Featured Fem | Meet Frankie Concepcion

frankie concepcionFrankie Concepcion was born in the Phillipines and currently lives in Somerville, MA. She has written essays for The Toast, Vagabond City Lit and TheRappler.com among others, and poetry for such places as Straylight Literary Magazine, The Fat Cat Review and Literary Orphans. She is also the founder of GUNITA, an online collective for Filipino artists. This is her website.

Fem: Tell us about GUNITA. What space did you feel like it was filling and how has it evolved?

Frankie Conception: I started GUNITA because I wanted Filipinos to have a safe and encouraging space to think about our identities and current events going on in our country. In the U.S. there are so many opportunities to do exactly that, be it on the internet, in schools, or organizations where people can get together and just talk about what they’re seeing on the news, in their communities. But there aren’t many spaces to do that in the Philippines. So I wanted GUNITA to be a jumping off point, a springboard where people can talk about and explore issues that matter to them and be inspired to do something about it. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Frankie Concepcion”

Featured Fem | Meet Teow Lim Goh

Author PhotoTeow Lim Goh is the author of Islanders (Conundrum Press, May 2016), a book of poems on the history of the Angel Island Immigration Station. Her writing has appeared in PANK, The Toast, Guernica, The Rumpus, Winter Tangerine Review, and Open Letters Monthly, among other publications. She also makes letterpress and art editions of poetry and other writings at her imprint Black Orchid Press. She lives in Denver.

Fem: Tell us about Islanders.

Teow Lim Goh: Between 1910 and 1940, Chinese immigrants to America were detained at the Angel Island Immigration Station in the San Francisco Bay. As they waited for weeks and months to know if they could land, some of them wrote poems on the walls. All the poems we have on record were found in the men’s barracks: the women’s quarters were destroyed in a fire. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Teow Lim Goh”

Featured Fem | Meet Michelle Tudor

Photo (1)Michelle Tudor is a writer, average barista and wannabe cartographer. She is an English Literature and Creative Writing graduate whose work has been published both online and in print. Her first poetry collection You Are the Map and her debut short story collection Miyoko & Other Stories were both released in 2015. She currently serves as the editor of WILDNESS and Platypus Press.

Fem: What was your inspiration for creating Platypus Press? For Wildness?

Michelle Tudor: I think, mainly, a desire to find really great work. There’s just so much out there that doesn’t ever get seen. And because of WILDNESS’ nature as a journal (rather than the singular collections of the press), it’s not limited to one type of work or one group of writers. We want to explore great work and, vice-versa, we want other people to share that with us. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Michelle Tudor”

Featured Fem | Meet Jessica Meats

linkedin profileJessica Meats is a British science fiction author with a degree in mathematics and computer science. She works in the IT industry as a specialist in Microsoft technologies and draws on her knowledge of computers to add a dash of reality to her science fiction adventures. Outside of work and writing, Jessica enjoys reading, making jewellery, and studying martial arts.

Fem: You have a background in mathematics and computer science. What sparked your interest in these areas?

Jessica Meats: I always did well in maths lessons at school. It was something I just accepted about myself from an early age: “good at maths” was part of who I was just like “brown hair” and “hates mushrooms.” It was something encouraged by my family and my teachers, and, like most people, I like doing well in things, so when I was picking my A-Level subjects , it seemed a natural choice. When it came to university degrees though, I was less certain because I couldn’t see many logical progressions from a mathematics degree into an obvious career. We did various strengths tests and career planning exercises at school and one option that came up was computer science, apparently a good fit for someone who is good at maths. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Jessica Meats”

Featured Fem | Vasilina Orlova

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Vasilina Orlova was born in the village of Dunnai in the Russian Far East in 1979. She has lived in Vladivostok, Moscow, and London, and is now based in Austin, United States, working her way through the PhD program in anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin.

She holds a PhD in philosophy and is the author of seven novels in Russian—among them The Voice of Fine Stillness, The Wilderness, and The Supper of a Praying Mantis. Mostly they were published in Novy Mir literary journal. She has also published several books of prose and poetry, including Yesterday, The Wilderness, and Quartet.

Fem: Describe your latest publication.

Vasilina Orlova: My latest publication is a poem, dedicated to one of my peers, anthropologist Joseph Russo. It came out in a small New-Yorkian zine. The poem is about basilisk who has a valise and embarks on a kind of journey. It largely emerged out of play with sound, pure alliteration. It’s a little piece that I like. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Vasilina Orlova”

Featured Fem | Meet Azia DuPont

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Azia DuPont is a mother, writer and editor living in Southern California. She is the Co. Founder and current Editor-in-chief of Dirty Chai Magazine. You can find her online via Twitter or online.

Fem: Explain your involvement with Dirty Chai Magazine. How did it come about?

