Contributors

Aaron Anfinson is a reportage photographer, research analyst and a doctoral graduate from the University of Hong Kong. He is currently based in Washington DC where he is the Co-founder of Critica Research and Analysis LLC. His photography has been published in The Guardian, PDN Magazine and Financial Times.

Alana Leilani Teves Cabrera-Narciso was chair of the Department of English and Literature in Silliman University from 2016-2018. She is married to Giovanni, a civil engineer with whom she has two children, Alessandra and Gamaliel. Currently, she is a PhD student at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Andrew Barker spent his youth working as bricklayer before entering academia and obtaining a BA in English Literature, an MA in Anglo/Irish Literature and a PhD in American Literature. He now works as a university literature lecturer in Hong Kong and releases poetry online through his poetry web channel Mycroft Lectures. He is the author of Snowblind from my Protective Colouring (2010) and Joyce is Not Here: 101 Modern Shakespearean Sonnets (2017). His recent poetry can be viewed on Instagram.

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Angela Qian is a New York-based writer. She has published work in Catapult, The Common, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Cosmonauts Avenue, Bodega Magazine, The Millions and elsewhere. She is the recipient of honours from the Norman Mailer Foundation. Her website can be found at www.a-qian.me and her Twitter handle is @anqchan.

Annysa Ng is a New York-based, Hong Kong-born artist. She studied Fine Art at Staatliche Akademie der Bildenen Künste in Germany and School of Visual Arts in New York. She was awarded Creative Engagement Grants from LMCC, Manhattan Community Arts Fund, 2009/10 Fellowship recipient from the Urban Artist Initiative/NYC, Osaka Governor Prize by Nippon Modern Fine Arts Association, Fellowship at the National Academy Museum and School in NYC, and Residency at Egon Schiele Art Centrum in Czech Republic. She launched her first solo show in New York in 2005 and her first solo show in London in 2009. Ng’s works have been exhibited internationally including the SCOPE art fair in Basel, Young Artists from New York at the Egon Schiele Art Centrum in the Czech Republic, Asian Contemporary Art Fair in New York, the Arts Collection NICHIGENTEN at Osaka Municipal Arts Museum in Japan, and The 9th Chinese National Art Exhibition in Beijing. Her work has been collected by Deutsche Bank, the Stuttgart City Library, Mandarin Oriental Hotel and Georg v. Holtzbrinck GmbH & Co.KG, Germany. In 2008, she was named one of the Ten Talents to Watch by The Times. Visit her website for more information.

Anthea Yip is a half-Italian and half-Chinese writer and artist. She is currently based in Hong Kong and completing her first novella. She also performs spoken word poetry, and publishes on literary blogs. Most of her artwork and written work explores the themes of conflict, evolution of identity, perception, and reality and how it inter-relates with social global issues. As an artist, she recognises she must observe the world as if everything unfolding before her is a delicate petal. Her creative process includes constantly breaking down the barriers of art and herself, experimenting, risking and pouring her soul into every brushstroke and word. Visit her website for more information.

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Artemis Lin is a queer writer and filmmaker currently residing in Los Angeles, CA. Their work is often a deep dive into their Chinese-American upbringing, and explores the intersection between mental illness, trauma, dreams, memory, and family history. They have been published in anti-narrative, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and loves me | loves me not. You can follow them on Twitter or Instagram.

Antony Huen is a PhD researcher at the University of York. His recent and forthcoming publications include poems in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore and Proverse’s Mingled Voices 3, and articles in Hong Kong Studies and The Compass Magazine. He was one of Eyewear’s Best New British and Irish Poets in 2017.

Bizhan Govindji‘s journey into writing began with a simple question from a close friend: “Hey Bizhan, if you were going to write something, what would you write about?”. At the time he was in a relationship that he sensed h’d somehow have to end soon, so that night he went home and started writing a piece of what he later realised was Spoken Word poetry. Over the months that followed he started checking out various Spoken Word open mic nights in London, where he is from. He has since then performed at Tongue Fu, The Moth, Word Up, Boomerang and Yuvakutu. In 2018, Bizhan moved to Hong Kong with his company (by day, he works at Ogilvy, in strategy). He can be found at Peel Street Poetry on most Wednesdays, on Instagram @biz99 (mainly photos of food because he is a typical millennial) and @haikusformillennials (mainly his haikus about how awful typical millennials are).

