through: direct actions, civil disobedience , campaigns to end deportations of undocumented people, culture organizing, and organizing undocumented youth in NY. Sonia has been out publicly as an undocumented immigrant since 2007. In 2008, she joined the New York State Youth Leadership Council (NYSYLC), the first undocumented youth led, membership led, organization that empowers immigrant youth to drop the fear and challenge the broken immigration system. Sonia now serves as a Board member of NYSYLC. In 2011, she launched the Dreaming In Ink creative writing workshop for undocumented youth and performance spaces known as UndocuMic’s. Currently, Sonia is finishing up her studies at Hunter College, double majoring in Africana Puerto Rican Latino Studies, and Women & Gender Studies. She recently joined CultureStrike as coordinator of the UndocuWriting Project.

Roya Hakakian

Roya Hakakian is the author of two collections of poetry in Persian, and is listed among the leading new voices in Persian poetry in the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World. Her memoir of growing up a Jewish teenager in post-revolutionary Iran, Journey from the Land of No: A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary Iran (Crown) was one of Publishers Weekly's Best Book of the Year, Elle Magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of 2004, and Best Memoir by the Connecticut Center for the Book. Roya is also a recipient of the 2008 Guggenheim fellowship in nonfiction. Her most recent book, the Assassins of the Turquoise Palace (Grove/Atlantic) was a Notable Book of 2011by the New York Times Book Review in September and made Newsweek’s Top Ten Not-to-be-missed books of 2011 and was among Kirkus Reviews Best Non-Fictions of 2011.

Suheir Hammad

Suheir Hammad is a Palestinian-American poet, author and political activist who was born on October 1973 in Amman, Jordan to Palestinian refugee parents and immigrated with her family to Brooklyn, New York City when she was five years old. She is the author of breaking poems (recipient of a 2009 American Book Award), ZaatarDiva, Born Palestinian, Born Black and Drops of This Story. An original writer and performer in the TONY award winning Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Suheir appears in the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Official Selection, Salt of This Sea.

Jennifer Hayashida

Poet and translator Jennifer Hayashida was born in Oakland, CA, and grew up in the suburbs of Stockholm and San Francisco. She received her B.A. in American Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and has an M.F.A. in poetry from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She was a 2009 Poetry Fellow through the New York Foundation for the Arts, and in 2008-2009 she was Writer-in-Residence through the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Program. She is the recipient of a PEN Translation Fund Grant, a Witter Bynner Poetry Translator Residency, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, and has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow. She is the translator of Fredrik Nyberg's A Different Practice (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2007), and Eva Sjödin's Inner China (Litmus Press, 2005). Recent work was published in Salt Hill, Chicago Review, and Harp & Altar, with forthcoming book-length translations being published in 2013 by Black Square Editions. Fields of interest include representations of the welfare state and immigrant experience; cross-genre literature and film; translation; Asian American community activism.

Sukjong Hong

Sukjong Hong is a writer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Currently she is a Create Change fellow with the Laundromat Project, and working on oral history projects to highlight the stories of Asian-American communities. She was a 2012-2013 Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellow with the Asian American Writers' Workshop. You can find her writing at Open City Magazine, Triple Canopy magazine, Racialicious, Hyphen Magazine, Foreign Policy in Focus, and The Feminist Wire. Twitter: @hongriver

Vanessa Huang

Poet, Artist, and Cultural Organizer Vanessa Huang weaves poemsongs with moments of creative aliveness and transformative encounter, color, and texture in call and response with kindred spirits who dream and make worlds where each and all of us are free. A finalist for Poets & Writers’ 2010 California Writers Exchange Award, Vanessa’s poetry and practice inherit teachings from the prison abolition, migrant justice, gender liberation, transformative justice, disability justice, and reproductive justice movements.

David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang's work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Golden Child, Yellow Face and Fob, and the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney's Tarzan. He is also a screenwriter and America's most-produced living opera librettist. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner and a two-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. He's currently the Residency One playwright at NYC's Signature Theatre, which is producing a season of his plays, including his newest work, Kung Fu, which will premiere in February 2014.

Anne Ishii

Anne Ishii is a writer based in New York City. She is the producer of The Passion of Gengoroh Tagame: Master of Gay Erotic Manga, and runs MASSIVE MERCH: Gay Manga Paraphernalia. She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of Paperhouses: Architecture in Open Source, and her editorials can be found in Slate, DAME, Guernica, as well as at the AAWW blog The Margins. Follow her at ill-iterate.com.

