Asian American Writers' Workshop

Asian American Writers' Workshop

Established in 1991, The Asian American Writers' Workshop, Inc., is a nonprofit literary arts organization founded in support of writers, literature and community.

Operating out of our 6,000 square-foot loft, we sponsor readings, book parties and panel discussions, and offer creative writing workshops. Each winter we present The Annual Asian American Literary Awards Ceremony to recognize outstanding literary works by Americans of Asian descent. Throughout the year, we offer various youth arts programs. In our space we operate a reading room of Asian American literature through the decades.

The only organization of its kind, the Workshop has become one of the most active community arts organizations in the United States. Based in New York City, we have a fast-growing membership, a list of award-winning books and have become an educational resource for Asian American literature and awareness across the nation.

Mission Statement

The Asian American Writers' Workshop is a national not-for-profit arts organization devoted to the creating, publishing, developing and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans.



The Asian American Writers' Workshop began in 1991 when six writers began meeting at a Greek diner in the East Village. A core group of ten formed, gathering at a space donated by the Committee Against Anti-Asian Violence and the Asian American Arts Alliance. By January 1992, the group held its first standing-room-only reading in Chinatown, and the event was rebroadcast on WBAI. In 1992, the Workshop became a non-for-profit organization and published the first issue of The Asian Pacific American Journal.

Within a year, the Workshop began a newsletter and the national Poetry Caravan Series. Additional funding from the New York Community Trust permitted the Workshop to launch the Van Lier Fellowship, which annually supported the work of three writers under the age of thirty. The Workshop also moved into its first offices at 296 Elizabeth Street. The 500-square-foot office was shared with A Magazine.

In 1995, the Workshop moved to its own space at 37 St. Mark's Place, adding a conference room, a bookstore and performance space; it also launched in-house youth summer writing institute, CreateNow. The following year, the Workshop began its Small Press Division, which eventually published ten anthologies and a collection of poetry.

Throughout the late 1990s, the Workshop expanded its scope and vision. The first Annual Literary Awards were presented in 1998 at the Joseph Papp Public Theater. The move to the Workshop's current home, a 6,000-foot loft space at 16 West 32nd Street, permitted the Workshop to enlarge its lending library and accommodate growing audiences at events. Currently, we have 800 members and an annual audience total of 11,000.



Topography of War: Asian American Essays

Edited by Andrea Louie and Johnny LewISBN 1-889876-15-1Paperback, $21.95

Featuring essays by Elsa Arnett, Shymala Dason, Xujun Eberlein, Jennifer F. Estaris, Luis Francia, Andrew Lam, Christopher Lee, Maya Lin, Dang Ngo, Gary Reyes, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto, Michael Sandoval, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, John Vu and Dora Wang.

"This is how we are told wars end: either in victory or defeat, with honor or in shame, but as Topography of War shows us, nothing could be more false. Wars live on in intimate, complex, and painful ways, down through the generations and often in geographies far beyond their battlefields. [Topography of War] replaces the comfortable American narrative of immigrant arrival with the very human struggle between memory and forgetting." -Moustafa Bayoumi

"The Topography of War is an exploration not only of the effects of war on memory, but also on the way that we construct our fractured selves - part expression of history, part new America identity. -Sabina Murray

Voices Wandered: An Anthology of Poetry and Art by Asian American Youth

Edited by Dianna Ng, Nisha Mirani, Karina Liu and Helen LeeThe first of its kind, Voices Wandered is a collection of poetry and artwork written, compiled and edited entirely by Asian American youth. This anthology showcases the fresh, emerging voices of Asian American youth of all backgrounds and interests from across the country, and captures an array of experiences of adolescence, from family relationships to first loves to the communities in which they live. The work in this anthology chronicles the exploration of identity and political beliefs, childhood memories, the examination of communication, whimsical musings, and many other enduring qualities of adolescence.

Featuring poetry by: Yao Bian, Wendy Cheung, Marika Hashimoto, Iimay Ho, Alexandra Kleeman, Lianna Sachiyo Kushi, Daniel Lau, Aislinn Luk, Angela Makabali, Suneela Mubayi, PakSoo Na/Sydney Hoover, Deborah Oh, Suriya Schmidt, Lindsay Taylor, Namita Thakker, Yun Wei and Jennifer Yoo.