Azia DuPont: Dirty Chai was something that I had been playing around with in my mind since 2011. At that time, I wasn’t an “active” member of the lit community. What I mean by that is mostly I was an avid reader who did not actively engage with anyone (read: writers on the internet) outside of my small circle of IRL writer friends. I was on the internet but I did a lot of lurking and was not involved to the extent I am now.  I had a few favorite poets and I would follow their work from journal to journal, and I kept seeing their work published alongside the same names time and again. I definitely saw the merit in the work but I also wanted to see some fresh meat – I knew there had to be other people writing!  Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Azia DuPont”

Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Yaw

SarahYawHiResSarah Yaw’s novel You Are Free To Go (Engine Books, 2014) won the 2013 Engine Books Novel Prize and the 2015 CNY Book Award for fiction; her short work has appeared in Salt Hill. Sarah received an MFA in fiction from Sarah Lawrence College. She is associate professor and coordinator of Cayuga Advantage at Cayuga Community College.

 

Fem: What drew you to fiction?

Sarah Yaw: I was a musician who’d lost her music and needed an artistic outlet to satisfy the parts of me music once satisfied. In college, I was a women’s studies minor and landed in a women writers course at SUNY Albany. I didn’t know I wanted to write fiction. I’d even forgotten that I’d shown early promise in school. Later, I remembered shutting down the desire to write because I thought only men wrote—sounds simplistic and stupid, but that limiting belief wormed its way in and stayed there until it was forcibly dislodged by that women writers class. For our final paper, we could write a literary analysis or a creative piece in the voice of one of the authors we’d read that semester. I’d read Colette for the first time in that class and she blew my doors off. So I attempted to write pieces in her voice and a whole new world opened up for me. I was a senior, so that was disorienting. Eventually, I found my way to graduate school where I learned the writing tools I’d missed out on in my undergraduate education. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Yaw”

Featured Fem | Meet Vanessa Willoughby

photoVanessa Willoughby is an editor and writer. Her work has been featured on The Toast, The Hairpin, Vice, Hazlitt, and Bitch. She is Creative Director for Winter Tangerine.

Fem: Tell us about Winter Tangerine. What do you do as a Creative Director?

Vanessa Willoughby: Winter Tangerine is an online literary and arts journal founded by Yasmin Belkhyr. We started out doing just print issues, but now we’ve moved everything online and expanded upon features and columns. We’re really committed to finding and promoting marginalized writers who are often overlooked, ignored and dismissed by mainstream publishing. I’ve been with the journal since the beginning and am so proud to be a member of a collaborative team that shares my passion for challenging the white status quo of publishing and the literary world. As someone who is both an editor and a writer, it’s been, to say the least, an uphill battle to be even considered as a serious candidate in publishing. Publishing, whether they agree or not, is largely dominated by whiteness and connections (or nepotism). You can be an extremely hard-worker, a brilliant editor/writer, done some internships, even be overqualified, but your blackness will always be the first thing these people in power see. People will work themselves into mental gymnastics in order to justify the lack of POC in publishing. I’m glad to be a part of WT and thus be able to find relief from the publishing industry’s demands to appease the white gaze. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Vanessa Willoughby”

Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Rafael García

Fem Project - HeadshotSarah Rafael García is a writer, community educator and traveler. Since publishing Las Niñas, she founded Barrio Writers and obtained a M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She writes poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Her writing has appeared in LATINO Magazine, Contrapuntos III, Outrage: A Protest Anthology For Injustice in a Post 9/11 World, La Tolteca Zine and will be featured in Issue 03 of Lumen Magazine.

Most recently, Sarah Rafael was awarded for Santana’s Fairy Tales, which is supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through a grant supporting the Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center in Southern California. Sarah Rafael is currently the Editor for the annual Barrio Writers anthology and Co-editor of the forthcoming Pariahs: Writing From Outside the Margins anthology.

Fem: Tell us about Barrio Writers. 

Sarah Rafael García: The Barrio Writers (BW) program aims to empower teens through creative writing, higher education and cultural arts. It consists of free 1-week intensive summer workshops and additional “café hours” (one-on-one tutoring). It also includes access to higher education resources and cultural arts field trips. Through the BW program youth build skills in reading, grammar, creative writing, critical-thinking and freedom of expression through the cultural arts. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Sarah Rafael García”

Featured Fem | Meet Mai Nguyen Do

DSC_6644-2 -4Mai Nguyen Do is a Vietnamese-American poet and musician living in the Los Angeles area. Her work has been published in the Rising Phoenix Review, and her debut poetry collection is forthcoming from Platypus Press. In what little free time she has, Mai can be found researching Southeast Asian history, ranting about current Southeast Asian political events, and teaching Vietnamese to young children. Aside from being founder and editor-in-chief of Rambutan Literary and being a social media manager for The Fem, Mai is also the social media manager for the journal Half Mystic, a new journal dedicated to showcasing musical creations.

Fem: Tell us about your lit mag and your role.

Mai Nguyen Do: Rambutan Literary is a literary and arts magazine showcasing literature and art from both mainland/maritime Southeast Asia and diasporic Southeast Asian communities. Although we are still very new, as founder and editor-in-chief, I’ve had the privilege of starting to work with some amazing Southeast Asian writers to cultivate and promote our new magazine. Continue reading “Featured Fem | Meet Mai Nguyen Do”