Elizabeth Kadetsky

Elizabeth Kadetsky's short stories have been chosen for a Pushcart Prize, Best New American Voices and Best American Short Stories notable stories, and her personal essays have appeared in the New York Times, Guernica, Santa Monica Review, Antioch Review, Post Road, Agni and elsewhere. She has been a fellow at MacDowell Colony, Ucross Foundation, Djerassi Resident Artists Program and the St. James Centre for Creativity in Malta. She began studying yoga in college, and went on to live in India as a Fulbright scholar in creative writing while studying with the yogi BKS Iyengar. Her experiences became the subject of her first memoir, published with Little Brown in 2004 and scheduled for reprint with Dzanc Books. She is assistant professor of fiction and nonfiction at Penn State.

Porochista Khakpour

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the critically acclaimed Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007) and the forthcoming The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Her writing is appearing or has appeared in Harper's, The New York Times, The L.A. Times, Slate, Salon, and many other publications around the world. She lives in New York City, where she currently teaches at Columbia and Fordham.

Jee Leong Koh

Jee Leong Koh is the author of four books of poems, including Seven Studies for a Self Portrait (Bench Press). His most recent collection, The Pillow Book, will be translated into Japanese and published by Awai Books in 2014. Born in Singapore, he now lives in New York, and blogs at Song of a Reformed Headhunter.

Amitava Kumar

Amitava Kumar's A Foreigner Carrying in the Crook of His Arm A Tiny Bomb was described by the New York Times as a “perceptive and soulful … meditation on the global war on terror and its cultural and human repercussions.” It was judged the 'Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year' at the Page Turner Literary Award. Kumar is Professor of English at Vassar College.

Alison Kuo

Alison Kuo is a Texas native with a BA from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and is currently an MFA candidate at the School of Visual Arts, NYC. She has exhibited her work at CANADA, Christopher Henry Gallery, and Art Jam in NYC, 1117 Garland, SOFA Gallery, Co-Lab, and Domy Books in Austin, and OHWOW in Miami. Kuo is the Art Editor at the literary magazine GIGANTIC, and she is often best known as the person behind the popular blog Accidental Chinese Hipsters. Her first solo show in NYC, Juicy, Juicy Special Request Deluxe, was at Superchief Gallery in 2013. She likes to cook in her spare time. www.kuospace.com

Brian Leung

Brian Leung is a Lambda Literary Award Mid-career Novelist recipient and the author of the short story collection, World Famous Love Acts, winner of the Mary McCarthy Award for short fiction and The Asian American Literary Award for Fiction. His novels are Lost Men and Take Me Home winner of the 2011 Willa Award for Historical Fiction.

Celeste Lim

Celeste Lim is a writer of middle-grade and YA fiction, but experimenting with other forms as well. She is completing graduate writing degrees at Manhattanville College and The New School.

Eugene Lim

Eugene Lim is the author of the novels Fog & Car and The Strangers. He runs Ellipsis Press, works as a librarian in a high school and lives in Queens, NY.

Marjorie Liu

Marjorie Liu is an attorney and New York Times bestselling author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy; and is the current writer of Marvel's Astonishing X-Men, which has been nominated for a GLAAD Media Award for its "outstanding representation of the LGBT community." She divides her time between Boston, Indiana, and Beijing, China.

Nicola López

Born in Santa Fe, NM, Nicola López lives and works in Brooklyn and teaches at Columbia University in New York City. Through her work in installation, drawing and printmaking, López describes and reconfigures our contemporary—primarily urban—landscape. Her focus on describing 'place’ stems from an interest in urban planning, architecture and anthropology and it has been fueled by time spent working and traveling in different landscapes. López has received support for her work through a NYFA Fellowhsip in Drawing/Printmaking/Book Arts and a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, among others. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally: it been included in group exhibitions at museums including MoMA in NY, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in LA, the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City and the Denver Art Museum in Denver, CO and featured in solo exhibitions at the Chazen Museum of Art in Madison, WI and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. López’s site-specific work “Un-building Things” is currently on view the Balcony Lounge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY.