Featuring artwork by: Binh Dao, Renee Delosh, Jimmy Dinh, Loan Ho, Claire Min, Imran Shafi, Georgianna Joy Spilman, Steve Teng, Zarah Dien Trinh, Sophia Woo and Kevin Yuih.

The Man With My Face

Poems by Jennifer TsengISBN 1-889876-17-8Paperback, $12.95

"...Tseng both elucidates the ancient questions of language, immigration, foreignness, desire...and honors their irreducible mystery." ~ Suji Kwock Kim

"... [A] Striking and insightful debut" ~ Mark Doty

"This powerful collection investigates those other words of in between 'Quiet speech, nightly prayers, leaving & amnesia.'"~ Prageeta Sharma

"I want to be 'him' whoever he is or not---more impotantly I want to be many of the people and lives here---the lives in these poems make room for the lives around my life...Tseng writes a poetry that is constantly vibrant and penetrating" ~ Michael Burkard

"...Tseng transmutes the deep hunger of the (bi-racial) daughter into moving poems, letters of filial love, to the 'man with my face' An auspicious debut" ~ Dorothy Wang

Echoes Upon Echoes: New Korean American Writings

Edited by Elaine H. Kim and Laura Hyun Yi KangISBN 1-889876-13-5Paperback, $19.95

A groundbreaking collection of new fiction and poetry from an array of emerging, innovative voices, Echoes Upon Echoes traverses bleak and eccentric landscapes and mindscapes of alienation, obsession, conflict and belonging. The multihued perspectives offered in this anthology attest to the tension between habitation within and movement across the varied terrains, communities and languages of the Korean American diaspora. While many of the pieces in Echoes explore familiar themes � coming-of-age, familial and generational conflict, adoptee identity � they also delineate a fiercely vibrant renewal of these forms. Woven together these poems and stories challenge and change the very definition of "American."

Take Out: Queer Writing from Asian Pacific America

Edited by Quang Bao and Hanya YanagiharaISBN 1-889876-11-9Paperback, $22.95

Finalist for The Lambda Literary Foundation Award, 2001.

Showcasing new work by established and emerging writers, Take Out captures the freshness of contemporary expressive culture in queer Asian Pacific America. It brings together artists from different backgrounds and interests to define their personal and collective vision as gays and lesbians. The visual art, literary and performance works in this anthology probe a variety of topics intergenerational relationships, love, domesticity, pop culture, camp, Hollywood, fairy tales and Asia. Take Out resists summary just as its contributors refuse limits on their artistic expression and attempts to objectify them as people.

The NuyorAsian Anthology: Asian American Writings About New York City

Edited by Bino A. RealuyoISBN 1-889876-07-0Paperback, $19.95

This dynamic collection of prose and poetry maps life in New York City as writers attempt to decipher its ever-elusive meanings. With work by Jose Garcia Villa, Maxine Hong Kingston, Vijay Seshadri, Wang Ping and many others.

Tokens? The NYC Asian American Experience On Stage

Edited by Alvin EngJISBN 1-889876-09-7Paperback, $19.95

A companion book to NuyorAsian, Tokens takes a look at the historical and contemporary New York stage world via a "verbal mural" of interviews with such luminaries as Frank Chin and Diana Son. Included are performance art works and full-length plays by David Henry Hwang, Aasif Mandvi, Chiori Miyagawa, Jessica Hagedorn, Ralph Pena, Han Ong, Ping Chong and Muna Tseng.

Watermark: Vietnamese American Poetry & Prose

"'Edited by Barbara Tran, Monique T.D. Truong and Luu Truong KhoiISBN 1-889876-04-6"'Paperback, $19.95

This landmark collection of poetry and prose heralds a new era for Vietnamese American literature. Here, for the first time, the most innovative contemporary Vietnamese American writers explore thematic and stylistic territory previously overlooked in other collections, which have traditionally focused on the all-too-expected theme of war. With works by such writers as Linh Dinh, Andrew Lam and Christian Langworthy. Second printing.

