PoloRonault LS (Polo) Catalani’s family was expelled from Indonesia, granted asylum in Netherlands, then resettled in Oregon. He’s a West Coast and SE Asia activist-lawyer and a fellow of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. He is also contributing editor at The Asian Reporter and a commentator on Wisconsin, Milwaukie, and Oregon Public Radio. He wrote Counter Culture: Immigrant Stories from Portland Café Counters. Polo manages City Hall’s New Portlander Programs.

Polo’s daughter Caricia is a public health doctor; she teaches at UC Berkeley and researches in Indonesia and India. Artist son Aden has exhibited in Amsterdam, New York, Las Vegas, and San Francisco. Polo and artist wife Nim are new grandparents.

Ying Ying ChangYing-Ying Chang was born in China’s wartime capital, Chungking, in 1940 and moved to Taiwan with her parents to escape from the Communists during the 1949 civil war. She grew up on the island and graduated from National Taiwan University in 1962. Ying-Ying came to the U.S. for graduate studies and received her Ph. D. in biological chemistry from Harvard University in 1967. She married Dr. Shau-Jin Chang, a Harvard physicist, in 1964. In 1969, Ying-Ying and her husband started a teaching and research career spanning more than three decades at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. When they retired in 2002, they moved to San Jose, California.

After their daughter Iris Chang’s untimely death in 2004, Ying-Ying and her husband channeled their energy into the preservation of the history of World War II in Asia. In the past several years, Ying-Ying and Shau-Jin have been invited by numerous groups and organizations in North America and China to speak and take part in activities related to their daughter’s work and the Sino-Japanese war history.

Cheryan Sapna photoSapna Cheryan is an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Washington. Her research interests include identity, stereotypes, and prejudice, and she has published articles on stereotype threat and strategies of belonging to social groups in journals such as the Journal of Personality & Social Psychology and Psychological Science. Her awards include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award. She received her Ph.D. in social psychology from Stanford University in 2007.

CurtisChoyCurtis Choy is an independent producer and film worker contributing to numerous independent and PBS documentaries, commercials, and feature films as a production sound mixer. He is the director of The Fall of The I-Hotel, What’s Wrong With Frank Chin?, and Manilatown is in The Heart—Time Travel with Al Robles. His sound can be heard in The Joy Luck Club, Better Luck Tomorrow, and Academy Award winner Breathing

B EfsanemBen Efsanem considers himself a nomadic soul. Born in Asia, raised mostly in Europe, and married in America, he now lives with his family in Istanbul, Turkey, where he eats a lot of kebabs. He takes a keen interest in Asian-American issues and sees the development of an autonomous Asian-American culture and worldview as key to the progress of the community. His other interests include food, wine, and music. He completed an art degree in England and uses his skills to paint for pleasure. Ben blogs under Ben Efsaneyim at

Flor-B-e1397756238822Robert Francis Flor, Ph.D. is a Seattle native raised in the city’s Central Area and Rainier Valley. He is a graduate of Seattle University and the University of Oregon. His poems have appeared in the Soundings Review, Four Cornered Universe, 4 and 20 Journal, the Wanderlust Journal, the Tamafyhr Mountain Poetry Review, Poets Against the War, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (2005), and the Field of Mirrors anthology (2008). He is currently crafting his first chapbook of poems.
Robert is also developing plays based on the Filipino community in Seattle. His first play, Daniel’s Mood—Mestizos, was published in 2011. Daniel’s Mood was selected for a Studio Lab at Freehold Theatre and The Teachers was read by Seattle Cold Readers in 2010. He graduated from the Artist Trust 2010 EDGE Writers Development Program.Blog: 

Darrell HamamotoDarrell Y. Hamamoto is Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Davis. The essay in this collection is part of a series concerning the dark side of contemporary Asian America within the New World Order. He has written a number of academic books and essays in media studies including Nervous Laughter (1989), Monitored Peril (1994), and Countervisions (2000). For the wider public, Hamamoto has produced films (Yellocaust [2004]), experimental music (Voices [1999]), and is currently working on a multi-media online performance piece titled I Hate White People based upon a verbatim diatribe by a former student. His interests include pre-1970s country music, boutique guitar amps, watching NHK World TV, abolishing the privately held Federal Reserve, and visiting habitable countries that might offer safe haven from societal decay and economic implosion in the US.