Blair Reeve is a performance poet, stay-at-home Dad, children’s author, and educator with an MFA from the City University of Hong Kong. He mentors students on the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s post-graduate writing program. Reeve grew up in New Zealand and he spent much of his adult life in Japan and Hong Kong. Music appreciation is one of his biggest passions, while his latest challenge is learning the piano.

Cara B. Lamug is the proud daughter of overseas Filipino workers. She graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Literature and was a recipient of the 2018 Loyola Schools Award for the Arts for her poetry and photography. She currently resides in Quezon City, where she works as a literature teacher. She likes to spend her free time photographing strangers.

Carrie Cheung is a secondary school student with a love for stories, poetry, and is an enthusiastic writer of both. Usually inspired by the minutiae of everyday life, she endeavours to share with others her own corner of the world, through doodles, snapshots and words about the little things in life.

Charlotte Fong began exploring the inner depths of her mind after suffering an injury as a student athlete. Initially disillusioned with poetry due to classroom literature filled with flowery imagery, she now indulges in good philosophical free verse. Her influences include Pablo Neruda, Tom Raworth and ancient Arabic poets. Riding on the recent wave of “Instapoets”, she shares her poetry on the platform as @iironarmyy. She also writes for SCMP Young Post as a junior reporter.

Chloe Leung is currently an MPhil student of English Literary Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include modernist writings (especially Virginia Woolf), postmodernist writings (especially Sylvia Plath and J.M. Coetzee). She is also interested in contemporary writers such as Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, and Penelope Fitzgerald. She is currently working on a thesis focusing Virginia Woolf and early 20th-Century ballet, exploring the portrayal of physical gestures and bodies in stylising self-expression. She graduated from the Master of Arts (Literary Studies) in 2017 and completed her BA in English at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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Daryl Lim Wei Jie is a poet and critic based in Singapore. He is particularly interested in the intersections between poetry and history. His first collection of poetry, A Book of Changes, was published by Math Paper Press in 2016, under the Ten Year Series imprint. His work has appeared in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Cordite, Cha, Ceriph, Drunken Boat and Softblow, and his poetry has been anthologised in A Luxury We Cannot Afford (Math Paper Press, 2015) and elsewhere. His work won him the Golden Point Award in English Poetry in 2015, awarded by the National Arts Council, Singapore.

Dean A. F. Gui holds his BA in English Literature (WIU) and MA in Creative Writing with a Poetry focus (UIC). He is an Instructor with the Hong Kong Polytechnics University’s English Language Centre, and is the Founding Editor of Inscribe, a journal of undergraduate writing in Asia. He additionally conducts research investigating poetry, identity and language in virtual and MMO environments.

Born in New York, Donald Berger is the author of three collections of poetry, The Long Time, a bilingual edition in English and German (Wallstein Press, Goettingen, Germany), Quality Hill (Lost Roads Publishers) and The Cream-Filled Muse (Fledermaus Press). His poems and prose have appeared in The New Republic, Slate.com, Conjunctions, Colorado Review, Fence, Ironwood, The Iowa Review, The Massachusetts Review, and other magazines including some from Berlin, Leipzig, and Budapest. He has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, has taught at the University of Maryland and Montgomery College, and currently teaches at Johns Hopkins University.

Eileen Chong is an Australian poet who was born in Singapore. She is the author of eight books. She lives and works in Sydney. Visit her website for more information.

Gail Tirone has lived in Taiwan for several years, speaks Mandarin, and has travelled widely in Asia. With a BA from Princeton University and an MA in English Literature from the University of Houston, she has taught English at Chinese Culture University in Taipei. Tirone is a Best of the Net nominee. Her poetry has appeared in Blue Heron Review, Sulphur River Review, The Nassau Literary Review, The Houston Poetry Fest Anthology, The Weight of Addition Anthology, and elsewhere. She was awarded First Place and was a featured guest poet in several Houston Poetry Fests.