Black Lightning: Poetry in Progress

Edited by Eileen TabiosISBN 1-889876-03-8Paperback, $19.95

This book explores the development of particular poems (featuring early drafts leading to the final draft of a poem) with some of the country's leading Asian American poets: Meena Alexander, Indran Amirthanayagam, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Luis Cabalquinto, Marilyn Chin, Sesshu Foster, Jessica Hagedorm, Kimiko Hahn, Garrett Hongo, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, David Mura, Arthur Sze (who also provides an introductory essay) and John Yau.

Contours of the Heart: South Asians Map North America

Edited by Sunaina Maira and Rajini SrikanthISBN 1-889876-00-3Paperback, $19.95

Winner of the 1997 American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. This anthology critically explores the family tension about and the concept of "home." With a foreword by noted physician and author Abraham Verghese, this anthology challenges images of South Asians in North America, portraying instead the subtleties of their varied, sometimes invisible, experiences. It includes fiction, poetry, essays and photography. Second printing.

Flippin': Filipinos on America

Edited by Luis H. Francia and Eric GamalindaISBN 1-889876-01-1Paperback, $19.95

Here for the first time are Filipino and Filipino American writers telling their lives in their own words. Here are stories of passion and betrayal, home and exile, the politics of the self and a nation in search of itself. Together, these works provide a deeper image of the Philippines and ultimately, a vivid perspective of America as well. Third printing.

Quiet Fire: A Historical Anthology of Asian American Poetry, 1892-1970

Edited by Juliana ChangISBN 1-889876-02-xPaperback, $19.95

This landmark anthology provides the first historical survey of Asian American poetry. Beginning with writings from the 1890s with such poets as Sadakichi Hartmann and Yone Noguchi, the book also includes the early work of such well-known writers as Joy Kogawa, Jessica Hagadorn and Lawson Fusao Inada. This is an important source book. Second printing.



* Executive Director Ken Chen
*Administrative Director Jeannie L. Wong
*Programs Nina Sharma
*Designer Jeffrey Lin
*Web Consultant Danny Tse
*Interns Megan Moriarty
Khoi Nguyen
Natalie J. Park
Mindy Wong

The former executive director is Quang Bao.


= Board of Directors =
* Harold Augenbraum
* Simon Chen
* David Eng
* Luis Francia
* Andrew Hsaio
* Beena Kamlani
* Sally Kim
* Tan Lin
* Sanda Lwin
* Leslie Norton
* Lorna Owen
* Gerard Raymond
* William Schwalbe
* Lilia Villanueva
* Michael Yi

Honorary Advisors

* Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
* Jessica Hagedorn
* Kimiko Hahn
* Stewart Ikeda
* Gish Jen
* Elaine Kim
* Russell Leong
* David Mura
* Arthur Sze
* Shawn Wong



Since 1998, The Annual Asian American Literary Awards have honored Asian American writers for excellence in fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, stage plays and screenplays. Literary awards recipients are determined by a national panel of judges who are selected on the basis of expertise in a literary genre and/or experience in academic environments relevant to Asian American literature; residence in the U.S. and ethnic background as to create a diverse committee.

To qualify for our next award, a work must have been written by an individual of Asian descent living in the United States and published originally in English during the calendar year preceding the award year (for example, works published in 2007 are eligible for the 2008 Literary Awards). No self-published works will be considered. Award submissions are accepted in Spring, with award recipients announced in Fall, and publicly presented during our Winter awards ceremony.

The Asian American Literary Awards Ceremony also features the Members' Choice Award. Initiated in 2000, the Members' Choice Award allows Workshop members to choose their favorite title of the previous publishing year. In order to participate in voting for this award, you must be a current member of The Asian American Writers' Workshop.

Applications for the upcoming Eleventh Annual Asian American Literary Awards are due Friday, April 25, 2008. Please download the newest application and guidelines below. Literary Awards Application [] Literary Awards Guidelines []

Past Writers' Workshop

Among the writers who have taught workshops at AAWW are:
* Bushra Rehman, non-fiction
* Jhumpa Lahiri, fiction
* Julia Cho, playwriting
* Philip W. Chung, playwriting
* Kimiko Hahn, poetry
* David Henry Hwang, playwriting
* Li-Young Lee, poetry
* Peeling, performance
* Beau Sia, poetry in performance

External links

* [ Asian American Writers' Workshop]

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