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…

Ian Yu-Hung Tseng: “Deconstructing Daan Forest Park”

From The First Journal of Lost Taiwan’s History, Pub. 2087, Vol. 12, Iss. 8, p. 122-127 Daan Forest Park once sat in the heart of Taipei, at least according to the cardiologists at the National Taiwan University Hospital, though the pulmonologists must have been more popular when they supposedly nicknamed the park, “the lungs of Taipei City.” Surrounded by a metropolis that suffocated in its own humid smog, it is said that Daan Forest Park offered a block of fresh air with its fir trees,…

Alton Ru: Doujiang, Youtiao, Bean (Short Story)

"A lot of heart and emotion in here; honest and raw." - Charles Yu I did everything I could during childhood to keep my apologetic Asian hidden within me. I tried being boisterous, loud, and even mean to minimize the amount of times I apologized in school. I tried every persona that made it easy to talk your way out of having to apologize to your peers. No, my apologetic Asian only came out for my father. The last day I had with him in Wanhua District began just like the previous four:…

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…

What I Wish Li Bai Knew (Creative Fiction)

Everything I wrote was tinged with the Li Bai poem, "Quiet Night Thoughts." On a whim, I Googled Li Bai and learned that in 725, he ventured from his Sichuan home at 24 years old to wander and write. I also come from a family that left Sichuan, though we settled in Taiwan. Later in life, Li Bai was exiled from China. This time, he was condemned to roam and his writing faltered. One day, drunk and homesick on his boat, he grasped at the moon’s reflection in the water. He tipped over and drowned.…

Now accepting submissions: 2022 Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes celebrate Taiwanese American student writers

TaiwaneseAmerican.org is pleased to announce the 2022 Betty L. Yu and Jin C. Yu Creative Writing Prizes. Created in 2021 in collaboration with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu, the Prizes are intended to encourage and recognize creative literary work by Taiwanese American students, and to foster discussion and community around such work. This year, in addition to high school and college categories, applicants currently in 6th-8th grade may apply for the middle school category. Submissions…

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,…

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 her culture; and an aspiring writer and poet who explores race, gender, and sexuality through her work, using it to observe and reflect not only the world but also her 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 the…