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Grace Chia is the author of two poetry collections, womango and Cordelia, a short story collection, Every Moving Thing That Lives Shall Be Food, a novel, The Wanderlusters, two nonfiction books and was the editor of the anthology, We R Family. Her work has been anthologised in Singapore and abroad, including the Anthology of English Writing in Southeast Asia, Singapore Literature in English, Mining for Meaning, Fish Eats Lion, A Luxury We Cannot Afford, From Walden To Woodlands, UnFree Verse, QLRS, Poetry.sg, HOW2, Blue Lyra Review, SingaporePoetry.com, Lyrikline, Stylus Poetry Journal, and has been translated for die horen (Germany), La Traductiere (France) and Knijzevne Novine (Serbia). The inaugural NAC-NTU Writer-in-Residence for 2011-2012, she has taught creative writing, mentored emerging writers and judged national poetry competitions.

Iain Twiddy studied literature at university, and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poems have been published in The Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The London Magazine, The Moth, and elsewhere.

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Ilaria Maria Sala is an award-winning journalist and writer. She has been living in East Asia since 1988, and calls Hong Kong home. Sala has written for a number of international publications, from Le Monde to The New York Times. She is currently a columnist for Hong Kong Free Press, and writes regularly for Quartz. She is the author of two books in Italian, and is on the Executive Committee of PEN Hong Kong.

Ivan Cheuk-yin Kwan is a student in Sing Yin Secondary School. He is interested in how to express the beauty of our world using different facets of knowledge, such as mathematics, science and language. Though lacking in doctorates and degrees, he is determined to continue pursuing knowledge, not only to learn more about himself but to share the knowledge with others in an expressive way.

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James Au Kin-Pong is a Master’s graduate of both Hong Kong Baptist University and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. He is currently writing his PhD thesis about the relation between history and literature through close readings of Japanese historical narratives in the 1960s. His research interests include Asian literatures, comparative literature, historical narratives and modern poetry. During his leisure time, he writes poetry and fiction in various languages, and translates poems into English. He is teaching English and literature in English respectively at Salesio Polytechnic College and Sophia University.

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Jason S Polley is associate professor of literary journalism, comics, and post-structuralism at Hong Kong Baptist University. Since his BA in English and Religious Studies at the University of Lethbridge he has lived and studied in places including China, Canada, Colombia, India, Bangladesh, Laos, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. He divides his time between reading, scuba diving, running, practicing yoga, and skateboarding. His research interests include post-WWII graphic forms, media analysis, Hong Kong Studies, and Indian English fiction. His creative nonfiction books are the travel-narrative collection refrain and the literary journalism novella cemetery miss you. One day he’ll be a birder. [Cha Profile]

 

Jesamine Dyus is a hip hop hobbyist and spoken word poet. She was a finalist of the Peel Street Poetry Slam Contest 2018. She works in hospitality in Hong Kong and was previously an English teacher and dance coach. She graduated from Brown University (Class of 2016), where she served on culture groups and dance teams. One day, when she is a middle-aged woman who wants to improve herself and enjoys listening to intimate confessions and emotional stories, she will grow a garden with lots of shade.

Educator, poet, author, Jhilam Chattaraj loves to communicate with the world in novel and creative ways. She is an Assistant Professor at R.B.V.R.R Women’s College, Department of English, Hyderabad. She is the author of Corporate Fiction: Popular Culture and the New Writers (Prestige Books International, 2018) and the poetry collection When Lovers Leave and Poetry Stays (Authorspress, 2018). She divides her time between teaching, conducting workshops, academic research and creative writing.

Kiriti Sengupta has recently been awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Literary Prize (2018) for his contribution to literature. He is a poet, editor, translator, publisher, and festival planner from Calcutta, India. He has published nine books of poetry and prose, including Solitary Stillness, Reflections on Salvation, The Earthen Flute, A Freshman’s Welcome, Healing Waters Floating Lamps, The Reverse Tree, My Dazzling Bards, My Glass of Wine, The Reciting Pens, and The Unheard I; two books of translation, Desirous Water by Sumita Nandy, Poem Continuous—Reincarnated Expressions by Bibhas Roy Chowdhury; and he is the co-editor of five anthologies, Scaling Heights, Jora Sanko–The Joined Bridge, Epitaphs, Sankarak, and Selfhood. Visit his website for more information.