Nicholas HartlepNicholas D. Hartlep is an assistant professor of educational foundations at Illinois State University and editor of the Urban Education Studies book series (Information Age Publishers). He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he was awarded an Advanced Opportunity Program Fellowship to study the Social Foundations of Education. Hartlep edited The Model Minority Stereotype Reader: Critical and Challenging Readings for the 21st Century (2014) and co-edited (with Cleveland Hayes) Unhooking from Whiteness: The Key to Dismantling Racism in the United States (2013). As the author of The Model Minority Stereotype: Demystifying Asian American Success  (2013), he recently launched the Model Minority StereotypeProject ( Follow his work onTwitter (@nhartlep), at the Illinois State University website (,, and

Inada coloredLawson Fusao Inada is an emeritus professor of English at Southern Oregon University. Since writing his debut collection of poems, Before the War: Poems as They Happened (1971), he has spent a career giving eloquent voice to the Japanese American internment experience. Among his many works, he has penned the poetry collections, Legends from Camp (1993) and Drawing the Line (1997), and has edited three important books of Asian American writing: Aiiieeeee! (1974), The Big Aiiieeeee! (1991), and Only What We Could Carry (2000). The recipient of many awards, Professor Inada earned two poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2010, he concluded a four-year term as Oregon’s fifth poet laureate.

Kang MinKMin K. Kang was born in Busan, South Korea and was raised in Texas. For the past two years, she has worked with America Reads, a federally funded program to increase literacy and to help foster a love for reading at West Portal Elementary School in San Francisco.

Her work is featured in Asia Literary Review, Santa Clara Review, Transfer Magazine, and the forthcoming anthology called Pho for Life: A Melting Pot of Thoughts.

She has attended Texas A&M University and San Francisco State University and will start her MFA in poetry at Louisiana State University this fall.

Katagiri V Anthol PhotoValerie Katagiri is an award-winning author of several Writer’s Digest entries, including “Love Tales” and “Nine Lives.” She has been a finalist in Glimmer Train’s short story contests (most recently in 2013 for her Family Matters story, “Happy Family”) and was also a Special Award cash prize winner in the “A Brief Message from the Heart” letter-writing contest. She was a monthly contributor to a senior newspaper in Portland, Oregon and is currently ghost-writing a parenting book as well as working on a book of her own. She is very pleased to be a co-editor for this Asian American anthology project because of her love for Asians, Americans, and anthologies.

Zach Katagiri was born in Hawaii, grew up in Oregon, studied in California and Kyoto, Japan, and now lives in New York. He has been working in digital media for the past 15 years, doing audio and video production, graphic design, and web design and development ( His primary gig is as the US Business Director at CMNTY (pronounced “Community”), managing digital marketing efforts, helping to support clients, and establishing their New York City office. He and his wife live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and love to cook/eat/drink, play/watch basketball, and take advantage of a city that has something different to do every day.

Kaufka B 1Beth Kaufka was born in Seoul, South Korea but grew up in the Detroit area from infancy. She now lives with her husband and two daughters in Portland, Oregon where she teaches reading and writing in the Developmental Education program at Portland Community College. She is interested in all things pertaining to the empowerment and well-being of oppressed power-minority groups. Her work has been in The Portland Review, Mid-American Review, Poets & Writers, Colorado Review, 971 Menu, Kartika, WomenArts Quarterly (forthcoming), and other academic journals. She is a 2007 winner of the AWP Intro Journals Award.

Bikash KhadaBikash Khada was born in Nepal. He is eighteen years old. For sixteen years, Bikash lived in a refugee camp with 20,000 people. He spent those years in a bamboo hut waiting for reparation, but it was not successful. His life in the refugee camp was very difficult in part because he could not get a quality education, though his family knew how education would be important in his life. Bikash had many dreams but his family couldn’t afford them. The climate was intolerable and lacked medical facilities. When Bikash finally left the refugee camp, he had to leave many of his near and dear loved ones forever. Fortunately, through IOM, he came to the USA on August 28, 2009. Now in the USA, Bikash has many dreams including becoming a dentist or doctor. He wants to be liked and trusted by all people so he can do good things for everyone. Bikash is proud of being Nepalese. He also dreams of helping both homeless and poor people.

