Back in ~1998, when our mother had us write down what they wanted to be when they grew up, Jami wrote: “writer or librarian.” Cori wrote: “artist.” Even then we used our words and drawings in collaboration, creating elaborate stories that they later acted out. Now our joint projects evolve from our intersecting interests–food, Japanese and Taiwanese American history, yokai (Japanese legendary creatures), mythology in general, and how these stories influence both attitudes about “others” and outcomes for our people.
I am a Chicago-based writer currently working on The Sin-Eaters, a novel based on Japanese mythology and folklore. In 2016 I received a Creative Artists Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, which allowed me to research and write in Japan for four months. Excerpts from The Sin-Eaters received an inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant from We Need Diverse Books in 2015 and won a Sterling Watson MFA Fellowship from Writers in Paradise in 2017.
I received my MFA in creative nonfiction from the Pennsylvania State University, and my work has appeared or is forthcoming in the anthology What God is Honored Here? (University of Minnesota Press), Library Journal, Passages North, [PANK], The Baltimore Review, and other publications.
By visualizing narratives and illuminating concepts, I make art that fuels action. My work has been published in the LA Times, Twin Cities Daily Planet, and Pollen Midwest.
Recent projects include:
—Renter Power Mural in South Minneapolis (with co-artist Tori Hong). The mural is a 70 foot long celebration of renters and home. The design is based on the comments collected from surveyed renters, embedded with current statistics drawing attention to the rental crisis.
—#MinneAsianStories 2019 This is Home. Graphic book containing five stories of Asians in Minnesota illustrated by five Asian illustrators. Book created in partnership with the Coalition for Asian American Leaders.