Becoming AppalAsian is a homage to Lisa Kwong's parents, ancestors, ancestral land, homeland, and chosen land. China influences the cadence through which she experiences all spaces, whether that be Radford, Virginia where she worked as a waitress in her parents' restaurant or in Bloomington, Indiana as an artist and academic in a predominantly white University town. Lisa carries the pride of her father's quest to achieve the American Dream as a Chinese immigrant as well as the triumph and turmoil of defying stereotypes in a western landscape. She is AppalAsian: a Southern woman of Asian descent raised in Appalachia who lays claim to soul food, a Southern drawl, chicken feet, and dumplings. Her poetry offers fresh language to express the complexities of her identity.
author of Silver Bullet
and founder/CEO of Miller's Learning Center (Chicago)