IWL 2018 Cohort

Nyam Adodoadji

Nyam is a Kenyan-Ghanaian-American poet exploring identity, race, gender and faith through words. An administrator by trade, when she’s not writing or managing, you can find her performing as part of the musical duo Rhythm & Folk. Connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.

Claire Calderón

Claire is an Oakland-based writer and curator at work on her first novel. She is a co-founder of the New American Story Project, a digital storytelling project dedicated to the voices of Central American refugees and the Workshop Coordinator of Las Dos Brujas Writers' Workshops. She is an alum of VONA/Voices, a 2018 Hedgebrook fellow, and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College.

Erika Céspedes

Stephanie Chan

Stephanie is a writer, horror, and true crime junkie who loves films, art, and performance. She currently writes stories and produces videos for brands but loves to create short fiction and poetry in her personal time. As an ex-intern for Kearny Street Workshop, Stephanie hopes to incorporate more of her Asian American experience into her work. 

Lia Dun

Lia Dun is  a queer chinese american writer. She lives in San Francisco Chinatown and drinks a lot of boba.

Mark Flores

Mark grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii but appreciates the “cold” weather here in the Bay Area. He’s got two brothers and acts like he’s the oldest. He reads comics, poetry, fiction, essays, and cookbooks.

Shirley Huey

Born and raised in San Francisco and now residing in the East Bay, Shirley Huey has read her work at venues such as Liminal, Book Passage, Red Bay Coffee, and the Berkeley City Club. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Panorama: The Journal of Intelligent Travel, Catapult, Oakland Asian Cultural Center's "I Am Hungry" zine, and Endangered Species, Enduring Values, an anthology of San Francisco writers and artists of color. She is grateful to the many people and organizations in the Bay that have supported and nurtured her as a person and as a writer.

michal mj jones

michal is black queer, and non-binary writer, activist, educator, and first-time parent living in Oakland, CA. their work has been featured at Foglifter PressEveryday FeminismBlack Girl Dangerous, and Wear Your Voice Magazine.

Kirin Kahn

Kirin is a writer living in Oakland, CA who calls Albuquerque, New Mexico her hometown, and Peshawar, Pakistan her homeland. An alum of the 2016 VONA/Voices and 2017 Las Dos Brujas workshops, she is a 2017 PEN Emerging Voices Fellow, 2017 SF Writers Grotto Fellow, and 2018 AWP Writer to Writer Mentee. Her work has appeared in The Margins, sPARKLE & bLINK, Your Impossible Voice, and 7x7.LA. Kirin was recently named as a 2018 Steinbeck Fellow. She is working on her first novel.

Mihee Kim

Mihee is a writer, activist, and artist that hails from New York and New Jersey, but now hones her craft in Oakland, California.

Alyssa Manansala

Alyssa is an essayist and poet, interested in experimental nonfiction that engages critical race theory, decolonial politics, and desire. She is a graduate of the MFA program in Creative Writing at CalArts, and the founder and co-curator of inter/subject, a workshop series investigating intersectional feminist tactics.

Endria Richardson

Endria Richardson is a writer, climber, and lawyer. She focuses on anti-incarceration and abolition work.

T. Rockett

Troy, a non-binary actor, discovered performance first through poetry where she embodied the genre to empower herself: a Black Queer adoptee. Rockett is a VONA/Voices Fellow and Astraea Lesbian Writers’ grant recipient and holds a joint MA degree in Creative Writing and Literature from Holy Names University. Her poems are included in Best New African Poets Anthology 2017, Chorus: A Literary Mixtape, Sinister Wisdom 106: The Lesbian Body, CALYX, Q-Zine, and Bay area based projects, Bay Area Generations and Nomadic Press’ Get Lit.

Marian Urquilla

Marian is a leadership coach and writer with a long history of work in U.S. communities of color on issues of social and economic justice. Her writing is rooted in that work and explores the intersection of exile, spirituality and identity. A Latinx immigrant (and a recent East Coast transplant), she and her wife live in the East Bay. 

Ariana Vargas

ari is  a creator, time traveler, and an aquarius. deeply in theories and feelings of/from diaspora(s). she most recently held a residency in Point Arena through a collaboration between this will take time and small press traffic. living and breathing for liberation of all peoples, and especially Black, Indigenous, women of color.