Michael LaiMichael Lai emigrated from Taiwan to the U.S. in 1968 and finished high school in Pullman, WA. He then attended Washington State University, graduating with a degree in psychology. After WSU, he attended Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where he received his pharmacy degree. He retired from full-time pharmacy work in 2008 and now spends his time puttering around, planning travels with his wife, doing some relief pharmacy work, and writing. His three adult children live in different parts of the world, and he looks forward to visits with them.

Lam-A1Andrew Lam is a writer and a co-founder and editor of New America Media, an association of over 2000 ethnic media organizations in America. He also contributed over 60 commentaries to NPR’s All Things Considered. Lam was a John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University during the academic year 2001-02, studying journalism. He has lectured widely at many universities and institutions, including Harvard, Yale, Brown, UCLA, USF, UC Berkeley, University of Hawaii, William and Mary, Hong Kong, and Loyola University. His awards include the Society of Professional Journalist Outstanding Young Journalist Award and Best Commentator in The Media Alliance Meritorious awards, The World Affairs Council’s Excellence in International Journalism Award, the Rockefeller Fellowship in UCLA, and the Asian American Journalist Association National Award. He was honored and profiled on KQED television in May 1996 during Asian American heritage month. He was featured in a 2004 PBS documentary, My Journey Home, in which a television crew followed him back to his homeland, Vietnam.

Lam’s first book of essays, Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora, won the PEN American Beyond the Margins Award in 2006 and was short-listed for the Asian American Literature Award. His second book of essays, East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres, was published in October 2010 and listed as a Top Ten Indie Books in 2010 by Shelf Unbound Magazine. His next book, a collection of short stories entitled Birds of Paradise, is due out in Fall 2012.

Mary NiangMary Niang was born in 1993. She is seventeen years old. She will never forget New Delhi and the way all Indian people celebrate Republic Day which is a very big celebration. Mary was born in Tungzang, Chin State of Burma, close to India, Thailand and China. She speaks and writes six languages—Tedim, Zo, Teizang, Hindi, Mizo and English. Her goal is to become a doctor. She also wants to travel all around the USA. Mary loves to write poetry and make it into a song. She came to the USA on February 18, 2010. Before coming to America, she lived in New Delhi, India. She grew up there and did not have the chance to study because she didn’t have enough money. Now her dream of wanting to go to school is becoming real. Mary is making a new life in the USA.

NguyenLuanLuan Nguyen was born in 1990 in the city of Kon Tun in Vietnam. He lived in Kon Tun with his family for eighteen years. On January 21, 2008, Luan came to the U.S. with many beautiful dreams for the future. He hopes to be a construction worker and build many houses. Luan also wants to play sports. He dreams of saving money to return to Vietnam to visit his grandmother who loved and took care of him for eighteen years in Vietnam.

Dmae Roberts in colorDmae Roberts, a two-time Peabody-winning writer/producer, has created groundbreaking personal, multicultural documentaries. Her Peabody Award-winning documentary, Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song, is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII. The eight-hour Peabody-winning Crossing East is the first Asian American history series on public radio. She is a United States Artist fellow and is working on her memoir, Lady Buddha and the Temple of Ma. Her stage play, Picasso In The Back Seat, won the Oregon Book Award. Her essays have been published in the Oregon Humanities Journal (“My Brother—The Keeper”), Temple University Press (“But Still, Like Air I’ll Rise”), and The Sun Magazine (“Cooking in a Storm”). Her essay “Finding The Poetry” was published in Radio Reality (UNC Press). She is currently associate producer of Shakespeare Is and writes a column for Portland’s Asian Reporter.

Tony RoblesTony Robles is the co-editor and Revolutionary Worker Scholar of POOR Magazine (, an organizing project led by indigenous and poor people that produces media by communities-in-struggle both locally and globally. He is the author of the children’s books, Lakas and the Manilatown Fish and Lakas and the Makibaka Hotel. His stories are included in Growing up Filipino II and Mythium Journal. Tony was nominated for the Pushcart prize 2012. He is following in the footsteps of his uncle, the poet Al Robles.