Ann Mah

Ann Mah is a journalist and the author of the novel, Kitchen Chinese. Ann was awarded a James Beard Foundation culinary scholarship in 2005 and her articles about food, travel, fashion, style, and the arts have appeared in The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post, the International Herald Tribune, Washingtonian Magazine, and the South China Morning Post, among other publications. The wife of a U.S. diplomat, Mah currently splits her time between New York City and Paris. For more information, please visit www.annmah.net.

Diana Matar

Diana Matar is a photographer based in London and New York. Her projects, which often incorporate testimony, text, or sound, focus on the interplay of history, memory and landscape. Her internationally award winning projects include those on political disappearance, immigration, veiled women, and the disappearing landscape of peripheral Cairo . She has been awarded the International Fund for Documentary Photography, the Deutsche Bank Award for Fine Art, an Individual Artist Grant by the British Arts Council and was nominated for the Prix Pictet Photography Award. Her work has been exhibited at Saatchi Gallery London, and in over 15 countries. Her work has been published in the New Yorker and internationally and is held in numerous public and private collections around the world.

Rahul Mehta

Rahul Mehta is the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning short story collection Quarantine. His fiction and essays have been published in the Kenyon Review, the Sun, New Stories from the South, the New York Times Magazine, Marie Claire India, and elsewhere. An Out Magazine "Out 100" honoree, Rahul is currently living in Philadelphia and finishing a novel.

Maryam Mortaz

Maryam Mortaz' first collection of stories, Pushkin and Other Stories, was published in Persian, in Iran, in 2001. Since moving to the United States and switching to writing in English, her stories have appeared in such magazines as Bomb, Callaloo, New Review of Literature, as well as in the collection from the University of Arkansas Press, Tremors: New Writing from Iranian-American Writers. She lives in New York City and is a literary translator of Persian and a graduate student in Mental Health Therapy.

Rishi Nath

Rishi Nath writes about urban culture and electronic music in Black and Third World diasporas. A former AAWW Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellow, he is a Visiting Scholar at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute, New York University for the 2013-2014 academic year. He teaches mathematics at the City University of New York in Jamaica, Queens and resides in nearby Richmond Hill, Queens.

Mark Nowak

Mark Nowak is the author of Coal Mountain Elementary and Shut Up Shut Down, a New York Times Editor's Choice. He directs the MFA program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY.

Mehdi Tavana Okasi

Mehdi Tavana Okasi's fiction and nonfiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Iowa Review, Guernica, Glimmer Train, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Best New American Voices 2009 among others. He was the 2011-12 Carl Djerassi Fiction Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He currently lives and works in Boston where he is completing his novel, May This Be Your Last Sorrow.

Alison Roh Park

Alison Roh Park is a Kundiman fellow, Pushcart nominated poet, and winner of the 2011 Poetry Society of America New York Chapbook Fellowship, 2012 Poets and Writers Magazine Amy Award and 2010 Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. She currently teaches Asian American Studies at Hunter College and writes for www.racefiles.com.

Jon Pineda

Jon Pineda was born in Charleston, South Carolina and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia. He is the recipient of a Virginia Commission for the Arts Individual Artist fellowship, and the author of the memoir Sleep in Me, a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection and a Library Journal “Best Books of 2010” selection. His poetry collections include The Translator’s Diary, winner of the 2007 Green Rose Prize from New Issues Poetry & Prose, and Birthmark, selected by Ralph Burns as winner of the 2003 Crab Orchard Award Series Open Competition. His newest manuscript was a finalist for the 2011 National Poetry Series. He teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Queens University of Charlotte and lives in Virginia with his family. Apology is his first novel.

Nahid Rachlin

Nahid Rachlin attended Columbia University MFA on a Doubleday-Columbia Fellowship and Stanford University MFA on a Stegner Fellowship. Her publication include a memoir, Persian Girls (Penguin), four novels, including Forgeigner (W.W. Norton) and a short story collection (City Lights). Her individual short stories have appeared in more than fifty magazines, and one of them was adopted by Symphony Space, “Selected Shorts,” and aired on NPR's around the country.

Camille Rankine

Camille Rankine is the author of Slow Dance with Trip Wire, selected by Cornelius Eady for the Poetry Society of America's 2010 New York Chapbook Fellowship. She is Assistant Director of the MFA program at Manhattanville College.

Jess Row

Jess Row is the author of two collections of short stories, The Train to Lo Wu and Nobody Ever Gets Lost. His fiction has won a PEN/O. Henry Award, the Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Award, and has been selected three times for The Best American Short Stories. He was named a "Best Young American Novelist" by Granta in 2007. His first novel, Your Face in Mine, will be published by Riverhead in summer 2014. He teaches at the College of New Jersey, the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the City University of Hong Kong.

