Gathering Taiwanese American Writers at AWP 2024: “I wish I had this community growing up.”

On Lunar New Year’s eve, we again gathered an expanding cohort of Taiwanese American changemakers in the literary world who’d convened in Kansas City for the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP). Our Year of the Dragon dinner was hosted at Chewology, led by recently James Beard semifinalist nominated-chef Katie Liu-Sung. We were touched by Katie's vision to bring Taiwan to Kansas City, where there are relatively fewer Asian Americans compared to coastal enclaves.…

The Taiwanese Experience: The Biggest Act of My Life – Creative Nonfiction by Jamie Su

Finalist, High School Category [Act I, Prologue]  I’ve never taken an acting class. Or been in a drama club. Or even auditioned for a play. But I am an actress. And a heck of a good one, at that.  To start, my name isn’t even Vivian. It’s Yu-Wei, but they didn’t know how to pronounce that at my kindergarten graduation. My parents brought me to court and had it legally changed a month later. They were afraid that kids at school would make fun of me.  I never told them that they…

Charles Yu, Shawna Yang Ryan, Alvina Ling Select 2023 Creative Writing Prize Recipients

We are pleased to announce the 2023 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 third year, the prize has expanded to include adult writers of all life stages. Their work will be published on TaiwaneseAmerican.org throughout the year. The Prizes are named in honor…

Naomi Zhenmei Gage: Strange Pastures

Once upon a time, a man swallowed a goat.  The man was very large and the goat was small enough to sit on a seed of grass, so tiny that individual organs and miniscule details could not be detected. Viewed by the naked eye, he was only a dash of white.  The man was not what one would describe as a diligent chewer. The goat passed through his mouth relatively unharmed, loaded on a morsel of pork floss with his eyes half-open and his fetlocks tucked under its chin. The motion was horrible…

Tyler Tsai: Furikake Gohan

Fatigue gnaws you as you slide onto the wooden stool of your favorite midnight diner. The air is smokey, pungent with the scent of shoyu and steam exhaling from the rice cooker. When it clears, you see your chef dicing green onions and cracking eggs, which he whisks into a creamy froth. As your eyes salivate and your stomach stares, the chef pours the liquid egg into a sizzling pan, which hisses as he slices golden jewel aspic into tiny cubes to melt over your hot rice.  If you were presented…

Josephine Cheng: The Best Day

Nothing wakes the woman this morning. Perhaps a dream, but she doesn’t remember. She  opens her eyes, her back spread flat against the bed and her covers stopping right at the nose. Sun  slants in between window shades. From where she lays, the woman sees dust motes twinkling.  For a while, she lays there, her gaze unfocused, her mind blank. Content.   She thinks, Snow. The door to her room eases open, and a cat slips in. It leaps onto the  bed, curling up against the woman. She pulls…