M SalessesMatthew Salesses was born in Korea and adopted at age two. He lives in Boston with his wife, new baby, and cats. He is the author of The Last Repatriate (Nouvella Books) and Our Island of Epidemics (PANK). His fiction and nonfiction have been published in Glimmer Train, Koream, American Short Fiction, Witness, The Literary Review, and many other publications. He writes a column, “Love, Recorded,” about his marriage for the Good Men Project, where he is also fiction editor. Find him online here:

Sonia SarkarSonia Sarkar serves as chief of staff to the CEO of Health Leads, a national non-profit that mobilizes undergraduate volunteers, in partnership with providers in urban clinics, to connect low-income patients with the basic resources they need to be healthy. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University in May 2008 with a B.A. in public health and international studies and joined Health Leads’ national office from the Baltimore site, where she served as a programs manager and volunteer. A 2008 Truman Scholar and member of the USA Today All-Academic Team, Sonia worked as a mayoral fellow with the Baltimore City Health Department, where she provided case assistance and studied the effects of inadequate housing on health outcomes in urban neighborhoods. In 2009, she was named SAALT’s South Asian Changemaker of the Year, and also received a Rotary Cultural Ambassadorial Scholarship to conduct work with local paramedic teams in San Jose, Costa Rica. Sonia is an avid poetry fan and her work has been featured or is forthcoming in Right Hand Pointing, the Yale Journal of Humanities in Medicine, 32Poems, Pyrta, Urban Confustions, Cerebration and the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, amongst others.

Marivi Soliven BlancoMarivi Soliven Blanco has taught creative writing at the University of the Philippines and the University of California at San Diego. Stories and essays from her 15 books have been featured in anthologies and textbooks on creative writing. Her writing first gained recognition with two silver medals for children’s fiction at the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for literature in 1992 and 1993. In 1998, a short story for adults won the Philippines Free Press Grand Prize for fiction. Her first novel, In the Service of Secrets, was awarded the Grand Prize for the Novel in English at the 2011 Palanca Awards. Penguin Books published the same novel, re-titled The Mango Bride, in April 2013. Grupo Planeta is set to release the Spanish translation in 2014; a Filipino translation will follow soon after. Information about this novel and other publications may be found at

Simon TamSimon Tam is an award-winning musician, best-selling author, entrepreneur, and social justice activist. He is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. His approach to activism through the arts has been highlighted in thousands of media features across 82 countries, including: BBC World News, NPR, TIME Magazine, MTV, CBS, and the Wall Street Journal. Since 2000, he has been a performer, presenter, and keynote at events and organizations such as TEDx, SXSW, Comic-Con, The Department of Defense, Stanford University, Rotary International, and over 1,200 others across North America, Europe, and Asia, talking about race and culture.

You can find Simon’s appearance schedule, writing, and current projects at:

Lee Tonouchi“Da Pidgin Guerrilla” Lee A. Tonouchi is da writer of da award-winning book of Pidgin short stories Da Word (Bamboo Ridge, 2001), author of da Pidgin essay collection Living Pidgin: Contemplations on Pidgin Culture (Tinfish, 2002), compiler of Da Kine Dictionary: Da Hawai’i Community Pidgin Dictionary Projeck (Bess, 2005), and editor of Buss Laugh: Stand Up Poetry from Hawai’i (Bess, 2009). Da Honolulu Theatre for Youth wen do his play Three Year Swim Club (2010). An’den Kumu Kahua Theatre wen stage his plays Gone Feeshing (2004), Living Pidgin (2007), and Da Kine Space (2011).

Diem TranDiem Tran is an aspiring writer who recently dabbled in the medical field. She resides in Pleasant Hill, California with her supportive and wonderful Serbo-Bosnian-Swedish husband and her six-year-old son who has a discerning taste in all things made out of chocolate and fish sauce (not together, of course). She hopes to write more meaningful and fun short stories in the near future.

