2017 Authors and Artists
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Viet Thanh Nguyen is an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America (Oxford University Press, 2002) and the novel The Sympathizer, from Grove/Atlantic (2015). The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, an Edgar Award for Best First Novel from the Mystery Writers of America, the First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction from the American Library Association, a California Book Award, and the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in Fiction from the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association. It was also a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. The novel made it to over thirty book-of-the-year lists, including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, Slate.com, and The Washington Post.
His current book is Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War , a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction, which is the critical bookend to a creative project whose fictional bookend is The Sympathizer. Nothing Ever Dies examines how the so-called Vietnam War has been remembered by many countries and people, from the US to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and South Korea. Harvard University Press is publishing it in March 2016. Kirkus Reviews calls the book “a powerful reflection on how we choose to remember and forget.”
His next book is The Refugees , a short story collection forthcoming from Grove Press in February 2017. He is a critic at large for the Los Angeles Times and has written for the New York Times, Time, The Guardian, The Atlantic, and other venues.
His short fiction has been published in Manoa, Best New American Voices 2007, A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross-Cultural Collision and Connection, Narrative Magazine, TriQuarterly, the Chicago Tribune , and Gulf Coast, where his story won the 2007 Fiction Prize.
His writing has been translated into Korean, Vietnamese, Japanese, and Spanish, and he has given invited lectures in China, Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Germany. Download his full CV or visit his website http://vietnguyen.info/.
NoViolet Bulawayo won the 2014 PEN-Hemingway Award, the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing, and the inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014. We Need New Names was a finalist for numerous other awards, including the Man Booker Prize. NoViolet earned her MFA at Cornell University where she was a recipient of the Truman Capote Fellowship. She was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, where she now teaches as a Jones Lecturer in Fiction. NoViolet grew up in Zimbabwe.
You can read more about NoViolet and her work at http://novioletbulawayo.com/.
Jennine Capó Crucet
Jennine Capó Crucet is the author of the novel Make Your Home Among Strangers from St. Martin’s Press,winner of the Best Latino Themed Fiction Book at the 18th International Latino Book Award and long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Her story collection, How to Leave Hialeah, won the Iowa Short Fiction Prize, the John Gardner Book Award, the Devil’s Kitchen Reading Award, and was named a Best Book of the Year by the Miami Herald, the Miami New Times, and the Latinidad List.
A winner of an O. Henry Prize and a Bread Loaf Fellow, Crucet’s writing has appeared in Guernica, Ploughshares, Epoch, The Rumpus, Prairie Schooner, and other magazines. She was recently the Winter 2013/14 Picador Guest Professor at the Institute for American Studies at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Originally from Miami, she is an assistant professor of English and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
You can read more about Jennine and her work at http://jennine-crucet.squarespace.com/.
Jeff Shotts is Executive Editor at Graywolf Press, a leading independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. He acquires and edits Graywolf’s poetry list as well as works of nonfiction, essay, literary criticism, and translation. He has worked with writers such as Elizabeth Alexander, Mary Jo Bang, Eula Biss, Nick Flynn, Fanny Howe, Leslie Jamison, D. A. Powell, Claudia Rankine, Vijay Seshadri, Tracy K. Smith, Mary Szybist, Kevin Young, Layli Long Soldier, Mai Der Vang, and many others. He lives in Minneapolis.
You can read more about Graywolf Press at https://www.graywolfpress.org/.
Layli Long Soldier
Layli Long Soldier holds a B.F.A. from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an M.F.A. from Bard College. She has served as a contributing editor of Drunken Boat. Her poems have appeared in The American Poet, The American Reader, The Kenyon Review Online, and other publications. She is the recipient of the 2015 NACF National Artist Fellowship and a 2015 Lannan Literary Fellowship. In 2016, she received a Whiting Award. Her collection of poetry, WHEREAS, will be published in 2017.
Mai Der Vang
Mai Der Vang is the 2016 Walt Whitman Award winner of the Academy of American Poets. Her poetry has appeared in American Poets, The Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, The Journal, The Collagist, Radar, Fairy Tale Review, Asian American Literary Review, and elsewhere. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others. Her work has been anthologized in Troubling Borders: An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora. As an editorial member of the Hmong American Writers’ Circle, she is co-editor of How Do I Begin: A Hmong American Literary Anthology.
Mai Der has received residencies from Hedgebrook and is a Kundiman fellow. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing/Poetry from Columbia University. Her forthcoming debut collection Afterland will be published by Graywolf Press in 2017. Mai Der lives in Fresno, California where she teaches at Clovis Community College and also works as a writing/creative consultant.
You can read more about Mai Der and her work at http://maidervang.com/.
Mario Ybarra, Jr.
Mario Ybarra, Jr. is a Los Angeles-based artist who creates artworks that he considers forms of portraiture and landscape. Founder of the art collective Slanguage, Ybarra draws inspiration from southern California’s unique mix of inhabitants, history, and street culture for his large-scale multi-media installations and public performances. His artworks not only reflect his experience as a Mexican-American resident of Los Angeles, but also consider the Mestizaje or racial/cultural mixing found in other parts of the world.
Ybarra received his MFA from University of California, Irvine, in 2001. He has had solo exhibitions at Brown Gallery, London, United Kingdom (2009); Bob Van Orsouw, Zurich, Switzerland (2008); and Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, New York (2008). His work has been included in many group exhibitions, including Installations Inside/Out: Armory 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, California (2009); San Juan Poly/Graphic Triennial of the Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, San Juan, Puerto Rico (2009); Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California (2008); and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York (2008).
You can read more about Slanguage at http://www.slanguagestudio.com/.