Hannah Han: Rusted Dawn

Laopopo: great-grandmother Laogongong: great-grandfather In Shandong, mountains rise like fists from the earth, and pagoda trees blossom, releasing wild fuchsia plumes between the ancient fingers. Beneath the mountains, two rivers melt into a vein pulsing with grass carp, silver bream, and slippery crustaceans. It was there that my laopopo and her friends swam in the summer, opening their eyes beneath the water and counting how many pebbles they could collect from the river bottom before…

Charles Yu, Shawna Yang Ryan, Alvina Ling Select 2022 Creative Writing Prize Recipients

We are pleased to announce the 2022 cohort of honorable mentions, finalists, and grand prize winners of the Betty L. Yu & Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes, established in partnership with TaiwaneseAmerican.org in honor of Yu’s parents, who are longstanding Taiwanese American community leaders. In its second year, the prize has expanded to include middle school participants and selections. Their work will be published on TaiwaneseAmerican.org throughout the year. The Prizes are named…

Cosette Wu: The Last Night: March 11, 1947

A sudden bang made Shih Chen Jiaotong drop the stack of freshly folded laundry she had been carrying to her bedroom on the third floor of the Sifang Hospital. Another bang resonated through the building, where Jiaotong lived with her husband, Shih Jiangnan, and their daughters. It seemed to have come from downstairs. Jiaotong stepped over a few stray shirts and headed toward the stairway, trying to make out the sounds’ origin.  As she reached the second floor, the hospital ward, muffled…

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…

Jennifer Co: 1993 – 1998

I am 21 and I am waiting. I wait for the university to spit me back out into the world, for the past four years to suddenly, and unabashedly, mean something. I wait and I watch friends and roommates and chosen strangers arrive upon the doorsteps to the rest of their lives: grad school admissions and gap years and start ups, sprinkled with full time offers from the companies spilling from my father’s news coverage sometimes, a marriage every now and then, a baby shower. I think of the palpable…

Emily Lo: A Growing Pair of Asian Eyes

First Grade  Pop. Click. Pop. Click. I opened and carefully sniffed all twenty-two of my Mr. Sketch markers, shoving caps onto untipped ends. Engaging in a ritual that preceded each and every session of my “builder’s workshop,” I faced my desk with anticipation.  Growing up, I periodically faced the most daunting task an elementary schooler could possibly imagine: finding a treasure to flaunt at show-and-tell. Perhaps, however, I was the only one intimidated by the need to present something…