Thad Rutkowski

Thaddeus Rutkowski is the author of the novels Haywire, Tetched and Roughhouse. His writing has appeared in The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Fiction and Fiction International. He teaches at Medgar Evers College and the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA in New York. He received a 2012 fiction writing fellowship from the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Katie Salisbury

Katie Salisbury is a California hapa living in New York City. She edits books at Amazon Publishing, where her list includes Chinese poet Liao Yiwu’s prison memoir For a Song and a Hundred Songs and rising politico Reshma Saujani’s Women Who Don’t Wait in Line. Katie also blogs about Chinatown, her first home in New York, at fivespicealley.com.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author of Brief Encounters With the Enemy, and the critically acclaimed memoir When Skateboards Will Be Free, for which he received a Whiting Writers' Award. It was selected as one of the ten best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times. His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta and McSweeney's, among other publications. He teaches creative writing at NYU where he won a 2013 Outstanding Teaching Award.

Rinku Sen

Rinku Sen is the President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center (ARC) and the Publisher of the award-winning news site Colorlines. Sen has helped cultivate groundbreaking stories on immigration including ARC’s Shattered Families report, which changed the immigration debate by releasing the first estimation of children who lose their parents in the collision of immigration, criminal justice and child welfare systems. She was the architect of ARC’s 2010 “Drop the I-Word” campaign for media outlets to stop referring to immigrants as “illegal,” resulting in the Associated Press, USA Today, LA Times, and many more outlets dropping the i-word. A longtime leader in the racial justice movement, Sen is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards for activists and journalists, including being named a Prime Movers Fellow and one of Ms. Magazine’s “21 Feminists to Watch.”

Purvi Shah

Purvi Shah furthers the art of transformation. She won the inaugural SONY South Asian Excellence Award for Social Service for her work fighting violence against women. Recently, she directed Together We Are New York: Asian Americans Remember and ReVision 9/11, a community-based poetry project responding to the 10th Anniversary of 9/11. Her debut book, Terrain Tracks, garnered the Many Voices Project prize and was nominated for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop Members’ Choice Award. She continues to inspire change through her work as a non-profit consultant, anti-violence advocate, and writer. You can find more of her work at http://purvipoets.net, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/purvi-shah/, or @PurviPoets.

Rajpattie Sheodat

Rajpattie Sheodat is an MFA student at Manhattanville College with an undergraduate degree in political science.

Karen Shepard

Karen Shepard is a Chinese-American born and raised in New York City. She is the author of four novels, An Empire of Women, The Bad Boy’s Wife, Don’t I Know You?, and The Celestials. Her short fiction has been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, One Story, and Ploughshares, among others. Her nonfiction has appeared in More, Self, USA Today, and The Boston Globe, among others. She teaches writing and literature at Williams College in Williamstown, MA, where she lives with her husband, novelist Jim Shepard, and their three children.

Erika K. Stanley

Erika K. Stanley is a poet, a recent graduate from Manhattanville College's MFA program and the former editor of The Manhattanville Review. She is a Parent Organizer for Excel Bridgeport, a non-profit focused on education advocacy in her hometown of Bridgeport, CT.

Manil Suri

Manil Suri is the author of the novels The Death of Vishnu, The Age of Shiva and The City of Devi. His fiction has won several awards and been translated into twenty-seven languages. He was raised in Mumbai and currently resides in Maryland, where he is professor of mathematics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Miguel Syjuco

Miguel Syjuco was born and raised in Manila. His debut novel Ilustrado was a NY Times Notable Book of 2010, as well as the winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hugh MacLennan Prize, the Palanca Award, and the Filipino Readers' Choice Award. It was also a finalist for the Amazon First Novel Award, the Grand Prix du Livre de Montreal, the Prix Jan Michalski, the Prix Courrier International, the Premio Von Rezzori, and the Commonwealth First Book Prize for the Canada and Caribbean region. It will be translated into more than 15 languages. Syjuco is currently a member of the Academy of the Folio Prize, as well as the literary editor of the Manila Review. He has written for the New York Times, Newsweek, the International Herald Tribune, the Walrus, the Globe & Mail, the CBC, and many others. He currently lives in Cambridge, MA.

