Nayomi Munaweera's debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors was long-listed for the Man Asia Prize and won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia . It was short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and the Northern California Book Prize. The New York Times called the book "luminous" and Publisher's Weekly has compared her voice to that of Michael Ondatjee and Jhumpa Lahiri. Nayomi’s second novel, What Lies Between Us has been one of the most anticipated releases of 2016, having been featured on both Buzzfeed and Elle Magazines Best of 2016 lists. She lives in Oakland, California and is working on her third novel.
This episode: ARISA WHITE is a Cave Canem fellow, Sarah Lawrence College alumna, an MFA graduate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and author of the poetry chapbooks Disposition for Shininess, Post Pardon, and Black Pearl. She was selected by the San Francisco Bay Guardian for the 2010 Hot Pink List and is a member of the PlayGround writers’ pool; her play Frigidare was staged for the 15th Annual Best of PlayGround Festival. A native New Yorker, living in Oakland, California, Arisa is a faculty advisor at Goddard College and was a visiting scholar at San Francisco State University’s The Poetry Center, where she developed a special collections on Black Women Poets in the Poetry Archives. Published by Virtual Artists Collective, her debut collection, Hurrah’s Nest, was a finalist for the 2013 Wheatley Book Awards, 82nd California Book Awards, and nominated for a 44th NAACP Image Awards. Her second collection, A Penny Saved, inspired by the true-life story of Polly Mitchell, was published by Willow Books, an imprint of Aquarius Press in 2012. Forthcoming in fall 2016 is the full-length collection You’re the Most Beautiful Thing That Happened from Augury Books.
Wendy C. Ortiz is a Los Angeles native. She is the author of Excavation: A Memoir (Future Tense Books, 2014), Hollywood Notebook (Writ Large Press, 2015), and the forthcoming Bruja (Civil Coping Mechanisms, Oct. 31, 2016).
Her work has been profiled or featured in the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, and the National Book Critics Circle Small Press Spotlight blog. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Hazlitt, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, The Nervous Breakdown, Fanzine, and a year-long series appeared at McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.
Esmé Weijun Wang is an award-winning author and advocate. At esmewang.com, she provides resources that assist aspiring and working writers in developing resilience on the path to building a creative legacy. Wang’s emphasis on resilience originates from her own experiences as a writer, having learned the importance of adapting to difficult times from living with schizoaffective disorder and late-stage Lyme disease. She studied creative writing and psychology at Yale and Stanford, and received her MFA from the top-tier Creative Writing program at the University of Michigan. The author of THE BORDER OF PARADISE (Unnamed Press, 2016), as well as the chapbook LIGHT GETS IN, Wang has written for Catapult, Hazlitt, Lit Hub, Salon, and Lenny, and been written about in the New Yorker Online, Fusion, and the New York Times. She delights in organizational tools, handwritten letters, and her home base of San Francisco. Find her e-letter, as well as the complimentary Creative Legacy Check-In, at esmewang.com/e-letter.