Woman. Warrior. Writer. 12-23
E.J. Koh Vol. 4 No. 13 12-11-23
How did you come to author your life?
In my first poetry class at the end of college, my teacher said to me, “You’re good at starting a poem, but you have trouble at the turn—the end of the poem.” My teacher said my poems were missing magnanimity. I’d never heard of the word before. When I asked what it meant, my teacher said: “It means you have to forgive your mother by the end of the poem, or the poem has to forgive you for not. Otherwise, it’s not a poem. It’ a journal or a diary entry but not a poem.”
E. J. Koh is the author of the debut novel The Liberators. Koh's memoir The Magical Language of Others won a Washington State Book Award, Pacific Northwest Book Award, Association for Asian American Studies Book Award, and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award. Koh is also the author of the award-winning poetry collection A Lesser Love and other works that have appeared in the Atlantic, AGNI, Poetry, Slate, and elsewhere. Koh earned her MFA at Columbia University and her PhD at the University of Washington. Koh has received National Endowment for the Arts and MacDowell fellowships. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
During COVID when we were all huddled in our homes, Koh zoomed into my class. She was thoughtful, introspective, and sincere in her approach to writing, reading, and artmaking. She has a wonderful presence. I highly recommend her work.
CLASSES AND NEWS
· Women’s Creative Writing Workshop (4 weeks) April 4-25 Thurs. 1-3PM (HST) a mixed level cross-genre generative writing workshop with a focus on voice, craft, creative process, and community.
· Intersectionality Manuscript Workshop (10 weeks) April 2-June 4 Tues. 1-3PM (HST) For those who want to complete a full-length manuscript. Instructor permission only. Contact: email@example.com to submit sample and brief interview.
· Master Narratives a Deep Dive LIVE in-person at Da Shop Saturday April 6 9-11AM (HST) in Honolulu. This is an open-gender class. Come to class and rethink your creative process and personal narrative.
WHY: take workshop from me? You will leave class a better writer. I have a great track record. Over the past several years my students have been awarded fellowships from PEN-Emerging Voices, Tin House, VONA and have entered master’s and PhD programs. They have won artist residencies, prizes, and have published in literary journals and national outlets. I am deeply committed to my mission of empowering women through narrative and having women’s writing in the world.
HOW: I focus on voice. This is my specialty. I teach craft, I know critical theory, and I have a deep understanding of creative process. I have global experience. I understand why women are silenced and how this affects what women write. I use texts by women to teach you to write your emotional truth to power. I emphasize community. Learn to be fearless with your words.
Elizabeth Su (Asian/American WCWW) has published a road trip-inspired tarot deck that's all about spreading Asian joy! You can check it out HERE. Elizabeth was on her two-year nomadic adventure while she zoomed into class. The deck is centered on reclaiming her Asian American identity and creating a sense of belonging. My favorite thing about Elizabeth is that she is good at having fun. My fellow Asians…sometimes we need to lighten up! It’s available for pre-order and is the perfect gift for yourself or your Asian sister!
Marivi Soliven Blanco’s The Mango Bride is part of the 18-day Philippines 𝗖𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗘𝗻𝗱 𝗩𝗔𝗪 (Violence Against Women). The film adaptation of her flash fiction Pandemic Bread screens Sunday Jan. 14 @ Borrego Springs Film Festival
I was quoted in Amye Archer’s story Gray Divorce: What to do when your marriage ends later in life. For how to write your divorce story click here for the steps.
WCWW class alum, featured/guest/syllabus author, send me writing update for the substack newsletter. We are here to support each other!
Listen to UH student Mariah Abdelfattah talk about her family in the West Bank. Mariah is a Korean language speaker of Latin and Palestinian descent. Her existence points to a polycultural world!
My interview with Vaimoana Niumeitolu an internationally acclaimed Tongan American performance artist and muralist (13 murals in Palestine) was blocked from airing. I invite you to explore her work, follow her @IGmoanaloveniu , and learn about artistry at Niumeitolu. I am no longer with HPR. Stay tuned for my 2024 audio adventures.
Back in the day, I opened class with a QOD or Question of the Day. Here’s one:
Why would information from Gaza journalists possibly be more reliable than information from American media sources?
Journalists on the ground in Gaza – add them to your IG account and more will appear:
IG@byplestia Plestia Alaqad
Collated updates on Palestine:
Commentary, translation, analysis:
IG@dianabuttu human rights attorney and analyst
Vaimoana Niumeitolu’s West Bank family
Support the writers featured in the Woman. Warrior. Writer. substack and give the gift of words. Mahalo nui loa for subscribing. I am grateful to all of you for reading and wish you the best during this holiday season.