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John W. Steele is a psychologist, yoga teacher and recent graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Poetry Program at Western Colorado University, where he studied with Julie Kane, Earnest Hilbert and David Rothman. His poetry has appeared in Blue Unicorn, The Lyric, Society of Classical Poets, Amethyst Review, and Boulder Weekly. Blue Unicorn nominated his poem “My Grandpa Lost” for the 2017 Pushcart prize. His poem, “Ignis Fatuus,” won The Lyric’s Fall 2017 quarterly award.

Born in Barcelona in 1959, Jose Manuel Sevilla is currently living in Hong Kong. His poetry books, published (in Spanish), are From the Limits of Paradise, Alice in Ikea’s Catalogue, The Night of Europe, and Family Album. He received the Angel Urrutia Poetry Award for Ashes of Auschwitz and Eighteen Dogs. Jose also has had theatre plays staged in Catalonia, Spain and Hong Kong. His poem “Sonia Wants to Rent an Apartment” was the First Prize Winner of Cha’s “Encountering” Poetry Contest in 2012.

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Joyce Lau has been writing professionally since she walked into the Montreal Mirror offices as a 19-year-old college sophomore, and followed the editors around until they finally acquiesced to letting her compile the band listings for a small fee. Her days at McGill University were spent typing away in the basement newsroom of the Tribune, the campus paper. She soon graduated to publishing in magazines like Canadian Business, NOW and Toronto Life. In Hong Kong, she worked as the managing editor of HK Magazine, and as the arts editor of The South China Morning Post, where she still writes freelance book reviews. Most of her journalism career has been at The New York Times, where she specialised in penning long-form features on art and culture. Joyce now works for Civic Exchange, an environmental policy think-tank. She lives in Hong Kong with her husband, two young daughters and an elderly cat.

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Kate Rogers‘ poetry is forthcoming in Elsewhere: a Journal of Place and Catherines, the Great (Oolichan). She was shortlisted for the 2017 Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Twin Cities: An Anthology of Twin Cinema from Singapore and Hong Kong; Juniper; OfZoos; The Guardian; Asia Literary Review; Morel; The Goose: A journal of Arts, Environment and Culture; Kyoto Journal and ASIATIC: International Islamic University of Malaysia. Kate’s poetry collection, Out of Place (Aeolus House –Quattro Books) debuted in Toronto, Hong Kong and at the Singapore Writers Festival between July and November 2017.

Liam Fitzpatrick was born in Hong Kong and educated at Christ Church, Oxford, where he also participated in his first group photography exhibition. He has variously worked as a kitchen porter, dance-party promoter, theatre director, music producer, poet and journalist. He held his debut solo photo exhibition, Kinky Vicious, in 2011. His photography has been published in Time, Roads & Kingdoms, and Points de Vue—The International Review of Ophthalmic Optics, and his work has been described as “breathtaking” (CNNgo), “unimaginably stunning” (Sing Pao), and “moving” (Wanderlister).

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Maialen Marin-Lacarta is a translator and Assistant Professor in the Translation Programme at Hong Kong Baptist University. She holds a PhD in Chinese Studies and in Translation and Intercultural Studies from the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilisations (INALCO) in Paris and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Her translations of Chinese literature into Basque and Spanish include works by Shen Congwen, Mo Yan, Yan Lianke, Yang Lian, Mu Shiying and Liu Na’ou. Her research interests cover literary translation, modern and contemporary Chinese literature, global literary flows, literary reception, translation history, agents of translation and digital publishing. Her most recent funded research project is entitled “Hong Kong and its Literature through a Double Lens: English and French Anthologies of Translated Literature”.

Martin Merz studied Chinese at Melbourne University and later received an MA in applied translation in Hong Kong. He moved to Asia in 1980 has worked in greater China ever since. In addition to his co-translations with Jane Weizhen Pan, he translated the modern Peking Opera Mulian Rescues His Mother, which was performed at the Hong Kong Fringe in the early 1990s.

Jane Weizhen Pan has collaborated with Martin Merz on translations of many works by contemporary Chinese writers. She first encountered Eileen Chang’s work as a high school student in China and has been a devoted reader of her writing since. Pan is based in Melbourne, Australia, where her research focuses on early Chinese translations of English classics.

