I am a third generation Chinese-American whose work explores the intersection of memory, family, culture, language, identity, and history. I am a 2022 Oregon Literary Fellow in Creative Nonfiction, two-time VONA alum, and graduate of the Independent Publishing Resource Center’s program in Creative Writing.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I spoke English at home and learned Chinese in a bilingual Mandarin immersion program. After majoring in Chinese Literature at UC Berkeley, I won a Fulbright Fellowship to conduct research in China from 2005-2006. While there, I traveled through 13 provinces in 12 months and fell in love with the country, its language and culture, and with writing about China. Since then, my writing has continued to explore the intersections between China, America, and Chinese-America.
After stints in Boston and Beijing, I currently call Portland, OR home. By day, I freelance as a writer, editor, and consultant for organizations and scholars seeking to address health inequities. I am also involved in Portland’s Asian Pacific Islander and creative writing communities. This includes volunteer work with APANO and Write Around Portland, and collaborating with both to develop and deliver Write Around Portland’s first bilingual Mandarin-English writing workshop to APANO’s parent support group. When not sitting at my computer, I enjoy exploring Portland, multilingual puns, cycling, various forms of dance (ballet, at present), making clothing, and learning about gardening. Oh, and chasing my toddler about!
About the gratitude haikus:
In 2016, every morning I found myself procrastinating my creative writing sessions, until I began starting the session with a brief gratitude list, followed by a gratitude haiku. The haiku had to come from whatever I’d just jotted on my list, it couldn’t take more than 10 minutes to create, and it definitely didn’t need to be perfect.
Seventeen syllables: short enough to ease me into my writing, constrained enough to jolt my creative brain to life, and centered on gratitude. Some weeks I wrote none. Other weeks I write one for every day of the week. Most are pretty crappy, when evaluated for their poetic quality. But their utility lies in the process of writing itself, and as a reminder to reflect upon the many gifts each day brings.