Justin Torres

Justin Torres is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recent Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He was the recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. Among many other things, he has worked as a farmhand, a dog walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller; he is now a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Monique Truong

Monique Truong, a Vietnamese American novelist and food essayist, is based in Brooklyn, New York. Her first novel, The Book of Salt, was a national bestseller, a New York Times Notable Fiction Book, and the recipient of the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, among other honors. Her second novel, Bitter in the Mouth, was published in 2010 and received the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was named a best book of 2010 by Barnes & Noble and Hudson Booksellers. Most recently, she was a 2010 Guggenheim Fellow, 2012 Visiting Writer at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, and a 2013 Civitella Ranieri Fellow. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law, Truong is also an intellectual property attorney. www.monique-truong.com/


Ushka (Thanu Yakupitiyage) is a Sri Lankan-born, Thailand-raised, Brooklyn-living migrant. She is an immigrant rights activist, media professional, and deejay. She uses her interests in music from the Global South as a means to make connections between culture, diasporic communities, and organizing.

As an organizer, she works with immigrant groups and undocumented youth throughout New York City. As a deejay, she is one half of iBomba – one of NYC’s premiere destinations for global bass every second Thursday of the month at Bembe (81 South 6th St, Brooklyn). She is also a part of the Dutty Artz label, a collective of djs + producers creating sonic cultural production and events in NYC. Having grown up in several parts of the world, her musical influences are as transnational as she is. She blends a wide range of music from soca to cumbia, hip hop to south asian rhythms, kuduro and other african styles to samba, for a wide audience. She does so with the philosophy that global genre-blending connects cross-cultural struggles and tells important stories between communities but most importantly, she translates this onto dancefloors.

Her debut mixtape, entitled 'Foreign Brown' was well received, reaching over 6,300 listens in a few months. It was profiled in Sounds and Colours reaching audiences in North America, South America, and the United Kingdom.

For more information go to www.djushka.com or follow her on twitter at @ty_ushka.

R.A. Villanueva

R.A. Villanueva is the author of Reliquaria, winner of the 2013 Prairie Schooner Book Prize. He is also the winner of the 2013 Ninth Letter Literary Award for poetry. A founding editor of Tongue: A Journal of Writing & Art, he lives in Brooklyn.

James Yeh

James Yeh (born in 1982 in Anderson, South Carolina) is a writer, editor, and occasional DJ. A founding editor of Gigantic, his fiction appears in NOON, VICE Magazine, BOMB Magazine, Fence, Tin House, and PEN America. He is a recipient of fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Columbia University, and in 2011, he was named a Center for Fiction New York City Emerging Writers Fellow.

Irving Yew

Irving Yew is a college student attending CUNY Hunter College. He has been making and studying origami for 5 years now and enjoys everything about the art of origami.

Monica Youn

Monica Youn is the author of two books of poetry: Barter (2003) and Ignatz (2010), which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her poems have been widely published, including in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Paris Review. She has been a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University and a Witter Bynner Fellow of the Library of Congress and has been awarded residencies at Civitella Ranieri, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. She was a practicing lawyer for over a decade, most recently at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. She currently teaches poetry at Bennington College, Princeton University, and the Warren Wilson MFA for Writers.

Helen Wan

Helen Wan is Associate General Counsel at the Time Inc. division of Time Warner, and the author of the just-released novel, The Partner Track (St. Martin's Press). The Partner Track is the story of a young Asian American woman up for partner at a prestigious white-shoe law firm, and how diversity and "outsider" status complicate the journeys of young people of color ascending the corporate ladder. Helen's essays and articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and son.

Hildegard Westerkamp

Hildegard Westerkamp was born in Osnabrück, Germany in 1946 and emigrated to Canada in 1968. After completing her music studies in the early seventies Westerkamp joined the World Soundscape Project under the direction of Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University (SFU) in Vancouver. She is a founding member and is currently active on the board of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE). Between 1991 and 1995 she was the editor of The Soundscape Newsletter and is now on the editorial committee of Soundscape -The Journal of Acoustic Ecology, a new publication of the WFAE. In 1998, she co-created Nada, an installation about listening at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Janpath, in collaboration of Savinder Anand, Mona Madan, and Veena Sharma. Leading up to this, she conducted soundscape workshops at Max Mueller Bhavan in New Delhi in 1992, 1994 and 1997.