Maureen Tai is a wife of one, mother of two and aspiring children’s book author. Together with her children, she writes book reviews at Stories That Stay with Us. Proudly Malaysian and resident in Hong Kong, Tai speaks (and dreams) in 5 languages. “Life We Can No Longer See” is her first published creative work. (Photo credit: Willow + Wild Photography)

Michael Shiaw-Tian Liaw is currently living in flux, in between countries, in between jobs, in between communities. He is here until he is not. He has an MFA in poetry from UC Irvine, and his work has appeared in Witness Magazine, Zócalo Public Square, Harvard Review, and elsewhere. He is also the Poetry Editor of an online literary magazine, The Curator.

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Michael Tsang is a native of Hong Kong, and holds a PhD from the University of Warwick, researching on Hong Kong English writing. His broader research interests are on postcolonial and world literature with an Asian focus. He writes stories and poems in his spare time, and is always interested in languages, literatures and cultures. Michael is a Staff Reviewer for Cha and a co-editor of Hong Kong Studies. Visit his Warwick profile for more information. [Cha Profile]

Natalie Linh Bolderston studied English at the University of Liverpool, where she won the 2016 Felicia Hemans Prize for Lyrical Poetry and the 2017 Miriam Allott Poetry Prize. Her work has been featured in L’Éphémère Review, Oxford Poetry, Smoke, The Good Journal, The Tangerine, and Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine. In 2018, she received the silver Creative Future Literary Award, was awarded Second Place in the Timothy Corsellis Poetry Prize, and was commended in the Young Poets Network’s prose poetry competition. She is also a runner-up in the 2019 Bi’an Awards. Her poetry pamphlet, The Protection of Ghosts, is forthcoming from V. Press.

Nicholas J.J. Smith is a photographer, philosopher, and electronic musician (under the name Partial Order) based in Sydney, Australia. His photographs have been published widely in print and online. Visit his website for more information.

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Nina Powles is a writer from Aotearoa New Zealand, currently living in London. Her work has recently appeared in Poetry, Hotel, Starling, Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and Best New Zealand Poems 2017. A collection made up of five poetry chapbooks, Luminescent, was published by Seraph Press in 2017. Her pamphlet Field Notes on a Downpour is forthcoming from If A Leaf Falls Press in Autumn 2018. In 2018 she was selected as the winner of the Jane Martin Poetry Prize. She is half Malaysian-Chinese and is poetry editor at The Shanghai Literary Review.

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Paoi Wilmer is a part-time teacher at Durham University’s School of Modern Languages and Cultures (2014-present) who received a PhD from Royal Holloway, University of London. She lectured in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at National Taiwan University from 2003-2010. She served as Deputy Editor of National Taiwan University Press’s East-West Cultural Encounters series and she serves on the advisory board of the journal Encounters. Her articles and reviews have appeared in many international journals from Israel, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Hong Kong. She loves to paint in her free time and has exhibited artwork at various exhibitions in the North East of England.

Paolo Tiausas writes from Pasig City in the Philippines. He is the author of the poetry chapbook Isang Taong Maghapon. He has published his poetry in Kritika Kultura, Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature, Rambutan Literary Journal, Heights, SOFTBLOW, Plural: Online Prose Journal, and The Philippines Free Press. He is currently working as a freelance writer and layout artist.

Pramila Venkateswaran was the Poet Laureate of Suffolk County, Long Island (2013-15) the co-director of Matwaala: South Asian Diaspora Poetry Festival. She is the author of Thirtha (Yuganta Press, 2002), Behind Dark Waters (Plain View Press, 2008), Draw Me Inmost (Stockport Flats, 2009), Trace (Finishing Line Press, 2011), Thirteen Days to Let Go (Aldrich Press, 2015), Slow Ripening (Local Gems, 2016), and The Singer of Alleppey (Shanti Arts, 2018). She has performed poetry internationally, including at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and the Festival Internacional De Poesia De Granada. An award-winning poet, she teaches English and Women’s Studies at Nassau Community College, New York, and has authored numerous essays on poetics as well as creative non-fiction. She is the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association Long Island Poet of the Year (2011). Visit her website for more information.

