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IN THE EDITORS’ preface to Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers (1974), Frank Chin, Jeffrey Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong issued a provocative “shot across the bows” aimed at the U.S. literary canon. (The titular use of the hyphen in “Asian American” in Aiiieeeee! reflects a contemporaneous, mid-twentieth century usage.) Noting that Asian American authors had been “long ignored and forcibly excluded from creative participation in American culture,” Chin, Chan, Inada, and Wong stressed that Aiiieeeee! was the product of “fifty years of our whole voice.” Accessing the racist stereotype of a “yellow man as something that [sic] when wounded, sad, or angry, or swearing, or wondering whined, shouted, or screamed ‘aiiieeeee!’” the anthology’s editors were very much products of a mid-century civil rights movement marked by calls for increased cultural...

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“We are the heirs of a legacy of creative protest [...] the teachings of Thoreau are alive today, indeed, they are more alive today than ever before.”

—REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. (MR 4.1, Autumn 1962)

From the Blog

10 Questions

10 (or maybe 12) Questions for Bryan Thao Worra

- By Abby MacGregor

“That was the question the protagonists of the cartoon show King of the Hill asked the Lao character Kahn Souphanousinphone when he debuted on March 2, 1997—even after he’d explained where he and his family were from in elaborate detail. Twenty years later, that question continues to encapsulate Lao American refugees’ enduring frustration when explaining our journey of rebuilding to others.”
from “‘So are you Chinese or Japanese?’”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
There’s not much to tell: It began for a girl,
There was a mask, some ink, some Pagliacci,
A reference or two to the Batman and the human...

Our America

To Hampshire College Faculty

- By Members of the Mount Holyoke College Faculty

February 11, 2019

Dear Hampshire Colleagues,

We, the undersigned faculty members of Mount Holyoke College, wish to express our concern about recent events at Hampshire College, as well as our support for Hampshire College and its faculty and staff. We are particularly concerned about: (1) the failure of the President and the Board of Trustees to consult with faculty prior to the January 15, 2019 announcement of the financial crisis and the plans to seek a partner; and (2) the need to consult openly with faculty  now and in the future about any plans that might involve a reduction (temporary or permanent)  in the size of the faculty. Our understanding is that the Hampshire Board of Trustee’s decision to admit only a very small incoming class means that...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Shelley Wong

- By Abby MacGregor

Set the dove free and try
to call it back within a year.
How do you love a bird so much
you cage it? If I were that bird
I’d sing all day. With the right song,
I’ll dance my bones down.
—from “My Therapist Asks If I would Be Happier If I Were Straight”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)


Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
In my junior year of college, I wrote a Frank O’Hara imitation after reading “The Day Lady Died.” It involved traveling by train en route to a beloved. I was thrilled by the line break “I couldn’t make out / the voices coming through the train.”

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Sarah Audsley

- By Abby MacGregor

Early mornings, I waited for the school bus, tiny hands clasping
thin backpack straps, lunch inside a crinkled brown paper bag, tacky

white fluff & peanut butter stuck to the cheap Ziploc. The bus arrived
at 7:05 a.m. The yellow morning light was a warm puddle — soft, I could

touch it. —from “It Was a Yellow Light”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I started writing poetry in my childhood bedroom in the log cabin-house my father built. I remember making things up on the page and writing letters to my imagined biological parents in my pink marbled journal. In high school, I wrote poems, looking back on it now, as a way to process my parents’...

10 Questions

10 Questions for Diana Khoi Nguyen

- By Abby MacGregor

There you stood, eye to the photograph looking at the
place you’re in without you. Am I feeling elegiac
or algebraic again. A violence from within protects
from a violence without.
—from “On Memorial”, Winter 2018 (Vol. 59, Issue 4)

Tell us about one of the first pieces you wrote.
I’m not sure if this question is referring to first piece of all time—but I’ll respond as if it were. Third grade—a poem about clouds, while I sat in the middle of the soccer field. There were dandelions beneath my hands when they grazed the earth, and the sun seemed softer than it does these days.

What writer(s) or works have influenced the way you write now?
An inexhaustive...

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