Contributor Bios


Simon Shieh was born in Taiwan and raised in upstate New York and Beijing. He is currently a Princeton in Asia fellow teaching at China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing. Simon is the Managing Editor of the Spittoon Literary Magazine—a journal of English and Chinese literature—and the Editor in Chief of the Beijing Youth Literary Review—a bilingual journal for 14–19 year-olds writing from or about Asia. Next year, he will be the Writer in Residence at the International School of Beijing, where he hopes to complete a chapbook of poetry about his experience as a Muay Thai fighter.



Anna Qu's nonfiction essays have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Kweli Journal, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, XOJane, and Jezebel, among other publications. You can find her work at She lives in Brooklyn and tries not to steal.



Selma Carvalho is a British-Indian writer, columnist and author of three books documenting the Goan presence in colonial East Africa. Her short prose has been published in Indian and British literary journals. She has been short or longlisted in short story contests by Almond Press UK 2015, Exeter Writers Prize UK 2015 and again in 2017, TSS Quarterly UK 2016, and DNA-Out of print, India 2016 (7th runner up). She was featured alongside prominent British-Indian writers in the India issue of Litro UK (Oct 2016). Of Indian origin, she grew up in Dubai, spent several years in Minnesota, USA, before moving to London where she currently lives with her husband and daughter. Visit her website for more information.

Noelle Marie Falcis received her BA in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine and her MFA at Antioch University LA. Her fiction explores her heritage and both the deserts and cities in which she grew up. She uses fiction to better understand the diasporic, post-colonized life and how it has affected her as a second-generation Filipina American. She teaches English and Dance within Los Angeles, Ca. Her work has been published in VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, Drunk Monkeys, and Hawaii Pacific Review, amongst others.

Ari Laurel grew up in Oakland, CA and has lived near the ocean for most of her life. In addition to her feature in the 2015 Kearny Street Workshop APAture Festival, she was a 2012 finalist for the PEN/USA Emerging Writers Fellowship, recipient of University of Montana’s Candace K. Brown Memorial Scholarship, and her work has appeared in Passages North, The Conium Review, Yellow Chair, Bitch Media, The Toast, Quartz, Duende, Kartika Review, Kweli Journal, and Hyphen. You can follow her on Twitter at @ari_laurel.

Kathy Nguyen was born and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Her parents immigrated to the United States after the fall of Saigon. She is currently a Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies PhD student at Texas Woman's University. She is particularly interested in the narratives surrounding Vietnamese (“the boat people’s”) diaspora and the voices that have remained maligned and marginalized in regards to citizenship and identity politics—two intersections that complicate each other. She is currently experimenting with incorporating Asian parables, code switching, and SF in her writing. She recently published an article, Wired:: Ghosts in the S[hell],” in the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, and has another article, “Body Upload 2.0: Downloadable Cosmetic [Re]Birth,” forthcoming.

Kamna Shastri is a freelance print and audio storyteller who calls Seattle home. She has written for local publications, such as The Seattle Globalist, The South Seattle Emerald, and the International Examiner. Her audio pieces have also aired on KUOW, Seattle’s local NPR member station. She loves to grapple with ideas of identity, race, and culture in her journalistic and creative work, with specific interests in the (South) Asian diasporic experience, social and environmental justice. She thrives on good conversation and spicy chai. She has a B.A in sociology and environmental studies from Whitman College. This is her first published piece of fiction.

Jonina Lee Veloso is a Filipino writer who grew up in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. She got her B.A in Creative Writing in Suffolk University and her M.F.A in Creative Writing from Emerson College. After living in Boston for eight years, she now divides her time between Abu Dhabi and Philippines. She occasionally writes articles as “A Spaceship Named Jonina” on Medium.

Vanessa Wang grew up in Puerto Rico and Taiwan, and currently resides in the Silicon Valley. Her writings have appeared in Luna LunaEvery Day FictionAsian Fortune, and Kweli, among others. Her short story “La Rambla” won the 2015 Bethesda Magazine Short Story Contest. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from the University of Maryland. For more about her and her writing, please visit



Jerry Dear, a lifetime APALA member, has served on and chaired several APALA Literature Award committees in the adult fiction, young adult, and children’s literature categories. He tackles complex research questions as an information strategist at the San Francisco Public Library and also teaches in the Library Information Technology program at City College of San Francisco. In his free time, he indulges in Asian American literature and film, reads graphic novels and manga, and watches anime.

Simi Kang is a scholar, artist, and community advocate whose work engages Asian American collaborative resistance throughout the U.S. She is currently conducting research with Vietnamese and Vietnamese American fisherfolk throughout Southeast Louisiana to understand how policy impacts their work at the intersection of resistance, resilience, and displacement. Ms. Kang is a Ph.D. candidate in the Feminist Studies program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; her work has appeared in The Asian American Literary Review, Gastronomica, Allegra Lab, Hyphen Magazine, Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi, Sugar & Rice Magazine, and Kartika Review.

Shilpi Suneja was born in India. She holds an MA in English from New York University and an MFA from Boston University, where she was awarded the Saul Bellow Prize. Her work appears or will appear in Solstice, Hyphen, Consequence, Roads & Kingdoms, GrubWrites,, and, among other places. She is currently at work on a novel about the Partition of India.



Alexander Chee is the author of the novels Edinburgh and The Queen of the Night. He is a contributing editor at The New Republic, and an editor at large at VQR. His essays and stories have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Slate, Guernica, NPR, and Out, among others. He is winner of a 2003 Whiting Award, a 2004 NEA Fellowship in prose, and a 2010 MCCA Fellowship, and residency fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Civitella Ranieri, and Amtrak. He has taught writing at Wesleyan University, Amherst College, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Texas—Austin. He lives in New York City, where he curates the Dear Reader series at Ace Hotel New York.

Anne Mai Yee Jansen is an Assistant Professor in the Department of English and the Director of US Ethnic Studies at UNC Asheville. Her current research focuses on the relationship between form and politics in 20th and 21st century US ethnic literature, with a focus on genre fiction.

Stephen Hong Sohn is founder and moderator of Asian American Literature Fans, an open access website devoted to reviews and discussions in the field. He is the author of Racial Asymmetries (New York University Press, 2014), a study of contemporary Asian American fictional production, social context methodology, and aesthetic practices. He has also authored numerous articles and edited or co-edited volumes on various topics in Asian American literary studies. He is working on a second book, exploring gender and sexuality in Asian American cultural production.



Paul Lai lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota with his partner and their two dogs in a 104-year-old house. He works as a manager of website and information resources, and he also occasionally staffs the reference desk at public libraries in the suburbs of the Twin Cities. He reads, studies, reviews, teaches, and publishes essays on Asian American literature, among other literary and cultural topics.

Published June 30, 2017