A poet, teacher and publisher, Ralph Nazareth was and raised in Mangalore, with a brief spell in Bombay. He earned his PhD in English Literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1974. After forty years of teaching at SUNY Stony Brook & Purchase, UT Austin & Nassau Community College, he retired from academia in 2015. He is now in his second decade of volunteer-teaching in maximum security prisons in New York State. He has published four books of poetry and his writing has appeared in books, magazines, and journals in the US and abroad, including the award-winning collection Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry. Nazareth has participated in poetry festivals in Palestine, Ecuador, Colombia and El Salvador. He is the Managing Editor of Yuganta Pressa and currently also heads Graceworks Inc., Inc., an international nonprofit charitable foundation.

Ravi Shankar has published or edited over a dozen books and chapbooks of poetry, including the Muse India award-winning Tamil translations of 9th century poet/saint, Andal, The Autobiography of a Goddess, the 2011 National Poetry Review Prize winner, Deepening Groove, and the 2005 Finalist for the Connecticut Book Awards, Instrumentality. Along with Tina Chang and Nathalie Handal, he edited W.W. Norton’s Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from Asia, the Middle East & Beyond, called ‘a beautiful achievement for world literature’ by Nobel Laureate Nadine Gordimer. He has won a Pushcart Prize and a Glenna Luschei Award from Prairie Schooner, been featured in such venues as The New York Times, The Paris Review and the Chronicle of Higher Education, appeared as a commentator on the BBC, the PBS Newshour and National Public Radio, received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and the Corporation of Yaddo, has taught and performed his work around the world, including at Columbia University, City University of Hong Kong and Fairfield University. Founding editor of Drunken Boat, one of the world’s oldest online journals, he holds a research fellowship from the University of Sydney and his Many Uses of Mint: New and Selected Poems 1997-2017 has recently been published with Recent Work Press.

Reena Bhojwani loves working with words. She has been trying her hand at poetry with the Peel Street Poets for two years now. This is the first time she has ever published her poetry. She has also been a member of the Hong Kong Writers Circle since 2010, hosting writing workshops and publishing short stories in the group’s anthologies. She teaches creative writing to children at Elephant Community Press by day and writes for both adults and children in her free time. Other than writing, she loves dancing, playing board games and listening to music.

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Ronald Torrance is currently a PhD candidate in English at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. His research interests include modernist and postmodernist Chinese literature (especially Lao She, Zhang Ailing and Mo Yan). He is also interested in contemporary Chinese writers such as Ma Jian, Ge Fei and Yan Lianke. He is currently working on a thesis focusing on the textual engagement with history at the end of the twentieth-century by exploring discourses of literary historicity in contemporary Chinese literature. He is published in the Europe-Asia Studies journal and the Journal of the British Association for Chinese Studies. He graduated with a Master of Letters (MLitt Literature, Culture and Place) in 2015 and completed his BA (Hons) in English and Human Resource Management, both from the University of Strathclyde.

Saudha Kasim is a writer and communications professional working in Bengaluru, India. Her short stories and essays have been published in Elle India, Cha, Out of Print, Eclectica, RIC Journal, Memoir Mixtapes, The Temz Review, and elsewhere. She was a writer in residence at Sangam House in 2017-18. She is currently working on a novel.

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Susan Blumberg-Kason is the author of Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong. Her writing has also appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books‘ China Blog, Asian Jewish Life, and several Hong Kong anthologies. She received an MPhil in Government and Public Administration from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Blumberg-Kason now lives in Chicago and spends her free time volunteering with senior citizens in Chinatown. (Photo credit: Annette Patko)

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Swathi Parasuraman is a content writer, who lives and works in the city of Bangalore. Having grown up in both Japan and India, she uses writing, primarily fiction pieces, poetry and personal essays as an outlet for her Asian multiculturalism. She is also a great lover of books and theatre. She has acted, directed and written a script for the stage. Some of her best loved authors include Kazuo Ishiguro, Harper Lee, Mohsin Hamid, Haruki Murakami and Jean Rhys. On her off days, you can find her browsing in a dusty bookstore or typing away at her laptop in a quiet coffee shop.