On a side note, she also has a stash of ramen packages in her pantry, in many colorful flavors to remind her of the good old days.

Ngoc Minh TranNgoc Minh Tran was born in 1995. He is fifteen years old. He was born in Phan Thiet, Vietnam, a beautiful place with a beach and the hard life of a fisherman. His fondest dream is that one day his family can live together with no fighting or conflict, just enjoying a family dinner as they never have before. Ngoc arrived in the USA on August 19, 2009. He will never forget the day before he left Vietnam when he held his mom as close as he could hold her. Ngoc dreams of becoming a pilot, like being a bird, flying into the big sky.

Vongsamphanh Souttalith Vongsamphanhn was born in Laos. He lived in Viangchan, the capitol city of Laos. He arrived in Seattle to unite with his mother during the summer of 2007. Souttalith speaks three languages—Laotian, Thai and English. He likes to break-dance and he hopes that one day he will become a famous break-dancer.

Wong B colorcropByron Wong is a mortgage banker in Portland, Oregon. He helped co-found Thymos in 2004. He blogs and podcasts at and was a former blogger at

Roberta WongRoberta May Wong is a native of Portland, Oregon. She received a bachelor of arts degree in sculpture from Portland State University (1983). She has exhibited in Oregon and Washington. Recent exhibitions include Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Portland, OR; Evergreen State College, WA; Portland Community College, Sylvania Campus, Portland, OR; and The Wing Luke Asian Museum’s touring exhibition, Beyond Talk: Redrawing Race, to South Seattle Community College of Art and Phinney Center Art Gallery in Seattle, WA. Her work is published in Surviving Myths (Deakin University, Australia, 1990 & 2000) and The Forbidden Stitch: An Anthology of Asian American Women Artists (Calyx, Corvallis, Oregon) which won the American Book Award, 1990.

From 1985-1988 and 1995-2004, Wong was gallery director at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center. She also produced and curated independent community exhibitions and served on the board of NW Artists Workshop (1984-1987) and the McKenzie River Gathering Foundation (1985-1989). Wong also served on panels for the Metropolitan Art Commission/Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Arts Commission, TriMet’s Public Art Committee, and Portland State University’s Walk of the Heroine project.

Victoria YeeVictoria Yee will graduate from Stanford University in 2013 with a B.A. in Asian American studies and a minor in Chinese. Her current interests include Asian American politics and psychology, East and Southeast Asian history, ethnic literature, rhetoric of mass mobilization and action, and of course, creative writing.

Larry YuLarry Yu is the communications coordinator for the Thymos organization of Oregon. He is also a regular contributor to the Seattle-based International Examiner newspaper and has published work in New America Media, Dissident Voice, Amerasia Journal, Journal of Asian American Studies, and the API Movement blog. Larry teaches in the Ethnic Studies Department at Oregon State University and has a Ph.D. in English from Brown University. His interests include Asian American media, film, and radical politics.

 Other Book Project Contributors

Doug KatagiriDoug Katagiri is a graphic designer and illustrator in Portland, Oregon ( He currently works as a graphic designer at the Oregon Zoo, creates books and cover designs, and a variety of artwork for exhibits, installations, and other projects. He plays the guitar for the Minidoka Swing Band, a tribute band to honor all those who had to endure the World War II incarceration camp experience and survive the irreversible disruption of their lives.

Merna HechtMerna Ann Hecht is lecturer in Creative Writing & Humanities at University of WA, Tacoma and teaching artist & tale spinner, Word Travels. She is also the Founder/Co-Director of the Stories of Arrival: Immigrant and Refugee Youth Voices Poetry Project at Foster High School in Tukwila, WA. Her students create poetry that tells of their life experiences leaving their countries and adjusting to a new country and culture. They share these poems with the larger community by recording their poems for broadcast on a local public radio station and publishing an anthology of their work. Proceeds from the sale of their anthology, which includes a CD with each poet reading a poem, are donated to the Refugee Women’s Alliance and to a college scholarship for a senior in the project who shows exceptional merit. With Merna’s and her students’ kind permissions, we were able to include a few works by her students in our Anthology. If you are interested in more information about Merna’s Stories of Arrival Project, email her at