Spencer Chang: “Ghost Stories” and Other Poems

From the judges, Charles Yu and Shawna Yang Ryan: "In this sophisticated collection of poems confronting personal and community history, Spencer Chang elegantly uses a variety of poetic forms, white space, and highly original images to great emotional effect. In language where violence and beauty collide, Chang illuminates historical events such as the 228 Massacre, the murder of Vincent Chin, and the sacrifice of the Chinese in the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Ultimately,…

Claire Kuo: 公公婆婆 

I recognized Taiwan by the way it smells. The handfuls of white magnolia champaca, sold by weathered fingers and wrinkled faces for 30 cents on the road. The dense humidity. The distant, slightly sweet smell of incense and routine straw burning. The dampness of pavement after a plum rain.  I closed my eyes, breathing it all in as I stepped off the plane from New York City. This was home. My parents and younger brother were waiting to pick me up at the airport. Together, we would make our…

Phoebe Ga-Yi Chan: Formosa is Portuguese for “Beautiful”

I can still taste the candied strawberries on my tongue.  Sometimes, I wake up expecting to see a boxy, white air conditioning unit above me, rather than my bedroom ceiling. I expect to open my window and be looking down sixteen stories from the apartment complex my grandparents live in, the view of the street below obscured by the muggy, humid, summertime air.  I can still hear the sound of mopeds going by, leaving the smell of asphalt and exhaust in their wake as they head to the morning…

Britney Chen: A Taste of Nostalgia

  Over the years, I had grown familiar with the musty scent of airplanes, the sound of my footsteps on the boarding bridge, and the taste of microwavable airline meals. I had gotten used to the constant feeling of change, like a bottle bobbing in the Pacific Ocean seafoam, searching for a home. What does the word “home” mean? I’ve always struggled with answering the question: “Where are you from?” Even more so now. Is it where I was born? Where I grew up? Where I currently live?…

Annie’s T Cakes: Vegan East Asian snacks from your childhood

If you’ve been around town in the Bay Area, you may have noticed these cute packages of pineapple cakes (in compostable packaging!), that say Annie T’s Cakes. These vegan gluten-free spin offs of the traditional Taiwanese pineapple cake have been making a splash with nods from the SF Chronicle and other East Bay periodicals.   Longtime TaiwaneseAmerican.org fan, Tammy Chang, a holistic nutritionist based in Oakland, had the chance to sit down with founder/owner, Annie Wang, to discuss…

Candice Wang: The Palace Within

Before I learned the word uterus, I knew all about the baby palace. That’s what my mama called it, placing her palms over the soft lower region of her stomach. I’d stare down at my naked abdomen and wonder—how could there be a whole palace built within me? Was I that cavernous?  To me, the uterus wasn’t a mass of delicate tissue, arching fallopian tubes, and pulsing blood vessels. It was a glittering hall carved directly into the skeleton of my body— something akin to the Hall of…

Jaja Hashimoto: I Cut My Own Tongue Off

I had a tongue that held three languages by a single thread.  When I was in second grade, I had a tutor who was the brightest among all. He had a Masters in Animal Science and a PhD in stem cell research. He attended National Taiwan University and graduated top of his class.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my tutor would come and help me with English, Math, Science, and everything else I needed help with. Every time we had class, he would assign vocabulary homework to help with my weak word…

“The Other End” & other Poems by Averylin Cummins

Averylin is a high school student, athlete, and activist; a third generation Taiwanese-American seeking to reconnect with their culture; and an aspiring writer and poet who explores race, gender, and sexuality through their work, using it to observe and reflect not only the world but also their own experiences. From Averylin: "Three Strong Emotions" started as a rant, typed sloppily into the notes app of my phone. I wrote "Anger" first, but it felt incomplete because that wasn't…

All Hail the ‘BNS’: Meet Wil Chung of Impromptu Spices

In the spring of 2020, a small group of Taiwanese Americans started the Taiwanese Home Cooking Facebook group in order to have a place for the Taiwanese diaspora and others to share and learn about Taiwanese food that was more focused than other groups we had been a part of.  It was through this group that I first met Wil Chung, the creator of Impromptu Spices and its signature Beef Noodle Soup spice mix. How did you come up with the name Impromptu Spices? Trader Joe's "Everything but…

Nnadi Samuel: “Subject Lessons” (Poems)

We are so honored to share "Subject Lessons," a collection of poetry by Nnadi Samuel. Samuel is a recipient of the prestigious Falun Gong Poetry Prize, which got him a two-year scholarship in National Dong Hwa College in Hualien to study Chinese Language & Literature. Nnadi Samuel (he/him/his) holds a B.A in English & literature from the University of Benin. His works have been previously published in Suburban Review, Seventh Wave Magazine, North Dakota Quarterly, Quarterly…