Tishani Doshi is an award-winning writer and dancer of Welsh-Gujarati descent. Born in Madras, India, in 1975, she received an MA in writing from the Johns Hopkins University, and worked in London in advertising before returning to India in 2001, where a chance encounter with the choreographer Chandralekha led her to an unexpected career in dance. In 2006, her book of poems, Countries of the Body, won the Forward Poetry Prize for best first collection in the UK. She is also the recipient of an Eric Gregory Award for poetry and winner of the All-India Poetry Competition. Her first novel, The Pleasure Seekers, was published to critical acclaim in 2010 and has been translated into several languages. Her most recent book is a collection of poems, Girls are Coming out of the Woods (Copper Canyon Press). She lives on a beach in Tamil Nadu with her husband and three dogs. Visit her website for more information.

Tommy Hicks is an aspiring writer currently studying at Delia Memorial School (Hip Wo). He chooses to express his art through words, not paint. He writes short stories and is working on a science-fiction novel, but his interests lie more in the scientific field than the artistic, and dreams of being a scientist one day.

Usha Akella is the author of three poetry collections, one chapbook, and one musical drama. She recently earned an MSt. In Creative Writing from Cambridge University, UK. Her work has been included in Harper Collins Anthology of Indian English Poets. Akella was selected as a Cultural Ambassador for the City of Austin for 2015. She has been published in numerous literary journals, and has been invited to international poetry festivals in Slovakia, Nicaragua, Macedonia, Colombia, Slovenia, India, among other places. She is the founder of Matwaala, the first South Asian Diaspora Poets Festival in the US. She has won literary prizes (Nazim Hikmet Award, Open Road Review Prize and Egan Memorial Prize) and she enjoys interviewing artists, scholars and poets for magazines. Akella is also the founder of the Poetry Caravan in New York and Austin, which takes poetry readings to the disadvantaged in women’s shelters, senior homes, and hospitals. The City of Austin proclaimed 7 January as Poetry Caravan Day.

Valentino Tignanelli (b.1991) has been trained as a researcher in architecture and urban studies and he was a fellow of the University of Buenos Aires. His work deals with formats and cartographies with which different disciplines of design materialise their products. Author of exhibitions in Latin America and China, what interests him most is thinking design practices that could function both as a uncharted territory as an a precise map.

Varsha Saraiya-Shah’s poetry chapbook VOICES was published by Finishing Line Press. Her poetry has featured in various journals/anthologies including Borderlands, Cha, Convergence, Right Hand Pointing, Texas Poetry Calendar, and elsewhere. Her work has been featured on local Public Radio and presented in a multi-language, multi-century classical/modern dance program, “Poetry in Motion” by Silambam, Houston. She serves on the Mutabilis Press Board and is a member of Matwaala, South Asian Poets’ Diaspora. She also writes poetry in her mother tongue, Gujarati.

Vivek Sharma‘s first book of verse The Saga of a Crumpled Piece of Paper (Writers Workshop, Calcutta, 2009) was shortlisted for Muse India Young Writer Award 2011. His work in English has appeared in Atlanta Review, Bateau, Poetry, The Cortland Review, Muse India, and elsewhere, while his Hindi articles and verses have appeared in Divya Himachal, Himachal Mitra and Argala. Sharma grew up in Himachal Pradesh (Himalayas, India), and moved to the United States in 2001. He is a Pushcart -nominated poet and has published as a scientist. He currently lives and teaches chemical engineering in Chicago.

Yoyo Chan is a Hong Kong-born writer and translator. Her debut book Song of Her Open Road 《異鄉女子—十個命運自主的真實紀錄》, true stories of ten remarkable female expatriates in Europe and Africa, was published in 2016. She is working on her second book, tentatively titled The Other Cookbook, which features recipes and stories collected from female refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. Her current translation projects include Philip Pullman’s The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ and Dreams of A Toad, an artist’s storybook by Au Wah Yan.

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Zeny May Dy Recidoro is a scholar and writer taking up an MFA in Art Writing at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She was born and raised in the Philippines.

Zilka Joseph was nominated twice for the Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Poetry Daily, MQR, Frontier Poetry, Kenyon Review Online, and in anthologies such as Cheers To Muses: Works by Asian American Women. Her chapbooks, Lands I Live In and What Dread, were nominated for a PEN America award and a Pushcart respectively. Her book Sharp Blue Search of Flame (Wayne State University Press) was a finalist for the Foreword Indie Book Award. She teaches creative writing workshops and is an independent editor and manuscript coach. Visit her website for more information.

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